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Lao students win youth innovation competition in China

Astudent team from the National University of Laos (NUOL), including Ms Thipsavanh Silakoon, has won awards for projects submitted to the Youth Innovation Competition on Lancang-Mekong Region's Governance and Development (YICMG) that took place in Nanning, Guangxi, China recently.

The team was winners of two awards including the Best Project Incubation Award and Best Innovative Team Award, both considered to be the competition's highest recognition.

Ms Thipsavanh Silakoon, a member of NUOL's student team.

The competition aims to foster cultural exchange while taking into consideration regional economic growth and environmental protection. YICMG also tries to integrate regional governance into youth participation, innovation and growth.

In the final round of the competition, the international academic committee, whose members came from China, Laos, Vietnam, Cambodia, Thailand and Myanmar, chose 16 teams from six countries, including two teams from Laos for final project presentation and improvement.

“I guess practice makes prefect…”says 21 year old Ms Thipsavanh, a member of the student team and a student from the Faculty of Economics and Business Management, NUOL who is now studying for her Bachelor's degree in Financial and Banking.

Besides being involved in the competition she has been a representative of Lao students abroad, attending school activities through youth exchange programmes in various counties.

The final year student has attended the Asean Startup Weekend and YSEALI Generation in Malaysia, where the programme has supported opportunities for youth from Asean state memberships with a skills exchange on business management plans to be used in Asean countries.

She also received a scholarship from the Japan-East Asia Network of Exchange for Students and Youths (JENESYS Programme) in 2015 in Japan and won an examination on the ‘Smart Accountant and Auditor for Capital Market', organised by Lao Securities Exchange.

A resident of Donkoy village, Sisattanak district in Vientiane, she recently shared her experiences of the Youth Innovation Competition and her time as a student with Vientiane Times .

“From my challenging experiences in various foreign counties, I have improved my English and have gotten new ideas to develop my skills,”Ms Thipsavanh said.

“A big impression left during my time as a student was when I received a scholarship to join on-the-job training at the main office of Kasikornthai Bank in Bangkok, Thailand in 2016,” she said “I received great experience from that programme to use in my studies after I returned to Laos.”

Q: How did you feel after you received the award at the YICMG 2017 in China?

A: I felt so proud that our team won this award at the competition, which was awarded to the project proposal that could best build a business in the future. Our project was titled the “Anti-Evaporation Bamboo Raft”, which also won the Best Project Incubation Award. Our project was selected because the judging committee agreed that it would be able to ease drought disaster impact in the Lower Mekong countries and also create benefits for local communities.

The two projects from Laos were the “Anti-Evaporation Bamboo Raft”, which won the Best Project Incubation Award, and “Utilisation of Pandan Leaves to Reduce Eutrophication Effect”, which won the Best Innovative Team Award.

Q: Why is the award so important to you?

A: This award is really in recognition of the hard work of our team. It was a real challenge for the members of the team because it was the first project that we had done in relation to the environment. Receiving the award was an experience for me and has encouraged me to upgrade my technical skills and my English in order to be ready for the future.

Q: How do you organise your time as a student?

A: I arrange time to study, for school activities as well as private time. For study time, I will focus on studying by reviewing and trying my best to understand all of my lessons, focusing on homework and report writing after class but most important is preparing for major activities and trying to get those done well.

For my school activities, I am now a volunteer at the Career Counseling Office, under the Faculty of Economics and Business Management so I work for the programme after classes.

For my private time, I like reading books, most of the books I read are investment or self-help books. My favorite books are “Rich Dad's Cash Flow Quadrant” and “How to Talk To Anyone”. In the mean while I also like to relax by exercising in the evening.

She also likes to share methods for studying, as she looks for knowledge from a variety of sources including textbooks, listening attentively when in class, reviewing her lessons at the library and at home as well as searching for vid eos on different websites.

“In my mind, students' learning in the classroom is not enough, they should be reviewing their lessons more to help increase their understanding and improve their memory,” she said.

Q: What support do you get from your family?

A: The most important support to me is from my parents and relatives, who give ideas, motivation and finances for my education to me. I am really lucky to receive a lot of support from my family, especially with my education.


By Keoviengkhone Bounviseth
(Latest Update January 28, 2017 )

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