PhD graduates share their RMIT experience

PhD graduates share their RMIT experience

According to two Vietnamese graduates from RMIT University’s PhD programs this year, pursuing a doctoral degree is an unforgettable journey of personal growth.

For Dr Vo Ngoc Thao Nguyen and Dr Tran Ha Uyen Thi, the RMIT graduation ceremony in 2021 marked the most important chapter yet in their academic life.

They were the two graduates to receive a PhD testamur at RMIT’s graduation ceremony in Vietnam this year, both university lecturers and both having started their doctorate programs in February 2017.

While Dr Thi moved to Australia for several years to pursue her PhD (Supply Chain & Logistics), Dr Nguyen chose to complete her PhD (Business) degree in Vietnam. Yet both said the international experience they gained was enriching and valuable.

Dr Vo Ngoc Thao Nguyen (left) and Dr Tran Ha Uyen Thi (right) at the RMIT graduation ceremony in 2021.

Currently a lecturer at Eastern International University in Binh Duong Province, Dr Nguyen investigated the practice of earnings management across Asia Pacific banks in her thesis.

With support from RMIT, she presented her research at the Doctoral Symposium organised by the Accounting and Finance Association of Australia and New Zealand in Brisbane (Australia) in 2019.

“It was the first time that I had met with such distinguished professors in the field of finance and accounting. The knowledge and passion conveyed by the professors and other PhD candidates at that symposium really motivated me to try harder on my chosen path,” Dr Nguyen said.

“RMIT also supported me to attend conferences in the United States and Poland. And throughout my study, I could make use of a vast amount of global research databases and resources.

“Looking back, I feel like I was able to grow my knowledge not only in my area of research but in culture and history as well,” Dr Nguyen said.

Dr Vo Ngoc Thao Nguyen (pictured fourth from left, standing) at the Doctoral Symposium organised by the Accounting and Finance Association of Australia and New Zealand in July 2019.

Meanwhile, Dr Thi said she was motivated to enroll in RMIT University because of its reputation in Australia.

“It was great to pursue a PhD study where I could enhance my knowledge and enjoy a multicultural environment. I’m grateful to have worked with amazing supervisors, academics, and fellow colleagues who helped me arrive at this point,” she said.

Dr Thi’s thesis investigated the adoption of social sustainability practices by organisations in developing countries, taking Vietnamese handicraft organisations as a case study.

As well as receiving an award for early completion from her home institution (University of Economics, Hue University), the thesis helped her senior supervisor Dr Charles Lau win a Higher Degree Research Supervision Award at RMIT last year.

When COVID-19 hit the world, Dr Thi was on board the first charter flight facilitated by RMIT to repatriate its students and staff to Vietnam in September 2020.

“I felt so touched by this opportunity to reunite with my family safely. The University has offered me excellent support throughout my studies, including this chance to receive my testamur in Vietnam,” she said.

Dr Tran Ha Uyen Thi (pictured second from left) at the RMIT Higher Degree Research Summer Conference in 2019.

Dr Thi and Dr Nguyen agreed that whether enrolling in an RMIT doctorate program in Australia or Vietnam, the experience can be equally fulfilling.

“Choosing where to obtain your doctorate degree is an important decision since it will affect your life for the next three to four years. There can be many trade-offs to studying abroad, especially if your family is in Vietnam,” said Dr Nguyen, who was also the recipient of RMIT Vietnam’s first PhD scholarship for women.

“I believe if you know how to actively seize opportunities, your PhD experience at RMIT will be one to remember and cherish, wherever you choose to study,” she added.

Story: Ngoc Hoang

  • Graduation
  • Sustainability
  • Postgraduate
  • Scholarships

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