Six RMIT Vietnam students have won internships with online shopping giant Lazada after successfully pitching their idea for promoting the company’s newly developed app.
The project, an example of the University’s focus on using authentic assessment in the classroom, challenged students in the Digital Marketing Communication course to solve a real marketing problem proposed by client Lazada.
Students were asked to design a three-month marketing communication campaign to increase the number of Lazada shopping app active users to one million with the budget of $800,000.
The students experienced an industry-standard working process including a client briefing, a company trip and Q&A sessions to better understand the brand and the product. Nine teams competed through elimination rounds with three finalists having a chance to present their ideas to Lazada personnel to win six-month internships.
Nguyen Anh Thu, Lecturer and Course Coordinator in RMIT Vietnam’s School of Business & Management, designed and taught the course for the first time. However, she noted that this was not the first time authentic assessment has been implemented in marketing courses.
“We have previously worked with several industry clients such as Pizza 4Ps, L-Concepts (Namo and L’Usine), Victoria Can Tho, Victoria Cruises, Victoria Chau Doc and Victoria Nui Sam,” Ms Anh Thu said.
“In authentic assessment tasks, our students are exposed to real industry issues and people, and have the opportunity to apply course knowledge to provide solutions for companies. Authentic assessment requires hard work from both lecturers and students, and enhances student learning to the expectations of industry.”
Six students from the winning team echo the efficacy of the authentic learning tasks in the University’s degree programs.
Tran Quoc Bao Long, who is studying in the Logistics and Supply Chain Management program, said it was a great opportunity for him to work on a real-life project, whereas he would usually just work on case studies.
“I’m really satisfied with the quality of this course,” he said, “because I’ve learned a lot. I think it’s the best course I’ve done so far during my studies.”
He added that he and his teammates even got to use the market research and evaluation tools and frameworks that brands are using right now in industry.
Meanwhile, Tran Duong Kim Thanh, whose background is in the Professional Communication program, said although she was familiar with industry cases like Lazada’s through her previous courses, this was the first time she got to work with a real client from the industry.
“This course will put me in good stead for the future. I’ve learned how to meet KPIs in budgeting, something that isn’t a big focus in my current program,” she adds.
For Le Nguyen Nhat Han, who is an Economics & Finance student, the experience has taught him a lot.
“In terms of marketing activities, I was able to see the relationship between the budget and the goal,” he says, “so I’ve been able to gain a practical grasp of how to spend for a successful marketing campaign.”
“Although we all have experienced real-world course projects before in different levels, we agree that this course has raised authentic learning to a new level.”
At first, when the team members barely knew each other, it was challenging to collaborate. However, they concluded that ultimately they were able to draw upon each other’s strengths to come up with the winning formula mostly because they come from six different disciplines.
“As we come from diverse disciplines, we all have learned something significant from this course and from each other,” Thanh and Han said of the experience.
The feedback from Lazada on the outcome of the event has been positive.
“Our team has super positive feedback about the pitch session. We would be very glad to renew this partnership next academic term,” said Lucas Daniel, Head of Online Marketing, Lazada Vietnam.
The students were offered internship opportunities in roles that were individually suited to each student. The students’ success reflects RMIT Vietnam’s own success at developing and implementing authentic learning and assessment within its degree programs.
Story: Matthew Cowan and Phuong Le