Vietnamese Student Receives Scholarship for Writing Essay on Benefits of Cow’s Milk

Bui Thi Phuong Thu, a 1998 birth year, has been offered a full scholarship for a Master's degree in Finance at Maynooth University, Ireland, in recognition of her outstanding essay concerning cow's milk.


The 25-year-old Vietnamese woman, who was born in Nam Dinh, graduated with an excellent bachelor’s degree from Foreign Trade University, where she majored in Accounting and Auditing. During her time as a student, she received scholarships from her university, KEB HANA Bank, and the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA).

Bui Thi Phuong Thu excellently won a full scholarship for a Master's degree in Finance at the University of Maynooth, Ireland. Photo: Courtesy of the character
Bui Thi Phuong Thu excellently won a full scholarship for a Master’s degree in Finance at the University of Maynooth, Ireland. Photo: Courtesy of the character

Sharing her decision to study a master’s program abroad with Vietnam Education Magazine, Phuong Thu explained that she has harbored a long-standing dream of studying overseas since her high school days. She longed to expand her knowledge in her field of interest and experience top-notch education in a developed nation.

After gaining three years of experience working for an export company, she reflected on her own unforgettable experience that motivated her to pursue a career change focused on finance.

“I used to work as an auditor for an export company in the northern mountainous region. However, during that time, the company was facing the troubling prospect of going bankrupt due to inadequate financial control. The faces of the employees, filled with worry in the days leading up to the Tet holiday, still haunt my memory. This experience was a wake-up call that taught me the importance of sound financial management for the success and growth of a company. It was in this moment that I realized my desire to transition from auditing to becoming a financial manager, in order to actively contribute to the financial well-being and stability of businesses.”

Phuong Thu acknowledged that transitioning to a new career, including embarking on a new professional journey, can present various challenges, particularly during the learning phase.

She was cognizant of the reality that she would need to begin with the fundamentals and then enhance her extensive understanding. Nevertheless, instead of feeling disheartened, Thu was resolute in enhancing her proficiency with a more challenging curriculum.

“When I was still in university, I already had a solid foundation in Finance. In my pursuit of a career change, I not only applied to a different company within the Finance department but also took it upon myself to engage in self-study. However, I quickly realized that my current level of knowledge was insufficient, and I yearned to further enhance my understanding and expertise. This led me to set a goal for myself – to study in renowned European countries known for their development, such as Ireland. My ultimate aim is to leverage the knowledge and skills I acquire to make a positive impact on small and medium-sized companies in my home country of Vietnam,” Thu passionately expressed.

Unlike other universities in Europe, which select masters by interview, the Irish Government’s full scholarship program assesses candidates based on their essay writing abilities. This unique approach allows for a fair evaluation of applicants’ skills and potential, without relying solely on personal interviews. By considering the candidates’ written work, the scholarship program ensures that those with exceptional writing skills and intellectual potential are given equal opportunities to pursue higher education in Ireland. This emphasis on written communication also aligns with the global trend of valuing written skills in professional and academic settings. The Irish Government’s full scholarship program recognizes the importance of essays as a means of evaluating candidates’ capabilities and providing equal opportunities for all applicants.

Maynooth University. Photo: Wikipedia
Maynooth University. Photo: Wikipedia

Thu completed her three essays, including a study plan, what she can contribute to Ireland, and what she can do to promote cooperation between the two countries.

With the idea that she had prior experience in essay writing, she began to generate ideas and create an outline for her essay. However, upon seeking feedback and advice from someone experienced, she realized that her initial work needed a complete overhaul.

“Each scholarship has unique requirements, so it is crucial for the writer to avoid the mistake of using an outline from a previous essay and merely changing a few sentences. Instead, they should thoroughly research and understand what the particular scholarship committee is looking for, ensuring that their focus aligns with the scholarship’s objectives. Additionally, the writer should clearly articulate their content and ideas, rather than simply stating their intention to gain new knowledge and contribute to their homeland’s economic development. This advice was shared by someone who has personal experience with writing scholarship essays.”

Particularly with regards to the essay on her contribution to promoting the development of the two countries, Phuong Thu demonstrated thorough research into Ireland’s agriculture and the needs of the Vietnamese market. She further highlighted her findings in a unique essay centered around cow’s milk.

Specifically, Ireland is a dairy-exporting country with high-quality nutritional content. With its lush green pastures and modern farming practices, Ireland produces excellent dairy products that are sought after around the world. On the other hand, Vietnam is a country with a growing demand for milk. With a large population and a rising middle class, there is a great opportunity for Irish dairy exporters to meet the demand for high-quality milk in Vietnam.

She proposed the idea that in the future, the two countries should collaborate to facilitate the importation of high-quality cow’s milk by Vietnamese businesses. This would result in the growth and strong development of both economies.

Ireland is a dairy exporting country with very good nutritional content and Vietnam is a country with a great demand for milk. Photo: edailynews
Ireland is a dairy exporting country with very good nutritional content and Vietnam is a country with a great demand for milk. Photo: edairynews

Phuong Thu also mentioned that watching movies and reading books about the country she is planning to study has helped her further understand their culture and way of life. This allows her to approach and view the country with a sense of familiarity.

Phuong Thu strongly believed that gaining knowledge about cultural diversity in all its various forms would greatly aid the admissions committee in comprehending her genuine interest in the culture and people of the country she was applying for, as opposed to solely seeking a scholarship.

In September 2023, Phuong Thu is excited to embark on her journey to Ireland to pursue a master’s program in Finance at Maynooth University.

Charlotte Pho