Give back so that those who are struggling will have a chance too

Alumnus Anh Phung reflects on going beyond your bubble to contribute to the real world

I believe that having the chance to study at LSE is probably one of the best things that could happen to anyone.

Anh Phung

Anh 4 3
Anh Phung

"My family’s journey is a typical immigrant story of looking for a better life. My parents came to the Czech Republic empty-handed as labourers from post-war Vietnam. It was a struggle in the beginning, but they worked extremely hard to provide a good childhood and education for me and my younger sister.

Growing up, I was fortunate to be in a multicultural environment. I attended a German-speaking school, while speaking Czech with my friends and Vietnamese at home.

I am the first person in my family to attend university. When I received my offer from LSE, I was torn between joining my dream university, and the significant financial burden that it might place on my family. Fortunately, thanks to the New Futures Fund scholarship, I was able to follow my dream to study at LSE. I am extremely thankful for this generosity because it allowed me to get the most out of my undergraduate experience, academically, socially and professionally. 

Bubble perspective

A major part of my personality and way of thinking was formed at LSE. I was amazed by the opportunities on offer, and the career-centric ambitions of some of those around me. It was overwhelming at first because up to that point, I hadn’t known who or what ‘Goldman Sachs’ or ‘Deloitte’ were (though I later had the chance to intern at two similar employers).

After I graduated, I was disappointed I didn’t get the job I had initially wanted, but that turned out to be a blessing because I joined an early-stage start-up instead. This meant that I was involved in many integral aspects of running a business. This has taught me a lot about what goes on in the ‘real world’, i.e. local small businesses compared to big organisations, the foundations of managing projects, working with people with less means and understanding their struggles.

It has also helped me to connect with the struggles my parents went through when they built their business. It helped to remind me not to take the privilege of my education for granted. 

Giving back to the real world

I believe that having the chance to study at LSE is probably one of the best things that could happen to anyone. If you are an LSE graduate you already belong among the top achievers in the world because you are blessed with an excellent education, diverse perspective and a global network of friends whom you know will go on and do amazing things.

Looking back, I can see that sometimes in the midst of our LSE education, it can be easy to become detached from the real world because of our own “bubble”. Beyond chasing a prestigious job, it’s important to remember to, in some way, give back and contribute to the society or your community as much as you can.

We need to give back, so that those who are struggling will have a chance too."

Anh Phung, BSc Management, 2015


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