Cao Thanh Tra and Nguyen Thanh Thao, both of whom will graduate from RMIT Vietnam's Hanoi campus in December, charted paths of leadership during their time at the University.
Tra, who graduated with a Bachelor of Business (Economics and Finance) degree, served as President of the Hanoi SIFE (Students in Free Enterprise) Club and captain of a team which placed second in a HSBC competition, while also taking part in RMIT’s Emerging Leaders program.
She is particularly proud of her time as leader of the SIFE Club. “It helped me have the opportunity to really train and gain more leadership skills,” Tra said.
“When I first became President it was just a small club with about 20 members, and within a year it grew to a community of about 80 members, so I consider this the most successful thing I have done during my university life.”
The HSBC competition, meanwhile, highlighted the importance of working as a team, a valuable skill for any leader.
“We were given more than two hours to solve a 20-page business case,” Tra shared.
“It was an intense time and our group members at that point were new to each other, so it was quite hard for us to work as a team, and there was conflict. But I tried to listen to all of the opinions and then we all agreed on one.”
Meanwhile Thao, who studied Bachelor of Business (Marketing), served as President of the RMIT Vietnam Student Council, as well as Chief of the External Department of RMIT Hanoi SIFE. She also helped organise a charity Christmas Fair and a Startup Job Fair, in addition to winning a prize during the 2017 KPMG Case Competition and working as a team leader in the Emerging Leaders Program.
As President of Student Council for a full year, Thao had plenty on her plate. “I had a lot of responsibilities,” she said.
“I had to figure out how to understand students and their needs and how to work within a team. We came from different backgrounds, but we had to commit to a goal and serve the student community.”
Much of Thao’s work before leading the Student Council involved external relations, which meant working with people and organisations outside of RMIT Vietnam.
“This was mostly networking, but in terms of leadership I had to manage people and get them to commit to the work because we didn’t have any salary; we had to volunteer,” she explained.
“This supported me a lot because I spent a lot of time developing these activities, making connections with our friends within RMIT, and also with lecturers and staff who supported us. This provided soft skills in practical terms, in addition to the theory we learned in class.”
Story: Michael Tatarski