HONG KONG_ For most of her counterparts, their time spent at the university is usually pleasant and romantic, but for Doan Ha Ly Nguyen, in retrospect to her undergraduate years, it is more of a challenge. Fights and rewards of those days will always be unforgettable to her.
Doan is an international student from Vietnam. Having worked as an editor, and then a marketing executive for one year after graduation in her home country, Doan is now pursuing her MA Degree in international journalism in Hong Kong Baptist University. Looking back to undergraduate years, much has subsided, yet still something lingers.
During her third year in university, Doan, along with 19 of her classmates, took part in a competition held by The Media Alliance, an organization aiming to identify significant public issues, arouse public awareness and stimulate action. To compete for the sponsorship to carry out their plan, the team was to come up with a proposal to prove their proficiency in this field.
One year’s efforts finally paid off as they stood out and got sponsored. However, the achievement did not come easily.
“For a group of 20, it’s difficult to agree on one idea in the first place,” Doan says. “It called for great effort and cooperation.”
After the first round of brainstorm, the group came up with six ideas to be voted on. Two were selected and trialed. However, one did not come out satisfactorily and was finally ruled out. At this point, the one who came up with it decided to leave.
“We were sad and disappointed,” Doan says, “but we knew we had to carry on.”
With the major theme of ‘climate change’ settled, the group then separated into several sub-groups, each focusing upon a specific segment. They held regular discussions to communicate their progress.
Meanwhile, the time for graduation drew near, accompanied by exams and graduation thesis immediately due. Under such pressure, two other members decided to leave.
“It was significant for us to carry out the plan, to arouse public attentions on this issue. We were under great pressure. But our inspiration, our motivation support us all along,” Doan says.
The triumph of winning the sponsorship did not last long. Soon they realized that the difficult part, far from having come to an end, had only started.
Once again, the team immersed themselves into another round of hard work. Their final goal was to produce two video clips to arouse public awareness on climate change and stimulate action accordingly.
Among all three types of promotional clips, – product, service and idea – what they were trying to produce (clip of ideas) was the most difficult.
“Ideas are intangible,” Doan says, “It’s more difficult to express and reflect through video clips.”
Even Doan herself cannot tell how much time and energy the team dedicated to the project. However, they finally made it. Now their work (Conserve water and Conserve electricity) is available on YouTube, attracting wide public attention.
“All have been worthy of all our efforts.” Doan says, with a proud expression on her face.