Tufts student wins this year’s Global Peter Drucker Challenge

A Tufts junior is being recognized at the seventh annual Global Peter Drucker Forum for winning the 2015 Global Peter Drucker Challenge. The Drucker Forum is held today and tomorrow in Vienna, Austria.

Tufts student Khuyen Bui was selected as the grand prize winner of the challenge, an essay competition in which submissions focus on Peter Drucker, an Austrian-born American management consultant, educator and author. Challenge entrants were required to write an essay between 1,500 and 3,000 words in length about the topic “Managing Oneself in the Digital Age,” a topic inspired by Drucker’s 1999 essay “Managing Oneself,” according to the Drucker challenge website.

Bui’s essay was selected from 148 entries written by students and professionals around the world, according to a press release by Tufts Deputy Director of Public Relations Patrick CollinsAs the challenge winner, Bui will be awarded €1,000 or about $1,086 and will have his travel expenses and Drucker Forum admittance fee paid for.

The competition was created by the Peter Drucker Society Europe, a “central hub for information and orientation about…initiatives relating to Peter F. Drucker’s core themes,” according to the society’s website.

According to the Drucker Challenge website, the Drucker Forum is one of the leading conferences on management.

“[The forum] brings together thought leaders that followed Peter [Drucker] and practiced his leadership,” Joan Snyder Kuhl, one of the judges for the Drucker Challenge, said.

Bui said he was looking forward to the opportunity to travel to Vienna for the Global Peter Drucker Forum.

“I’ve never been to Europe before, so I’m excited,” Bui said.

 Bui also explained that he is excited to meet thought leaders, decision makers and policymakers.

According to the Peter Drucker Society’s website, Drucker is known as the “father of modern management.” Born in Vienna, Austria in 1909, Drucker became a prominent management consultant and published a number of books and articles that established him as a leader in effective management and ethical leadership. The Drucker Society works to keep his ideas alive and to share them with the younger generation.

Bui said that he first encountered Drucker’s ideas during the fall semester of his freshman year when he took an Experimental College class called “Organizations, Leadership, and the Business Model of ‘Player-Coach.’” Drucker’s work and ideas immediately stood out, Bui said.

Drucker’s work is important…because he was the most influential management worker,” he said. “To a student, his work is important because everyone in our world should think of oneself as one’s own manager.”

Bui said he heard about the challenge from Kuhl, who is the co-author of “Peter Drucker’s Five Most Important Questions,” a recently published update of one of Drucker’s novels.

Kuhl said she spoke at an engineering breakfast at Tufts earlier this year, where she first met Bui and took notice of his enthusiasm for Drucker’s work.

“He’s such a great, dedicated student of the subject,” Kuhl said.

Bui’s winning essay, entitled “Know Yourself and Focus and Contribution — A Reflection on Drucker’s ‘Managing Oneself,'” had two key messages, according to Bui. His essay tried to convey the importance of “really knowing ourselves by being disconnected from the internet and taking time to reflect,” as well as the importance of “taking time to think about our contribution [to society].”

According to Kuhl, Bui was the clear winner of the contest.

“[His essay] was so easy to read, it was really engaging and it was spot on,” she said. “He’s really easy to connect with … He talks about his journey to be better and to accept who you are now.”

Bui said that the best part of the Drucker competition was the opportunity to organize and share his beliefs.

“The very act of writing itself is rewarding,” he said. “I think the message that I want to share is important, that one should learn about oneself.”