Our Scholars Speak: Nguyen Chi Bao


Bao on his graduation day in November 2019.

An underprivileged student, I first came to magnificent Saigon from Thu Duc (a suburban district) and then moved to District 10 in downtown Ho Chi Minh City. It was the first time away from family. The life of every person has these first times, and even after getting used to it, the feeling is still fresh when recalling such memories.

Through PDG, there have now been many first times: the first time I went on a long trip; the first time I went by a night bus, lying down for 12 hours and then could not sleep because it was so fun; the first time I was on a plane; the first time I visited Central Vietnam. I was able to attend the 2018 Orchid Foundation Science Summer School and the PDG Fund fully supported the trip. My feelings when travelling from Ho Chi Minh City to Quy Nhon were excitement. I could not sleep all the way over 600 km. I truly cherished the moments breathing the sea breeze, the conversations with the PDG brothers and sisters, the words of encouragement and promises for visits.

In the PDG family, I am like a younger brother, receiving support and care from sisters like Ms. Binh, Ms. Hang Anh, and Bach Nga. I see that PDG members are from different regions and all are busy with their own lives but always have a belief in this scholarship fund. The PDG also has Uncle Phil, the oldest brother who works silently. All PDG members are wonderful, as well as a great inspiration for me.

There is one special thing about PDG: it’s a miniature Vietnam. Indeed, the brothers and sisters are from all regions of the country such as Hanoi, Bac Giang, Hue, Da Nang, Quang Ngai, Ho Chi Minh City, Binh Dinh, Ben Tre, Can Tho, and Tien Giang. Talented people from all parts of the country join into a common PDG family. Despite the geographical distances, every time a member changes his/her job location, we try to arrange a meeting to keep updated. Wherever you go, a family member will welcome you.

Bao and other PDG members at the Nha Trang get-together in September 2018.

Every three years, all PDG members have a chance to get together in one city. Besides this big get-together meeting, each team from the North, South and Central regions organizes small group meetings to share, give advice–or simply to go out to eat together or play soccer.

For me, PDG is a true home, a family of talented members with a strong desire for self-development. They are outstanding and never stop learning and loving.

I graduated from university in November 2019 with an 8.57 GPA, ranked 1st in Process and Equipment and top 10 in the Department of Chemical Engineering. I am currently a production supervisor of Bel-Laughing Cow Cheese Group. The job is tailored to my major and so far I’ve learnt a lot of things.