Guided by advice from industry mentors, RMIT Vietnam students start their career journey with a unique advantage.
When postgraduate student Eugenia Ferracin found out about the mentoring program, she knew instantly it could be helpful for her career development. The Italian, who relocated to Vietnam last year, views the mentoring program as a chance to broaden her knowledge base.
She is studying a Master of International Business and is aiming to expand into business areas such as marketing, communications and corporate social responsibility.
“[When I found out about the program], I immediately thought that this could be an interesting opportunity to learn more about the market in Vietnam,” Eugenia recalled.
Wanting to understand Vietnam’s dynamic startup sector, in particular, Eugenia chose as her mentor Annie Hansen, an entrepreneur who has developed startups in Vietnam and Thailand, with the latest being Evolve Mobility.
“My first meeting with her was very positive. I was very impressed by her personality and positive attitude. After a short introduction, she invited me to join a meeting with a potential business partner. It was impressive to see her in action,” she said.
“The world of startup businesses is quite new to me. I hope to learn how things work for these small businesses that are changing the economy's landscape.”
Eugenia said the mentoring program had so far had a positive impact.
“The possibility to define the terms and goals of the program directly with the mentor, while at the same time monitoring progress toward target achievements, allows for great flexibility and makes the program relevant and helpful for the mentee.”
The University’s Industry Mentoring program was recently relaunched with the introduction of a new online platform which makes it simpler for students and industry professionals to match and maintain mentoring partnerships. The aim of the program – open to graduates and undergraduates – is to help students better understanding the realities of industry and navigate their career options.
Successful mentees who complete the 12-week partnership and fulfill other requirements receive an annotation on their academic transcript.
Tran Ngoc Phuc An, a Bachelor of Tourism and Hospitality Management student, said the mentoring program helped her narrow down her career options.
“I do have some experience [working for my family business]. I am interested in various areas like restaurant and hotel, and I can even do things like translation, proofreading or editing. But I don’t really know the requirements of these jobs in detail,” An said.
“I chose my mentor rather than other professionals on the online platform because she has knowledge in career consultation while running her own coaching and training business,” An shared.
“We met almost every week over three months. Instead of telling me what to do, she listened and asked a series of purposeful questions, and I was the one who had to set the objectives for the whole partnership and ask for weekly meetings.
“It was not easy at first, but being proactive in goal setting as well as in reflection afterward helped me realise what I need to focus on.”
An has now figured out what she needs to focus on: gaining tourism knowledge and event management experience, and possibly learning new languages.
“Actively engaging in the Industry Mentoring program can be beneficial both professionally and personally,” An added as a word of encouragement for her fellow students.
“It’s not only professional advice that you gain, but also a friend who can provide guidance through any confusing or unclear stage on your career path.”
Story: Ha Hoang & Simon Gladman