Overcoming corporate challenges in Vietnam with an MPhil in Futures Studies

  • Louis Nguyen
  • JUN 28 2018
  • Tags Alumni, Business, News

“Never, never, never give up.”

This is a quote by Winston Churchill that made me thrive and grow into a strong, confident and determined being. Throughout the 38 years of my life, I overcame many challenges and also had failure knocking on my door several times, and after each time I had opportunities to stand up stronger than before.

You may never know about the life in a communist country like Vietnam. Yes, it was not bad until the day you realise that your degree might have no value at all. It is not because of the degree or the university; it was about the social system, one where you were not connected to the world. In 2004 I completed a Master’s degree in ICT from an Institute in France. It was really good to have this degree in my portfolio.

However, it was regarded as a “programmatic” Master’s degree. Some employers did not recognise it or even some considered it as a fake degree! But then I decided to start a new journey; the journey of accreditation.

I kept my eyes open and decided to dedicate myself more as I did not have enough time to make a mistake again and I had to find a balance between work and life. For a few times, I thought that I should give up studying and use the money to afford my kid’s study instead.
But don’t let a bad day make you feel like you have a bad life. The University Stellenbosch Business School and the MPhil in Futures Studies came to me as a gift from God.

“With the tools equipped during the MPhil in Futures Studies, it is easier for me to deal with complexities in the fast changing environment and therefore to enhance efficiency.”

This time I didn’t make any mistake with my decision. Stellenbosch University was on the top of 400 universities of Financial Times in 2009, and the business school was accredited by AMBA and EQUIS (and more recently also AACSB). It makes me proud to be a Matie with a “Triple Crown”.

To be honest, I was not a good student. I failed in a couple of modules and it took me three years to accomplish the programme (instead of the normal two years). But the value of this additional one year was to gain more meaning of what the quality level of a top business school in the world entail, and what it means to enter the job market as a professional. I usually share with my friends, my relatives, and even to my child that the university which you graduate from is more important than the level of education.

Indeed, beside professional skills, top universities like USB makes you feel more confident to deal with business partners or customers. In my case, the knowledge gained from Futures Studies helped me to work better in identifying the trends of the world’s supply chain as well as emerging issues in the region.

With the tools equipped during the MPhil, it is easier for me to deal with complexities in the fast changing environment and therefore, to enhance efficiency. As a result, I was promoted to be senior manager after one and a half years at Walmart, following several projects as well as initiatives that I accomplished together with my team.

Today, you can imagine that when I walk out into the world, I have two feet with me: the right one is USB and the left one is Walmart in Vietnam. I am more exposed to the world and feel full of confidence. I can speak to the public as a Walmart representative, but from deep inside, it is a Matie who does so. Together with Walmart, I had opportunities to contribute further to the education in Vietnam through scholarship programmes and to the community through anti-human trafficking projects. If I had to choose again, the University of Stellenbosch Business School would be my best option.


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