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Ariel view of Bondi and Vietnam

Leaving Vietnam to study at Sydney

11 April 2019
Meet Phuong Thao Nguyen, a recent Master of International Business graduate
Thao is a recent graduate who came to the Business School from Vietnam on a full scholarship. With love for her country, learn how studying international business led her to create change in her home country.

Thao’s career path is not typical of a Vietnamese woman. After completing her undergraduate degree in business in Hanoi, Thao worked for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Vietnam and served her country as a diplomat specialising in cooperation of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations, better known as ASEAN.

Since Thao way young, she had dreamt of studying abroad. For many people like Thao, studying overseas is financially unattainable in Vietnam but, Thao’s hard work and determination eventually paid off and she received a full scholarship to study a Master of International Business at the University of Sydney.

Thao says that arriving in Sydney is the day her life changed. “Sydney was breathtakingly beautiful, and the University campus was like a scene out of Harry Potter”. Thao says that the University has “well-designed study programs for international students” and since her first day as a student, she felt warmly welcomed.

The transition back to Vietnam was smooth for Thao. She felt prepared for practice, and her degree proved valuable for her career progression. After returning to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Thao was given the opportunity to work in the fields of security cooperation and external relations at the ASEAN Secretariat in Jakarta.

Succeeding again, Thao has more recently moved into the sustainable energy sector where she is living her dream of being an agent for positive change in her country. Here, at the Vietnam Energy Partnership Group Secretariat Thao works to “enhance information sharing and communication between national and international participants in the energy sector.”

Thao is sure her international degree has helped her stand out when applying for new roles. In particular, the International Business Project where she worked with Ensitech to develop their global expansion strategy.

What is next for Thao? Besides advancing her career in the energy sector, she wants to “encourage more young people, especially young women, to get a better education in Australia and come back to contribute to the development of our country.”

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