My Address at Troy University Commencement

Good morning everyone,

I am so honored to be here in this important and long-awaited day! Today is a time to celebrate our accomplishments, to recognize all that we've learned and all that we 've done.

Before I begin, I want to recognize the effort of everyone, including all the staff and crew on this campus, who made this graduation day possible.

------- ** Applause**------

Let's start with an old memory of mine: Years ago, my youth was full of myths and glamorous praise. People told me that I was very intelligent, and I could achieve anything I wanted inlif e. I got into an undergraduate program with that high pride, ended up getting bored and dropped out, sincerely believed that I could achieve anything with my raw intelligence.

Unfortunately, life is not that easy.

My first formal working experience was in the biggest technology social media company in Vietnam, in which I worked side by side with revered names in the industry. We responded to the latest trends in the technology world and shared our experiences with our community. I wrote over 1400 articles about consumer technology, provided knowledge and up-to-date informations to millions of audience.

The job was challenging, exciting and constantly demanding on staff. After four years, I realized I lacked of many things to keep growing and create a better impact on the society; from knowledge to skill, especially the mindset. That reality knocked me hard and left me disoriented. That was the time Troy University came into my learning path.

Back to college at my age made people question my motivation and vision. But let me tell you the second story.

Twenty-seven years ago, my grandparent brought our family to the U.S. We immigrated to a foreign country and left everything behind. The financial situation was too bad; everyone had to find a job, and pursuing higher education like college was nearly impossible.

But my dear grandpa believed that education was the only solution for this problem. To him, going to college is not the only way but the shortest way. To prove it, he went back to college at age 65.

He became a role model for everyone in my family, and his vision helped my mom's generation thrive in the new country. They became Executive, Engineers, and University lecturers, especially my mom, who became a well-respected high school teacher in our city. They all survived through the hard time and achieved great success in their life. So why can't we?

With that attitude in mind, I started my journey at Troy University.

All the previous speech told you how good the program at Troy is. I will not bother to repeat it because that's absolutely true. Studying at Troy is an absolutely wonderful experience. I have learned many important things from world-class teachers and met all of my beloved friends.

We graduate in a difficult yet very promising time. It's difficult because the pandemic turned the world upside down, created economic recession, inflation and a crazy high unemployment rate. Things you may have taken for granted, may no longer be guaranteed.

But everything is getting better, that nightmare is coming to an end and the world has started over. This situation created a huge opportunity for us to prove ourselves and make positive impacts to the world around us.

In the next few weeks, perhaps months, some of you may realize that the degree you receive today may not work the way you expected. It's may not the golden ticket to get your dream job. Don't worry, I was in the same position before, It's not a big deal.

The degree itself will not solve any problem, but the knowledge you achieved at this school will.  The projects you have done, and the problems you solved in the assignment, all of them will give you the experience and knowledge to solve real world problems.

Everything you need to do are keep committing to the process and find a chance to prove that you are the best.

There are lots of difficulties in this uncertain period of time, but I believe that graduating from Troy University will give us a huge advantage in pursuing our best achievements in life.

In the final episode of The Office movie, there is a quote: "I wish there was a way to know you were in the good old days, before you actually left them". When I was writing this speech, that quote hit me so hard. Four years at Troy were my life's most important yearswith so much joy.

I hope we can spend more time here, but the exciting world out there is waiting for us. I don't know how hard the world will challenge you, but I am sure that we are all well prepared for that.

And last but not least, I want to express my deepest gratitude to our parents, friends, professors, mentors, and loved ones. We all make this far together thanks to your unconditionally support, kindness and patience.

It's my privilege to be part of this amazing journey with all of you. Congratulations! We graduated!