Student Council Of Vietnam At HSE: One Story

We talked to Tran Kim Khanh who is the youngest president of student council of Vietnam at HSE. 

Student Council Of Vietnam At HSE: One Story

Tran Kim Khanh, currently a second-year student in International Relations and the head of the student council of Vietnam at HSE University. We had a short interview with Khanh about her work life and responsibilities besides her studies.

Could you introduce yourself a little bit?

Hello! My name is Khanh. I would introduce myself as an outgoing but sometimes quite an introvert girl, or in short, ambivert. I like to make new friends and be in the crowd, and when I need motivation, I usually stay in my reading room to get ultimate silence. Yeah, so I think that is quite a lot to talk about me.

As far as I know, you became the head of the student council of Vietnam at HSE when you were just a first-year student. Can you share a little bit about that story, and how you felt at that time?

Ah, yes. I figured you would ask. So, I think, the start should have been back when I was still in the prep year. I was just out from a high school so I still had that passion, the will to prove my ability. And I took the chance to do so by stepping up and taking on the role of organizing the annual cultural event of the association. Later, the former head of association told me that he had chosen me already from that moment. That is how I got the position. I was ‘shaking’ and was not ready, since I was almost the youngest in the association, I rejected at first, but then realized no one else would take the responsibility and so, here I am.

Was this in your predictions before becoming a student at HSE?

Unexpected. I was planning to stay low and spend 5 years being invisible. Guess I was born to be in the spotlight.

Is being a student council president of one of the universities with a huge number of Vietnamese students has a big impact on your life?

It changed everything. I must spread my connections, contact with everyone in the association and those whom I do not really like much. It also puts lots more weight to my schedule since my study has already been so heavy. As I mentioned, I am always drowning in deadlines. I also receive more messages than ever and, although I do not like to, I still must answer them asap.

Have you ever been in a corresponding position like now? (When you studied in Vietnam). If yes, could you tell me more about it? If not, can you share a little bit about the work experience?

I was never really a leader. In high school I visited some clubs, and took part in events, but the highest position I ever held was manager and the head of PR – practically, never the head of a whole organization. I think such an experience still helps me somehow. I took advice from the former head quite often. He promised to help lead me through this jungle though.

Being a leader also means being under a lot of pressure. What is the thing that makes you feel the most pressure when you become the president of the Vietnamese student council at the HSE.

I think I answered this before. I do not like taking care of others' problems, to be frank. So, having to answer emails and endless similar questions exhausts me.

Do you have any plans in the future to develop HSE’s Vietnamese students unit? Can you say some words about plans in sport or culture activities?

Well yeah, if I decid to take it on, I will do it properly. There is this annual sport event for every university in Moscow city. I plan on getting people in HSE to be excited and ready for that. I also held a so-called prom as a get-together between HSE and other universities, too. Do not think that was successful, but there is always a first time for everything. And I hope to make that prom thing the annual event.

As far as I know, your program at HSE is quite difficult to study. Now you are a 2nd year student, have you ever thought about "retiring" and giving your current position to the next generation student. Exactly how long will it take and what are the criteria for the chosen person?

I am going to retire after I find a capable successor. This one should be social, not necessarily nice but needs to know how to fake it, also to have manners, of course.

Text by
Nguyen Tuan Linh Pham