A Journey of Academic Excellence and Personal Growth
A Journey of Academic Excellence and Personal Growth
  • Reporter Yim O-Jung, Yoon Ju-Hwan
  • 승인 2023.03.01 21:09
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▲Prof. Do Danh Cuong (Faculty of Electrical Engineering Program)
▲Prof. Do Danh Cuong (Faculty of Electrical Engineering Program)

 Please briefly introduce yourself.
 My name is Do Danh Cuong. I completed an undergraduate degree in electronic engineering at Vietnam National University, and then I received the privilege to study at a graduate school in Korea for 2 years in the Master Engineering program (MEng). That was a very big chance for me in a real academic institution because at that time there were not any real academic institutions in Vietnam. In Korea, a lot of people were focusing on research topics and trying to improve things. Then after two years, I went to the Republic of Ireland for a Ph.D. The main reason I went there was because of Europe, to see how it worked and also to travel around. Then after two years of doing my Ph.D, I was attracted to research more and more, so after completing my Ph.D, I decided to do postdoc training. Luckily, I did it at Cambridge, UK. I researched topics there for almost 5 years before I came back to Vietnam. Then I joined Vin

 What was the most memorable experience while studying abroad?
 I think my most memorable experience is when I first came to Korea. It was very different from Vietnam, almost 20 years ago. It had good infrastructure, and the system was very efficient. When I first arrived at the university, I focused on the academic environment. People worked very hard day and night. Regarding research, they tried to complete a lot of interesting work. That was the first time I saw, and I think more universities should look similar to this. That’s what I still keep in my brain. Also, worth mentioning is I really liked Korean food since I can eat spicy foods.

 How was your graduate school life in Korea?
 Koreans really work hard, and it was not easy to follow, because the Vietnamese style has a different way of working. But in Korea, my professor came to the office at 9 A.M. and left at midnight and I had to follow him. I could not go home before he did. That's why sometimes I felt sleepy, or I wanted to go home to read books, play music or play with my friends. But I couldn't, so it was quite hard, and my life was only on the weekend with my friends. During my graduate school in Korea, I really worked and played hard as I could. This was a positive change for me though. When I went to Europe, and it made me work harder. 
Accordingly, when you do research and work hard, it is one of the most important things to learn in order to help you survive in the academic world.

 Any advice for our readers?
 Before you graduate, you need to make a plan. When you run, the time to rest will come. Other than this, I don’t think I can give you much advice. Certainly you will have the opportunity to work with talented teams and study hard. Just be sure to lead a balanced life. Try to enjoy time with your friends, and family. I also think soft skills are very important (like presentation skills) because I have seen a lot of Asian students have problems with communication and how to deliver presentations, which is their weak point. Spend more time on soft skills, and it will be very helpful to you. Maybe you are not content if you only work harder in the lab. Soft skills are important in the long run. You might become a professor or work in industry, and communication skills are significant in all industries because you most likely will be part of a team. You should be a good communicator. People who only work hard in the lab may become good scientists, but you can be more valuable if you communicate well.