HCMC valedictorian raps graduation speech

By Nhat Le   March 28, 2023 | 10:36 pm PT
HCMC valedictorian raps graduation speech
Pham Huynh Nhu Lam speaks at his graduation ceremony at the University of Economics Ho Chi Minh City, March 22, 2023. Photo courtesy of Lam
A valedictorian at a HCMC university has impressed his peers and teachers by performing a rap song he wrote for the valedictory.

Pham Huynh Nhu Lam, 22, chose the unconventional approach to deliver his graduation speech as the top student at the University of Economics Ho Chi Minh City’s School of Management on March 22.

Instead of making a speech, he sang the song for which he wrote the lyrics and also composed music.

The entire hall did a double take, which quickly turned to applause.

The song was about his experiences as a student and what he had been through to reach where he is now.

It went like this: "Being on my own for the first time. Feeling financial stress for the first time. Skipping breakfast to save money for the first time. Those were the lonely days, feeling lost and feeling blue...

...Then day by day, changing bit by bit by learning what's best from friends at school. The kid in me started to grow and kept stepping forward."

It ended with an acknowledgment to family, teachers and friends.

Pham Huynh Nhu Lam performs a rap song at his graduation ceremony at the University of Economics Ho Chi Minh City, March 22, 2023. Video courtesy of Pham Huynh Nhu Lam

A native of the central Khanh Hoa Province, Lam scored 9.18 out of 10 in his degree along with a perfect 990 TOEIC score.

Three weeks before the graduation, Lam learned that he would deliver the valedictory on behalf of 500 new graduates.

As president of the university Rap Zone club, Lam used to compose rap songs and perform on stage.

He kept the idea of singing at the function a secret in order to give his family and friends a nice surprise.

Only the dean and vice dean of the School of Management were aware of his plan.

Dean Pham To Thuc Hanh said she found Lam's idea "completely unique."

She admitted she was concerned about potential controversy since it was an important ceremony, but when she asked the vice dean, Quoc Bao, about it he completely supported it.

Bao even suggested changes to Lam so that the song would tell not just his story but other students' as well.

"I wanted to turn this opportunity into a memorable and special moment to bid farewell to our student years," Lam said.

After spending summers taking seasonal jobs to earn money and learn real-life experiences, he said he plans take a break before pursuing a career.

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