RMIT Vietnam marketing students have gained industry-relevant skills by conducting an audit and developing a strategic plan for two food and beverage (F&B) clients.
Six student teams in the Service Quality course spent six weeks conducting an in-depth analysis of Pizza 4Ps and Namo Artisanal Pizzeria, two popular local restaurant chains, to highlight its strengths and identify areas for improvement.
According to School of Business & Management Lecturer Nguyen Anh Thu, this activity was one of two authentic assessments – innovative grading methods that involve students in experiential learning through industry projects.
“Students were given a chance to critically examine real services and go on field trips to observe industry practice, which was more interesting and engaging,” Ms. Thu said.
“To prepare for the presentations to client companies, students went on a number of field trips for interviews with employees, managers, and customers to produce a service firm audit report.”
Ms Thu also shared that in semester 3 - 2017, marketing students will have a rare chance to work on a number of service audit projects with Victoria Hotels and Resorts, a well-known brand in the hospitality industry.
Bachelor of Business (Marketing) student Le Thuy Hoai An said she debated with other team members a lot during the collaborative process.
“We had to come back with the ‘why’ when choosing appropriate questions to interview employees and their supervisors, as well as when suggesting the solutions to clients,” An said.
Ms Thu added that through authentic learning, students were given an opportunity to develop soft skills like teamwork, analytical and problem-solving skills.
“The course assessments help make students clearly articulate the relationships between theory and practice, and have profound impacts on students’ work-readiness,” Ms Thu said.
During this semester, the marketing students were also involved in an eleven-week-long case study project in the Strategic Marketing course.
Seventeen teams had to examine the current situation of L-Concepts, a Vietnam-based wholly-owned subsidiary of the Longfort Group established in 2015, to analyse strategic options and propose a strategic plan for the company over the next three-to-five years.
“L-Concepts asked students in the Strategic Marketing course to advise the company on a growth strategy in the F&B industry in Vietnam,” said School of Business & Management Lecturer Phung Thanh Phuong.
While applying strategic principles, concepts and analytical tools in the project, students gained a big-picture understanding about all brands under the L-Concepts umbrella, as well as in-depth understanding of the hospitality industry.
“Students provided different strategic options and directions that L-Concepts should consider, and analysed the costs and benefits of each pathways in the context of the F&B industry in Vietnam, as well as the fact that the company is an international one that operates in South East Asia,” Ms Phuong said.
“These groups also recommended the most relevant strategic option for the company and proposed a brief implementation plan and performance evaluation for them.”
For industry clients, work integrated courses such as these are also beneficial for their businesses.
“Involvement in the course benefits Pizza 4Ps as we see our services from the outsiders’ point of view,” Pizza 4Ps’ General Manager Gaku Yokokawa said.
Story: Ha Hoang