Senior teachers from 20 high schools in HCMC gathered at RMIT's Saigon South campus recently for the first ever career consultation workshop.
Career planning is a process that ideally begins in high school and continues into university; however, not all high schools have specialist careers teachers or services and so the task of orienting young people to their career possibilities often falls to senior teachers.
"Providing advice and guidance to young students to assist them in moving into the areas of study, and eventually careers, that are fulfilling and that they are successful in is an important part of our role as educators," said Professor Joyce Kirk, President of RMIT University Vietnam.
The workshop was divided into morning and afternoon sessions, with Phoenix Ho, RMIT career development counsellor, acting as the facilitator. With a particular focus on improving career orientation and planning services, the workshop presented career development theories that would provide the basis for those who to carry out this important task.
Foremost among the career development theories introduced on the day was the career tree model developed by Phoenix. After spending years trying to explain to parents and students the career development theory which stresses that studying something that one is interested in and skilful in should be the base of their decision making, Phoenix came up with the tree idea to represent that concept in a simpler way.
According to the career tree model, a good career choice should be based on the roots of the tree – interests, skills, personality, and value rather than on the fruits of the tree – good job opportunities, a stable job, high status and high salary.
"Without good roots, it's pretty hard to get the fruits that you want," she said.
The workshop was very successful, with the participants active and engaged throughout. RMIT is planning to establish another workshop next year focusing on the topic of basic skills for counsellors.