For my thirty-week placement, I used to think that it would feel like a long time but in a blink, I find myself now preparing for the last weeks of my placement with a heavy weight carried on my shoulders.
The decision on securing a placement in Vietnam was made after a period of careful thoughts and discussion. I knew that it had been a year since I left Vietnam and so it would be nice to be home and therefore, a good decision. Even though after taking this decision led me to have to refuse other exciting opportunities in the UK, I do not regret my decision. Now, after the majority of my placement has passed, my decision has proved to be the best one as I have had a wonderful time with VIETGUYS, a local mobile marketing solutions agency.
Even though my previous work experience included working for IBM Vietnam, I realised that working in a small organisation brought both challenges and opportunities. While being in a big corporation, everything seemed to be more structured as there were established roles and subsequent ways of doing something. In VIETGUYS, I have found it to be the opposite as I have had to manage a considerable number of tasks in various situations and even “roles” within a limited time. At the very beginning I was not used to this company culture, and just completed tasks given to me, following what my supervisor required. Thus, sometimes, I had quite a lot of spare time and could not understand why my other colleagues had so many things to deal with. To me, my first week was full of observation and I felt that my placement might be bad as I truly felt like an outsider. However, the next day when I took the initiative and asked for more work, things became incredibly exciting. I very quickly learned that in this new environment and this new way of working, I was going to have so much to learn, I couldn’t possibly do it all!
My position requires me to work with salespeople, contact clients and report directly to my supervisor who is a business director. Therefore, in this role I am the link between my supervisor and sales team, or the salesperson and the client, so it is never a dull moment as every situation can be different. There have been some situations which have required me to satisfy demands from both sides, clearly with their own reasons. This has significantly impacted my other tasks in terms of time, efficiency and energy. So, in moving forward, I tried to identify solutions. I was successful after presenting my opinions and solution to my supervisor as well as other salespeople in both formal and informal meetings. For example, I presented the idea of creating a table describing an order of required actions customised for each salesperson on a week by week basis. My goal was to improve the work flow, save time, thereby increasing efficiency. After one trial week, the main issues had been resolved and everyone was pleased with the progress.
VIETGUYS has provided me the chance to work with lots of clever young people who are resourceful, creative with multitask skills and technical skills, and the ability of dealing matters on limited budget. I can say that I have not only enjoyed my placement, through my experience I have been able to increase my professional network. My supervisor and colleagues have been wonderful as they have always known how to cheer others up and keep staff morale high, how to balance work with life, and how to develop others’ abilities with straight feedback. I believe that through my personal and professional development achieved during my placement, I have made great progress towards my future career endeavors.
I have also learned plenty of other valuable lessons which has helped me become more aware of my strengths and weaknesses. While I will soon leave, I know that I will miss both the team and office of VIETGUYS. I have learned firsthand that real experience is precious and necessary, particularly when thinking about your future. Getting out of your comfort zone to explore and experience the good, the bad, and the ugly in the world is important and definitely important in today’s world.