A great place to challenge yourself in a new environment

Hi, my name is Giao Nguyen and I am from Danang, Vietnam. I graduated in 2017 from Deakin University with a Master of Commerce and major in e-business that is closely related to Marketing. I am currently working for both Deakin University and a company in Vietnam on a project by project basis.

When I was eighteen, I was like many teenagers. I did not know what I want to study, or what was my strengths and weaknesses. But I know I enjoy communicating to people, I have a great imagination, love to be creative, active and flexible. I chose Marketing after eliminating the options I’m not interested in, such as Accounting and IT. And lucky me, the more I study Marketing, I found out that it was for me. I found my passion career path!

Studying overseas was my dream when I was little. I chose Australia to study further, deeper into Marketing and trendy e-business. After researching and discussing with friends, I chose Deakin which is one of the top ranked universities in the state of Victoria, Australia, and strong in Marketing. I have 5 years of Marketing work experience in Vietnam. After these 5 years of working, I found it was difficult for me to start studying again, especially in a foreign country. However, Deakin staff was very friendly, helpful and assisted me every step along the way. Comparing to other universities, I have to say that student service at Deakin is the best.

End of trimester photo with on-campus classmates

My friends come from all over the world like the Philippines, Thailand, China, Nigeria, India, Chile and Australia. They are my family in Melbourne despite our cultural and background differences. My lecturers all have business experience or they work closely in the industry, therefore, we always have industry professional people come to classes to help give us the big picture of how real businesses function. Most of our assignments are real business cases from companies. Through this, we could understand what kind of problems that businesses are facing and try to solve it with the current company’s circumstance. And sometimes, businesses will implement and award the best solution that was suggested. We feel like we are their employees or management staff. This is also useful for the career portfolio later on.

Graduation day in October 2017

My best memory of Deakin life was when I attended the Deakin and RMIT study tour to the US. We travelled around the US and got the opportunity to visit the head office of world-famous operations that not many people would have. We listened and learned from the top managers of Disney Land, CBS, GE, IBM, MasterCard, PepsiCo, etc. who presented about their works and corporations.

New friends from the US study tour and visiting the Brooklyn99 studio at CBS

We stayed in Beverly Hills, Los Angeles, watched Finding Dory at Disney Studio before its release, visited Brooklyn 99 studio at CBS, spent the 4th of July in Washington DC, went to New York, etc. Every moment on the trip was fantastic. It was a marvellous experience with awesome people, far from what I could ever imagine. I would recommend every student to join it for a lifetime experience that you wouldn’t have anywhere else.

Seeing the White House in Washington DC

After graduating, I kept in touch with all my friends and lecturers because I believe that when looking for jobs, it is not only about how skilled you are but also who you know. It wasn’t easy for me to find a Marketing job in Melbourne, but one day I contacted my favourite Deakin University lecturer Alvin Lee, who inspired me a lot with his Retailing unit and asked if he has any project going on. After an interview, he offers me to start on a mental health project, as well as many more later. I became a Professional Research Assistant at the Marketing Department of Deakin’s Business School.

This project is about building an integrated marketing plan for Phoenix Australia – Centre for Posttraumatic Mental Health, that belongs to the University of Melbourne. The objective is to build brand awareness to fulfil the Centre’s KPI – get funding. Phoenix is one of the biggest research centres for Trauma and Posttraumatic in the world but not many people know about them. Most of the mental health organizations in Australia are using Phoenix’s research and treatments at their clinics without any reference. Therefore, there is not much known about Phoenix Australia and the centre does not receive many donations as a result.

The project was very interesting and different because it is about mental health, not like a general commercial company. My boss, Alvin is not only the lecturer but a wise businessman with real business experiences. Under his guidance, myself and two other staff did research, collected and analysed data. We built reports and presented them to Phoenix management staff. It was a great opportunity for me to work with experts and top managers in mental health industry. I learned new things every day at work, explored new areas other than general businesses, and enjoyed every meeting we had with the scientists and experts at Phoenix.

I realized that Marketing is essential for every business, even if you are the small food stall on the street, the private hospital or mental health research centre. Without people knowing about you (brand recognition), your business wouldn’t last long.

Study abroad in Australia has changed my life

I came to Australia when I was 27, the age that Asian girls are more likely to get married and settle. I wouldn’t be me today if I am stayed in Vietnam and worry about the difficulties of starting over in Australia. I was a type of “what if” person, overthinking, always worry about stuff, but I am glad I decide to just go for it instead of always thinking and end up doing nothing. My time in Australia have had up and down moments. Sometimes, I just want to leave everything behind and go back home, but I never regret my decision of studying abroad. Study abroad is not only about university life, it is the experience of culture, lifestyle, people – love and friendships, travel and even weather (4 seasons in a day isn’t popular though). Myself and my life has been changed profoundly after four years in Australia. It is the most colourful and fascinating chapter of my life. I would say that it is never too late to follow your heart, grab the opportunity and go for it. WE ONLY LIVE ONCE.

For further information about studying at Deakin and courses that relate to Marketing, visit our Business page.

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