Vietnam’s only representative for the 2019 Microsoft Imagine Cup

    Recently, Lai Trung Minh Duc - undergraduate student of K11, Information Insurance major, FPT University - has been chosen as Vietnam’s only representative to participate in competing for the 2019 Microsoft Imagine Cup - Asia Regional Finals and the 2019 MSP Summit. The program as of late was organized in Sydney, Australia and consisted of 20 outstanding students worldwide.

    A dreamlike journey

    That was Duc’s impression while the trip has not even been over its first week. Reminiscing about the moment when he was selected to partake in this event as Vietnam’s sole participant by Microsoft U.S, Duc could not hold back his excitement. 

    Internationally, Microsoft Imagine Cup is an annual creative competition about information technology. The contest promotes creative rationality of millions of youth in the technology field, helping them practice utilizing the latest technology to develop products, solving algorithms and various community challenges. Furthermore, the competition also hosts activities such as advanced conferences and seminars like the 2019 MSP Summit belonging to the field of Information Technology.

    This was the first time Duc has ever stepped foot on Australia and travelled abroad during the 23 years of his life. “To be honest the trip felt as if it was a dream. If I have to use a word for its description, it would be magical.” After the expedition, Duc has had the opportunity to socialize with numerous friends at the MSP conference and Imagine Cup contestants from China, Korea, India, Malaysia, Sri Lanka, Nepal, Thailand, Australia, Singapore and New Zealand.

    Through his energetic and technologically knowledgeable friends, Duc was able to have a lot of time to interact and learn new information. At the final round of the Imagine Cup, all competing teams tried their best to demonstrate all their ideas in order to achieve the objective merely in 3 minutes. Such determination made Duc felt as if he was in the TV program Shark Tank. For Duc, this experience did not have any most impressive moment, because every single second of it was breath-taking. This included all of the students to the presenters and from the competition’s challenges to the knowledge of the conference.

    “If you mention my destiny with Microsoft and Microsoft Student Partners, I also feel as if it was magic. I used to really enjoy programming in Pascal and longing to join a club or an organization about technology even though I was an Economics major. Through all my efforts, no club would accept me simply because I did not belong to the IT department. Until one day I decided to take part in an event arranged by Microsoft Student Partners. After that, I kept in touch with MSP and then 6 months later I sent them an application during the recruitment and became a Marketer.”

    Duc’s main assignment was to research the technologies of Microsoft including Microsoft Azure, Microsoft Office 365, Windows 10 on various database and then summarize them in a way that is understandable for college undergraduates. “After transferring to FPT University in order to fuel my passion for technology at the end of 2015, I was still a Marketer at MSP and eventually I got involved in Microsoft Azure’s public training sessions at many different universities.”       


    Outside the conferences, Duc together with his international friends strolled and sightsee around the Sydney Opera House, Darling Harbour, Chinatown, Microsoft office and a few antique churches. The scenery was picturesque, with a combination of both modern and classical architecture arranged in a symmetric, unsuffocating way.

    A predestined fate with FPT University

    As an Economics major, Duc has transferred to the Information Technology major and began his college life at FPT University.

    Although Duc has only just graduated earlier this April, many large corporations have already provided him with a lot of employment opportunities. Duc intends to work at Vietnam for 3 to 5 years in finances, banks, accounting, FMCG ( Fast Moving Consumer Goods), FnB ( Food and Beverages), real estate through an IT position using cloud technology, Microsoft technology and information insurance. After that, he wants to study a Master degree and then a PhD and finally reach his final goal of becoming a professor.

    Interested in both studying technology and joining eccentric contests, Duc has determined to become an FPT University undergraduate. Talking about his time here, Duc spoke of it as if it was his destiny. He read GMAT books because he has always harboured his dream of earning a Master degree. When he began researching into the examinations of FPT University, he could observe many similarities from the exam format and its content.

    The multiple choice in section 1 and 2 is simple and entertaining. While section 3 is quite nerve-wracking. “Read through the topic, finish the easy questions first and then after that analyze the details of the hard ones later.” That was Duc’s advice on passing FPT University’s examination on March 12th.

    “I was quite intrigued by the essay because it was in a society argumentative format. I have three tips for you in order to pass the exam with any topic. First, catch on to the daily news. Second, write your sentences in a concise and eloquent way. Third, your essay structure requires coherency.”

    Duc was really fond of the slogan of PwC - one of the Big Four accounting firms. “Because it reflected my personality and also is a goal that I strive to achieve: ‘Building relationships, creating values’.” 

    According to Duc, young students should not limit themselves and instead, keep on discovering new knowledge. Do not think along the lines of whether to use it or not, avoid putting yourself in the mindset of which comes first, the chicken or the egg? (In a literal sense for this context: work and then study or study in order to find a job). You should research what you prefer. However, if you have no predetermined direction then the correct course of action would be to try more different majors, occupations and positions to find out which one is the most appropriate for you.

    “Your life is your own. If it still remains ambiguous then who could pull you out of all the uncertainties but yourself?” Duc said. 


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