Have you ever received a postcard or seen a friend’s posted photos of an internationally known site such as the Grand Canyon, or Yosemite, or Halong Bay, and then had the opportunity of actually visiting the area? Often one’s response is, wow, I had no idea that it was really like that. As part of REI’s emphasis on building people to build their nation, we bring motivated Vietnamese business students to the USA to be exposed to successful businessmen and businesswomen in a variety of fields. The response? Wow.
Category – Business Education
“Where did you get that?” asked a Vietnamese friend of ours who works at one of our partner universities, as he stared at the medal pinned to Brian’s lapel. “Twenty-two REI staff and volunteers were just awarded this medal and a Certificate of Merit by the Ministry of Education and Training,” Brian replied. “Do you know what it is?” “Yes I do,” replied our friend. “That’s the highest national award given by the Ministry! What did you do to deserve it?” Good question!
“Today, we go farther together” was the rallying point of this year’s Fall Business Team. And go farther they did, giving presentations in 15 universities and government institutions in both Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City, expanding our Applied Management Competency Certificate (AMCC) program from one to two cohorts, and selecting 2018’s two J-1 business candidates from Hanoi University (HANU). But if we had to choose one word to describe this team’s experience, that word would be celebration!
How do you effectively communicate business principles to university students and seasoned business professionals? This April our REI business practitioner volunteers used a variety of approaches, including content-rich presentations, interactive case studies, and, particularly, the strategic use of spaghetti noodles and marshmallows.
Which is better? A variety of relevant presentations on current business practices, issues, and solutions, or a structured multi-year program which lays a solid foundation in Strategic Planning, Strategic Leadership, Ethics, Communication, and Financial Structure, Analysis and Reporting? REI’s answer: Yes. Both. Absolutely.
The Exchange in Resource Exchange International means just that: the act of giving something and receiving something in return. Much of REI’s service consists of sending teams of volunteer specialists to Vietnam and elsewhere, to share their expertise and learn a few things themselves. But we also bring Vietnamese to the USA for the same purpose. This past month we received two guests from Hanoi University (HANU) as part of our recently launched Applied Management Competency Certificate (AMCC) program, Professor Dzung (pronounced “Zoom”) and recent graduate Ms. My (pronounced “Mee”).
REI’s first Business Team visited Hanoi University (HANU) in 2004, presenting a variety of topics designed to help train young business students in the ways of success. We have generally followed that model ever since, in a number of universities. BUT... higher up and further in! We are not abandoning this model, but at HANU we are launching something new, something more!
How do you fit a size 12 foot into a size 9 shoe? Sometimes we here at REI have so much going on that we can’t quite communicate everything that has been happening! The work of our Business Education Teams (or Business Teams, if you prefer) is an example. It has been nearly a year since we wrote about this work, but since then we have had 2 teams of skilled and experienced business practitioners serve in both Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City, in November 2015 and again in March 2016. Why did they come? To help build up the future business leaders of Vietnam.
The Spring 2014 Business Team experience was a delightful mix of business training and life principles. Informal as well as formal times with students are moving the conversations to deeper levels.