2019 Uniterra annual review meeting

During March 13-14, 2019, the World University Service of Canada (WUSC) in Vietnam organized its Uniterra annual meeting. The objectives of the meeting were to review the past year achievements, discuss priorities for the coming years and for partners and volunteers to network in order to strengthen cooperation.

Mrs. Mary Beshai – our Asia Regional Coordinator-, our volunteers and our partners attended the meeting. It was also an opportunity for our partners to share their achievements and highlight the successful support provided WUSC during the past year.

The Tourism Department – Hanoi Open University presented their responsible tourism training program, a new program for students;

The director of the Volunteer for Education Organization (V.E.O) presented two development projects supported by WUSC to improve leadership and soft skills of the students while promoting the community-based tourism by building a homestay booking platform;

Saigon Tourist Hospitality College shared a book review on Innovation in Hospitality Education – Anticipating the Education Needs of a Changing Profession.

Additionally, a group of volunteers delivered a presentation on the Green Initiative implemented by WUSC in order to inspire our partners to reduce plastic waste to keep our planet clean.

Moreover, other volunteers shared their knowledge and achievements with their partners in Vietnam on business planning and partnership development.

All the participants have found the knowledge sharing interesting and useful to their work. For further information relating to the meeting and its materials, please contact our Communication Officer at [email protected]

Digital Marketing

Ms. Stephanie Lapointe, a Marketing and Communication Advisor from Canada, has a one-year volunteer mandate (January 13, 2018 – January 12, 2019) with our Vietnamese partner, FPT University, within the framework of the Uniterra program managed by WUSC in Vietnam. Along with her key partner, FPT University, she has also supported projects for other Vietnamese partners such as Bac Thang Long, Tourism Advisory Board (TAB), and KOTO.
On November 14, she delivered a one-day training workshop for marketing and recruitment specialists of FPT Education on an in-depth look at marketing in a digital world. For this workshop, she shared her experiences with and knowledge of new data-driven strategies to enhance their current marketing plans. The training content covered a few different themes to inspire teams to be more strategic and creative with their digital campaigns. Topics included digital marketing trends, the fundamentals of building a digital marketing strategy, data driven strategies, social media management and data-driven creative. For the final part of the workshop, attendees worked in groups to develop their own creative pitch for a digital storytelling campaign targeted at prospective students.

With the knowledge and experiences shared during the workshop, Stephanie is hoping that these marketing professionals will be inspired to infuse more strategy and creativity in their digital marketing campaigns to reach prospective students in Vietnam.

WUSC joined the World Clean-up Day

WUSC joined 156 countries and more than 13 million volunteers globally for World Cleanup Day on Saturday, September 15th to raise awareness on the importance of keeping our communities clean and reducing the use of plastic. WUSC Vietnam joined the cleanup in partnership with Keep Hanoi Clean at Ho Ba Mau Lake, Hanoi. We’re committed to including more environmentally responsible practices and activities in everything we do because we recognize the impact of pollution in Vietnam. We recently established the WUSC Green Committee to focus on reducing our use of single-use plastic and inspire our partners to do the same.

Thank you Olivia Dymek, volunteer with SRD and WUSC Vietnam’s Green Committee leader, for taking the initiative to lead this cleanup location on behalf of WUSC Vietnam. The event was a success, attracting a wide range of participants from local NGOs, the Women’s Union, the Youth’s Union, private sector, youth, children, international organizations, the Canadian Embassy, and even a few local citizens in the neighborhood joined in.

Strengthening Linkages between HTC and Businesses

Ms. Adam Diouf, a Partnership Development Advisor from Canada, has a one-year volunteer mandate with our Vietnamese partner – Hanoi Tourism College (HTC), in the framework of the Uniterra progam managed by WUSC in Vietnam, from April 15, 2018 to April 14, 2019. Since April 2018, she has met with HTC’s management team and key teaching staff along with industry partners. The objective was to explore ways to improve the partnership between HTC and the tourism partners, including universities, 4-5 star hotels, and restaurants which directly hire HTC graduates as interns and/or employees.

