REI-Vietnam News

Business Education Team Presents for 8 Years Running

by REI-Vietnam |

Image: Business Education Team Presents for 8 Years Running
Tom Knighton receiving a gift in appreciation for his work

Accountant Del Goehner (pictured below) learned of this program in 2005 and signed on to provide financial and accounting expertise. He now comes annually with Tom to assist in leading this program. Under the sponsorship of Hanoi University this year's program included four universities, two MBA programs, and two Vietnamese businesses. Why does Del continue to come? He is drawn by the desire to see students change and to see the difference he has been able to make in their lives.

REI Bus - Del with Students

The Team

Over the years Tom's team has expanded geographically as well as in fields of expertise. This year's team included Tom and Human Resource consultant, James Kang, from Chicago; Del from Seattle; Project Management expert, Gail Schowe, from St. Louis; Marketing Professor and businessman ,Andrew Ng, from Singapore; and REI-Vietnam director, Brian Teel, from Colorado Springs who assisted James Kang in the Cross-Cultural Communications workshop. One special highlight of the program this year was the inclusion of our first Vietnamese business presenter- Financial Consultant, Giang Ngo, who now lives in Hanoi after having spent most of the last decade in the US.

Busiiness Team Tom

Pictured above are Lien, REI-VN's International Relations Person, Andrew Ng, James Kang, Del Goehner, Gail Schowe, Brian Teel. Not pictured are Tom Knighton and Giang Ngo.

The Program

REI-BUS-Gail with studetnsin

What makes this week so significant for the students? The students are learning from men and women (Gail Schowe is pictured above in one of her lectures) who are in the trenches making business happen. Team members share their experiences, insights, strategies, heart, and love for their work from a perspective that is outside the students’ cultural experience. Success stories are shared but also times of failure and recovery are shared which inspire students to not let the fear of failure squelch the need to take risks when needed. Students learn in varied environments that stimulate engagement: lectures, coaching sessions, small group interactions, question and answer time, critiques of business plans, etc. The students speak often of the caring and warm hearts of the team.

What are the benefits for the business team members? They experience another culture, contribute in their fields of expertise, develop relationships with students (and faculty and business people), see the students that they have taught in the past become successful leaders, and join hands with others of like heart and mind to help build a nation.

A Little Fun Along the Way

Lest you think the week is all work, the opening and closing ceremonies of the week showcase student talent in areas of singing, dancing, drama, and videography. The team is always amazed and delighted by the heart and talent of the students. Of course, the business team members get to showcase their “entertaining talents” as well which provide a lot of fun and laughter for the students.

REI Business Week-Dance

A Response From a First Timer

Gail Schowe, a first timer on the team this spring probably sums up the team’s enthusiasm for the experience by saying, “I love it! I’m coming back! I am definitely coming back!”

Your Response

Maybe you would like to think about contributing in your field of expertise. The next Business Education Team will go to Vietnam in late October and early November 2011. Contact team leader Don Colebourn .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) if you are interested in learning more about the opportunity to participate. Be forewarned that your heart may be stolen by these eager students and you too could be coming back year after year!

Perhaps you cannot come, but would like to contriibute financially so that someone else can go. Please go to the Donate button on the home page if you would like to contribute financially to this program.

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