A Leave For Change mandate with Rebecca Breslin

Leave For Change (L4C) is a short-term volunteer programme of Uniterra, in which we bring Canadian professionals, who are either professors, lecturers from institutions, or specialists from enterprises, to work with one of our local partners in Vietnam. It’s often considered a challenging programme as the volunteers only have three to four weeks to adapt with a new environment while helping the partnered organisation achieve their goals in a specific area. However, within that short amount of time, many of our L4C volunteers have successfully completed their mandate to a high standard and great satisfaction from the local partners, and Rebecca Breslin is one of them.

Working at MD Financial Management in Canada as Senior Entrepreneur, Rebecca came to Vietnam in December 2017 to work with FPT Polytechnic as Marketing & Communications Advisor with their MarCom & PR team. Within 12 working days, she involved strongly in the process of establishing the school’s strategic MarCom plan 2018 and their brochure. However, the greatest impact that she created was upon the working methodology. On December 21st, Rebecca organised a workshop on Google Design Sprint for the managers and staff members of FPT Polytechnic, introducing a five-day process for answering critical business questions through design, prototyping, and testing ideas with customers. This method has been adopted by businesses across the globe but is still a new idea to many organisations in Vietnam.

“I want to encourage the team step out of their comfort zone, take on new activities and try to solve a problem that they’ve never tried to solve before. For an active environment, there are always changes coming and having the willingness to try new thing is the first step to success.”, Rebecca said.

Rebecca at the workshop

The school was very exciting to learnt about Google Design Sprint. “Rebecca has brought many new ideas to our team. The workshop was wonderful and my key managers, staff members and even myself have learnt a lot about problem solving and dealing with issues.” Mr Vu Chi Thanh, Director of FPT Polytechnic said. Up to now, two months after the completion of Rebecca’s mandate, we are happy to see how the school has been actively adapting this method to their strategic planning and working processes.

Mr Vu Chi Thanh and Rebecca at the workshop

It’s also a mistake not to mention an unusual but really interesting side role of Rebecca’s at FPT Polytechnic: a yoga instructor. Everyday over lunch break everyday, her yoga class attracted many staff members to join. “The idea of the yoga class came in a strange way. I was talking to Mr Thanh about how I was a yoga teacher on site back home, and why not create some opportunities for better health and wellness of the staff. So we had a lot of women involved, which has been amazing. It’s just a great way to connect with my current colleagues in a new and exciting way.”, Rebecca said.

Rebecca’s yoga class

Talking about her time in Vietnam, Rebecca was also impressed with the lovely craziness of life here, which she would dearly miss. The mandate also gives her some professional experience. “In Canada, I’m very planned and methodical in my work,and what I feel like I’ve learnt here is more go with the flow, and have a attitude that allows me to make a change or make a move at the drop of the hat. That’s definitely something I’d bring back to Canada.”