In August, a series of conferences had been organized at HTC between partners and the HTC department of Accounting for Tourism, department of Hotel and Restaurant Management, and department of Food Processing. The aim was to listen to feedback from the partners on students’ internship: the difficulties, the obstacles, the specific requirements and HTC’s curricula.

The leaders of HTC highly appreciated the feedback from these discussions, leading to agreements on the following to improve the relationships with partners:

  1. Student internships: HTC will improve their curriculum and internship program to make it better fit the partners’ requirements.
  2. Teachers’ update: The partners will not only engage on the career and personal development for students, but they will also send their experts to train HTC students and teachers in different disciplines. Teachers will update their knowledge & skills with practical visits to the field and the creation of a network or community of culinary experts.
  3. Business Partnership: Both sides agree to develop a business partnership in order to have an efficient network for sharing knowledge, ongoing practical training and to develop business projects for modernizing HTC’s practice rooms and equipment. This will also allow for more partners’ visibility, notoriety and corporate social responsibility. These agreements will be signed under a MOU in the future.

Adam’s contribution to this partnership is of great significance by helping to make the training program more practical and better matched the needs and realities of the partners. Whereby, it makes it easier for students to find a job after graduation and for the companies to have access to a higher quality workforce.

Marketing Support for Women Start-ups

Maria Racanelli, a Professor from Humber college in Canada came to Vietnam to work as a volunteer –with our partner – the Women Initiative for Start-ups & Enterprises (WISE) from July 29 to August 19.

During her mission in Vietnam, she worked with the leaders of WISE to support building their capacity, especially on marketing. She also had coacing sessions with 11 members of WISE in Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh city to support them review their business plans and give recommendations for further development.

On this occasion, she hosted two workshops in Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh cityon Marketing – Customers are your Business. Around 50 women start-ups attended these workshops and they were equipped with sound knowledge on marketing through group exercises and lessons sharing. The participants worked together to analyse the customers’ insight, discussed examples of customers’ demands on specific products/services, such as smart-phone or Grab service, create customers’ profile, identify customers’ demands based on their products/services, how to create value for customers, the importance of pricing strategy, how to get and use customer feedbacks. In addition, participants were encouraged to share practical examples at  their company.

The workshops, received many positive feedbacks from WISE and participants. Ms. Thuy, WISE’ representative said “two most valuable things the expert contributed were her good expertise on marketing for businesses, and her excellent ability to inspire the participants”. Mai Tran, a participant said: “Though the lesson was quite short, it was really focused. The expert hasfantastic expertise, her speaking was easy to understand, and she was very enthusiastic”. Or “the training course helped her better understand her customers and enabled her to re-orient her marketing strategy”, said Hua Hien, another participant.What was important was that many participants said they will apply the knowledge learned to  start their marketing work, create customers database, and developproducts to meet customer’s  demands.

Women are the target group of Uniterra program managed by WUSC and we hope to have more supporting activities in future.

“Key Essentials to Customer Services” – a workshop for women start-ups

On July 24th, WUSC Vietnam in collaboration with the Women Initiative for Start-ups & Enterprises (WISE) organised a workshop for 22 women start-ups on key essentials for Customer Services.

Kariann Workman, our Tourism & Hospitality Advisor, Uniterra volunteer led the workshop and once again took the crowd by storm with her thorough understanding and diverse knowledge in the field, together with a great sense of humour. The participants worked together to analyse the customers’ insight, look into some examples and practices to identify solutions. Everyone also had chances to share the stories from their own organisations to get feedback and advises from the host and fellow participants.

After the workshop, we have received a number of positive feedbacks from WISE and the participants. “From Kariann’s examples and sharings, I realise how I should love my customers more, and work towards giving them a “wow” experience.”, Tram Phan, one of the participants said.

WISE also expressed their expectation in receiving more experienced experts from Uniterra to organise high-quality workshops for the women start-ups from WISE and Vietnam in general.