Come March 2012, forty students from the Diploma in International Business will bring the Business Design concept from the cool environs of the Business School to the sweltering heat of villages in the Mekong Delta region.
The students will be in Vietnam as part of the 3-week Social Innovation Project. While there, the students will immerse themselves in their host country by learning the Vietnamese language, culture, history, and economy in the first week. Enhancing the Vietnamese exposure will be the homestay system that will let the students experience Vietnamese culture up-close at the most personal level possible. As guests of the Vietnamese families the students are paired with, they will be intertwined with the fabric of Vietnamese daily life. More importantly, DIB students will also develop a deep user empathy that will be invaluable when proposing appropriate business ideas for the Mekong Delta villagers. The students will spend two weeks in the Mekong Delta region to make a meaningful contribution to the local communities there. They will apply the Business Design tools and techniques they had acquired in their classrooms to explore ways the villagers can improve their income and quality of life.
Their stint in the Mekong Delta region will certainly provide the DIB students a different perspective about the way of life in a remote village. For one, life in the Mekong Delta revolves much around the river, and many of the villages are often accessible by rivers and canals rather than by road. The DIB students will certainly be struck by how this stands in stark contrast to their daily MRT commute which brings them right to Singapore Polytechnic’s doorstep. But the students are prepared for all challenges as foremost in their minds is the urge to uplift the village economy so that the villagers can look forward to a bright future. Ultimately, the DIB students will actualise the very reason they signed up for the Diploma in International Business course: To make a difference in the global arena.