In early 2018, I luckily took part in a Consulting Abroad Program, organized by GEI. It was such an incredible and amazing experience for me.
During the program, participants were given real challenges faced by a Vietnamese company in the technology field. Even though it turned out to be very complex in comparison with student abilities, we tried our best to brainstorm and find where the inner problem lies. Because of the difficulty, we were pushed to learn as much as we can. We were fuelled with informative and interactive series of lectures that were very helpful to our proposed project. For example, we had a session on Big Data and its impact in the Vietnamese digital sphere. This gave us the opportunity to better understand and visualize business opportunities for our tech-company.
Besides this technical knowledge, the program gave me a precious chance to build relationships with cool friends and enhance my soft skills. With honesty, openness and respect, we quickly got to know each other and grow friendship. Every day we worked closely in teams, constantly researching, discussing and trying our utmost to come up with feasible solutions for the company. Each member was a critical thinker so I had to persuade them, sell my ideas and also listen to others’ opinion. I was really impressed by the way my international friends respond to (cultural) differences with respect and simplicity.
I know that communicating effectively in a multicultural environment is a key to success for global future leaders. With this in mind, I always tried to keep my mind open so that I could discover new insights and perspectives. As a result, I could feel that my mindset and communication skills were gradually progressing.
Furthermore, we had many fun activities to relax, get to know each other and share valuable time together. We exchanged a lot about our culture, tried to speak each other’s language and gently pointed out differences between typical Western versus Eastern behaviours. Hence, we became more understanding and respectful of diversity.
Overall, the time flew so quickly by but the experience has helped me to become more aware of the world’s diversity and thus be more open-minded, able to adapt to various environments and to meet great and interesting people. Most importantly, I learned to step out of my comfort zone and enjoy it. I have the feeling that this was a turning point of my life. I am so thankful to GEI and my international friends for giving me such a great chance to broaden my horizons and create unforgettable memories.