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Every year the Mid-Career/MPA Mason Fellows are the first to arrive on campus for a two-week summer seminar program. This year, several of them have volunteered to introduce themselves through the Harvard Kennedy School School (HKS) admissions blog with a self-authored post.
Below is a selected portion of the blog recently written by Vanndy Hem:
I am from Cambodia and I am returning to the academic world after 11 years. I arrived in Cambridge with feelings of concern, curiosity, expectation, and above all, determination to get the most out of my time here.
Before coming to HKS, I spent the last five years in the Cambodian Government, most recently as the Deputy Secretary General of the Cambodian Mine Action Authority, supporting its greatest cause of clearing landmines and explosive – remnants of war.
I have seen and addressed development issues and challenges from different angles and perspectives, yet I am convinced that the best opportunity to contribute meaningfully to my country is to succeed and deliver results and positive changes from within the government’s system. I applied to HKS to learn how to do this.
I have realized how unique and special HKS is. The Mason Program is not only fantastic in terms of the caliber of fellows it attracts and selects, but also the diversity of knowledge, experience, and achievement, which is unparalleled by any benchmark. It is indeed a small world community of change makers brought together under one roof.
Distinguished faculty members and highly accomplished fellows inspire us to stretch our perspectives and challenge our conventional wisdom, push us to leave our comfort zones, raise our learning curves and enrich us with the gateway to knowledge and information resources that are abundant from across disciplines at various centers and programs integral to the Kennedy School.
I also feel privileged to be one of the early birds of the MC/MPA program. We are from 50 different countries. We have no common language and culture. Our perspectives on global affairs and orders are diverse, yet we unanimously agreed on one thing, to be a family of Mason Fellows.