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INTERVIEW WITH DO HOANG MINH - THE 1821 AMSER WHO WON THE BRONZE MEDAL IN THE 2021 INTERNATIONAL ECONOMICS OLYMPIAD

Post by: trangtrang | 14/08/2021 | 637 reads

International Economics Olympiad (IEO) is an annual competition where high schoolers from many nations gather and compete in the interesting field of Economics. This year the competition was hosted by Latvia from 26 July till 1 August, and this is the first time the Vietnam team with 5 members participated. Vietnam has successfully won 2 Bronze Medals at this year’s competition, one of which is Do Hoang Minh’s, an Amser from the English 1 class of 18-21. Ams Wide Web has done an interview with Hoang Minh, in which he shared about his achievements in the past competition.

Reporter (R): Hello Hoang Minh, it is such a delight that you accepted Ams Wide Web’s interview invitation, and we would like to send you our congratulations on your impressive accomplishments in the earlier IEO. When receiving the competition results knowing you are one of the only two medalists of the Vietnam team, how did you feel?

 

Hoang Minh: Hello Ams Wide Web. The story of receiving my achievement news, I would have to say, is pretty thrilling. At first, when I finished my answers and compared them with (them of) last year’s competition, I was quite sure that I would win a medal, thus, I was looking forward to the awarding ceremony. During the awarding ceremony, I was also glad to know that another member of the team won the Bronze Medal, partly purely for he was really excellent, partly because my scores were very close to his. But the organizers' list which was read out loud did not consist of my name. I was pretty much freaking out and full of regrets while still waiting for the organizers to announce the component scores with some hope that I could still win a prize. Obviously, the organizers made a mistake as they took away 79 points from my written test, and after announcing to the team-leading teacher, the organizers quickly fixed my points and sent their apology. I was sincerely overjoyed then, this was a little awkward but I screamed right in the middle of a class meeting, acknowledging that I had won a medal. I spread the good news to my parents and my home teacher and started to plan on giving back to my friends a treat. Though I still regretted it a little for I thought I could do even better, I believe the outcome aligned with the rushed preparation and the little experience of our team since this is the first time we entered such a new competition.

 Do Hoang Minh’s impressive results

 

R: What motivated you to try your hand at Economics and this competition?

Hoang Minh: The opportunity to compete internationally rarely comes to an English major, and even though I entered the FIRST Robotics Competition with GreenAms 6520 Robotics Team, I have always wanted to have a go at an international science Olympiad. When I heard about the qualification round of this competition, I realized that this was going to be my last chance and I quickly grasped it. The competition  surrounds Economics but it also contains parts on finance and business,  which are the fields of knowledge that will benefit in the long run, so I was super ready to study.

 

Hoang Minh is the former Head of the Programming Department of GreenAms 6520 Robotics Team of the 2019-2020 term

 

R: Do you have any special impressions or memories with your members during the practice time?

Hoang Minh: During the time preparing and participating in the competition,  our country was still in the fight against the pandemic so the team had never once actually met. However, that didn't slow things down,  our team had plenty of online meetings and I sincerely think that preparing for the competition together with my friends made social distancing so much less lonely.  I can recall most clearly the lessons in which we discuss the tactics for the finance module. Since this part is made into an online simulation game,  we spent days and nights trying different tactics and even shared our screens to share our new  discoveries.  I felt happiest when  I discovered and shared with everybody else the seemingly useless but advantageous details, because it made me feel like I had somewhat helped the team without worrying about my personal achievements. Finally all those meetings paid off: one member made it to top 6 and everyone else was in top 30.

English 1 class of 18-21

 

R: Does the experience you gained from the competition relate to or benefit the major/job which you are planning to pursue?

Hoang Minh: I intend to pursue Mathematics or Computer Science in the future, and both subjects helped a lot in this competition, especially Maths. Computer Science actually only helped me find tactics for the finance module. I tried using algorithms to find out the most profitable investment portfolio but it wasn't really applicable in the competition. Maths was particularly very useful in studying Economics generally, because the Maths knowledge and thinking really helped me understand more quickly the macro models or the game theory in  microeconomics. Associating the concepts and methods of Economics with Mathematics, for example, marginal costs with derivatives, or profit maximization with finding extrema of multivariable functions, helped me memorize a lot more knowledge without having to learn them by heart. On the other hand, Economics helped me realize a lot of interesting things that can be applied directly in our lives, especially microeconomics. From thinking about the importance of trust after having understood Nash equilibrium thoroughly to applying the concept of opportunity cost into daily decision making, I think studying Economics has been and is still helping me improve myself since right now and I think this knowledge will definitely continue helping me in the future.

Hoang Minh is a multi-talented pupil who has proved himself in various areas ranging from art to science


R: Ending three high school years with this IEO Bronze Medal, do you have anything to tell the next generations of Amsers, especially the ones who wish to approach Economics?

Hoang Minh: I myself have been an Amser since secondary school, which means I have had a 7-year-old bond with this school. Still, I have always loved this place and felt how fast 7 years just passed, that 7 years is still too short. Therefore, if anyone is reading this, I just want to tell you that: grab your opportunity before it's too late! I think what makes me happiest is that I have left my mark on Ams in many ways, and I hope that the next generations of Amsers will seize the opportunity to express themselves whether in academia, art or countless other activities.

For those who want to approach Economics, actually, at the moment, I'm still only two months into it so I cannot give very useful advice.  Personally, I  reckon that I can understand Economics much better if I can associate it with my previous knowledge or experience.  Furthermore, being able to express your ideas and arguments rigorously is very important,  as most of the issues in Economics do not have an exact answer,  but instead, conclusions that are firmly consolidated with assumptions, arguments, and suitable examples.

For those who want to enter this competition in the future,  you should do some research on the previous years’ tasks, especially the business case. To me, this requires the most preparation and is also the most difficult because it asks for a lot of skills, from doing research to delivering a presentation. In the last competition, this is the part which affected the team’s performance the most, but I believe that with extra experience and more time to prepare, you guys will definitely attain higher achievements in the next competitions!

R: Thank you so much for your honest and interesting sharing with Ams Wide Web readers. Congratulations once again on this achievement and hope you will be even more successful in your future path!

With Do Hoang Minh’s sharing, we got to understand a little more about this talented and dashing Amser. He has somewhat reinforced one thing, that Amsers are always versatile and shine in many different fields without being constrained to any limits. Congratulations on your Bronze Medal and hope you will go further in the future!


Reporter: Cao Thanh Long - Van 2023

Photos provided by Do Hoang Minh

Translator: Minh Anh - Russian - English 1821