A Memo for Aspirant Global Thinkers and Adventurers

Jen-Cih Hu / MBA Candidate
Graduate Institute of International Human Resource Development

Joining one of NTNU’s EMI programs was one correct choice I’ve made after graduating from college. If you’re looking for a place redolent of enlightening academic cultivation, then NTNU is a perfect garden to nourish your academic ambitions.

As a local student and a member of the graduate institute of international human resource development (IHRD), I have a confession to make: it was not easy to get the hang of almost everything at first, which was an antithesis of my initial expectations. As intimidating as it may sound, it was exactly the feelings of uncertainty and disorientation that forced me to look my fears of failure and self-doubt in the face, transforming me into a problem-solving action-taker.

My Studies in the Program

My graduate program in the IHRD inevitably distinguishes itself from my undergraduate program regarding learner autonomy and time management. Having little acquaintance with the unique language stored in the repository of human resources management as a first-year student, I spent some time struggling with processing an overwhelming input of unfamiliar concepts and theories. Yet, I was thrilled to seize every opportunity to maximize my learning potential and solidify my academic foundation as a prospective researcher. For instance, I’ve grown more proactive in collecting supplementary materials from multiple sources that could help me effectively comprehend the theoretical concepts. As a quiet observer and listener, I’ve also learned to be more engaging and attentive during each online/offline and formal/informal discussion, which allowed me to gain different insights from students with different backgrounds and cultures. Over time, those lifeless theories in the textbooks have gradually come alive in my world, as I found them not only highly intriguing but also closely related to humanity and the social dynamics in our daily lives, and this served as a reminder for me of what drove me to apply for this program in NTNU in the first place: my enthusiasm towards understanding the profound complexity of how society works and how its idiosyncratic members interact within.

To Juggle or not to Juggle?

Being an all-time self-demanding student is arguably a sugar-coated, overrated notion prevalently held by the general society, which was something I hadn’t realized until I started to seriously think about what it meant to be a grad student. It’s not about how hard I study or how much of a high-achiever I’m supposed to be. It’s more about whether I possess the sangfroid to deal with stress and stay committed to my goals.

With this fresh change of perception, I decided to take on the job as a part-time research assistant. I was terribly stressed about it, not only questioning my ability to fulfilling this role but also worrying that my divided attention would strangle my academic performance. Eventually, none of my concerns happened. In fact, I did a good job conducting every task timely and neatly as an RA. I even got a GPA of 4.24 out of 4.3 last semester. Most importantly, I’ve learned a lot, including how to perform rigorous research analysis, how patience and self-discipline are key to everything, and how these academic advantages can help shape my career trajectory in the industry. To answer the question, I’d say, for me, juggling between my studies and the additional job responsibility of an RA was definitely challenging, but it was worth it. This experience gave me the drive to overachieve and stretch my potential.

A Diverse Student Body & What it has to Offer

Half of my class is comprised of international students from different corners of the world, resembling a miniature of the United Nations, and the exuberant dynamics are thrillingly fun yet take time for me to get used to the constant requirement of switching communication styles that accommodate different cultures. Besides making friends with students from diverse backgrounds, I got to gain cross-cultural understandings and empathy through practicing psychological adaptation of cultural differences. My groundless anxieties of not getting along with students of other cultures due to either language barriers or cultural differences were eviscerated the moment I opened my heart and talked to them with my spontaneous personality. What genuinely matters is that we treat people with kindness and empathy and always stay authentically interested in people’s stories when it comes to forming friendships. Languages per se are just a tool for communication, a medium for mutual understanding. A healthy mindset free of biases and a proper amount of self- confidence is the ultimate key to unlocking any closed doors beyond the world you’ve known.

Time Will Tell, so Just Take A Leap of Faith!

My academic experience here at NTNU so far has inspired me in several noteworthy ways. I’ve learned to stay open-minded to new knowledge as well as people around me, persistent and fearless in exploring the unknown, and patient and mindful in face of challenges. The above attributes are all beneficial habits that can be internalized in the long term as long as we bravely move one step further to expanding or stepping out of our comfort zone.