“I’m still learning every day, even after finishing my EMBA,” said Gigi Le from her home in Melbourne, where she now works with the largest facilities management firm in Australia and New Zealand.
Her journey to this new life began with the decision to enrol in the EMBA program at RMIT Vietnam. After completing her undergraduate studies at the HCMC University of Pedagogy, she successfully established a business supplying high-end outdoor furniture for hotels and resorts. However, after five years of running the enterprise, she decided it was time to step back and assess her next move.
“I believed I needed to sharpen my skills and knowledge by going back to school,” she said. “I have only learnt from doing business. I always trust in education, and I was sure that taking the EMBA would be useful for me. Learning is always a good investment.”
After beginning her studies at RMIT Vietnam’s Saigon South campus, a key moment for her came when she learned about the University’s global mobility program, where students can complete part of their studies at RMIT in Melbourne or at one of 200 other partner institutions.
“I did not plan to switch to Australia. However, when I saw the opportunity, I took it. Just like in business, I like taking any opportunity that I can.”
Ms Le said she arrived in Australia, a country she had little connection to, with no expectations.
“I came to Australia with a hope that I could make the best out of it, experience a different learning and teaching style, seek different business connections, and understand a different business practice in Australia. I think it was the entrepreneur in me that drove me to where I am now.”
RMIT lecturers she had met in Vietnam reached out and gave her a warm welcome, she said. Some of her EMBA classmates in Vietnam also helped her establish connections in Melbourne. “That is the advantage of the EMBA connections of RMIT,” Ms Le said.
Her ability to seize opportunities further paid off while doing an elective internship at the company of one of her fellow students. After just 12 days she was offered a part time job to work on a bid for a project in New Zealand.
“I travelled to New Zealand constantly over four months, and it was a great learning experience,” she said. During this time, she also worked on her two final courses.
“By November 2016, I finished my EMBA, had a winning project in New Zealand, and was offered a full-time job.”
Ms Le said she often shares her story with RMIT peers to encourage others to try their best and let the rest fall into place.
“I was not the best student. I did not always score the highest marks. However, I do find that soft skills like communication, sharing, discussing, observing and so on are very important to help us connect to the world, to other people,” she said.
“Do not only think of the certificate you will get at the end. It is the experience you have and the people you meet during the EMBA journey [that truly matters].”
For more information about the master’s programs and global experiences available at RMIT Vietnam, come to the Master’s Programs Information Night in Ho Chi Minh City on Thursday 19 April or in Hanoi on Friday 20 April. Register your attendance here.
You can also find more information on the RMIT Vietnam Postgraduate Programs Facebook page.
Story: Brett Davis