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Class of distinction

01 Dec, 2013 News Center 2,247

At the end of each semester, the KDI School Dean awards certificates of recognition to the students who have demonstrated excellence in their academic studies. I had the privilege of talking to two such students for an up, close, and personal conversation about themselves and the school life in general. Ms. Badiaa Setta (2012 MDP, Morocco) and Ms. Soo Jung Park (2012 MDP, Korea) feature in the current section.

Q. Could you introduce yourself to the readers?

A. My name is Badiaa Setta, I am from Morocco and I work in the Ministry of Economy and Finance, in the Treasury and External Finance Department. I am an MDP student, and in addition to development track, I have chosen the Public Management and Leadership concentration.

Q. Are there any particular reasons that you choose this concentration:

A. We say that leadership moves the world. Personally, I am interested in leadership not only as a position but also as a process and relationship among people in managerial setting. I believe that there is always room to enhance our critical thinking, our communication skills and how to anticipate change. And as woman, I want to be able to bring about a positive change to my organization and to be one of those who drive it.

Q. What does it mean to you to be in the summer Deans’ list with distinction?

A. It is honor for me to get such recognition. The KDI School professors are known for having high standards and expectations, Moreover, competition is particularly tight at the School, so being able to make the Dean’s list with distinction makes me feel proud and grateful at the same time. It is not only about my personal achievement, it is also about the motivating atmosphere and the positive interaction with distinguished professors who were able to make me give my best.

Q. Were you surprised that you made the list?

A. In the KDI School, you compete with global talents and highly qualified students. So even if you work hard, you can never be 100% sure that you will make the Dean’s list as the criteria are really very selective.

Q. Are there any particular recipes for your academic excellence that you wish to share?

A. There is no particular recipe for that, all it takes in my opinion is to be passionate about what you do and what you learn. Commitment and passion are the best drivers of our energy.

Q. Any particular thoughts about the school learning environment, especially the ones you wish could be changed?

A. I have had the chance to study in a Canadian university. The KDI School has nothing to be envious of the most prestigious schools in the world. We are even given “customized service” in the KDI School. Every day, I witness the full dedication of administration and staff and how committed they are to providing the most convenient learning environment for us. I would just ask them to keep doing the same.

Q. Please briefly introduce yourself.

A. Hello, my name is SooJung Alexis Park, a MDP student and my concentrations are DT and PM (Public Management and Leadership).

Q. You were in the Summer 2013 Dean’s List with distinction.  Congratulations and please tell me what it means to you.

A. This is my 3rd Dean’s list with distinction at the KDI school. I was so grateful for this and I feel that I am very lucky to receive this honorable title three times in a row. The first significance is that I don’t need to pay tuition. Thanks to this recognition, I could happily study at the KDI School.

Secondly, I found that the development study was suitable for me. I truly enjoyed studying and professors also found me to be a willing student, and I felt like I was in the right place. But this does not mean getting a bad grade means you are in a wrong place. If one enjoys the learning, then grades do not matter in the end. 

Q. Are there any particular recipes for your academic excellence that you wish to share?

A. I cannot think of anything special but I will try to explain my experience. First, take classes that you want. If you think a class is not interesting, it is better to find other classes that will suit you. The KDI school provides many classes and professors have different backgrounds. So if you try, you can find fun classes.

Once you find a good course, listen to what the professors say. You can agree or disagree, but you first have to know what he’s or she’s teaching. I saw some students who don’t care about a professor’s opinion on a particular issue because they believe the point is wrong. But communication between instructor and student is very important to understand about a topic, so listen to what a professor is trying to teach and then express your view with respect. You can always learn from someone and the professors are experts. I sometimes write emails and talk to professor at the end of a class, if I have questions. It really helps to get the most out of the class and eventually you will get a good grade in the end.

Thirdly, spend some time studying. This sounds to simple, but many students often spend time surfing internet or facebook (me included) right before an exam.  

Q. Finally, can you briefly describe your energy in terms of what keeps you busy beside school work and public secrets about yourself which you believe most people do not know about?

A. I live off campus and commute every day, it takes around 50 minutes. In subway, I read cartoons using my smartphone, it is fun and makes me feel uplifted. I am not sure what keeps me busy because I am not so busy. I clean my room and hang out with friends eating good food as most ordinary people would do. I guess there is no secret that I can think of.

By Michael Moleleke