An Eye Opening Tour
A group of 40 Diploma in Human Resource Management with Psychology (DHRMP) students embarked on a study tour to Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam from 20 – 25 September 2010 to learn about the country’s businesses, human resource practices and employment practices.
The students had the opportunity to visit both local and multinational companies which included Vietnam Brewery Ltd, Saigon RDC Plant, RSP Architects Planners & Engineers, Capitaland and UPS. They also visited Vietnam’s University of Economics where they attended a lecture on economic development & growth of Vietnam, and had an interactive sharing session with the local students on the culture and customs of both countries.
DHRMP students also toured the Investment & Trade Promotion Centre to understand how it promotes exports and attracts foreign direct investment into Vietnam. The Vietnam-Singapore Industrial Park enabled them to learn how Singapore companies adapt to the business climate and culture in Vietnam, and help to boost Vietnam's economy and reinforce the region's global standing as a stable investment hub.
Year 2 student Poh Man Wei shared her experience on the trip. “The trip opened my eyes to see different perspective of doing business in another country. One of the greatest challenges is adapting to the culture and environment of the country the business is operating in. For example in Vietnam, most of the local employees are not able to converse fluently in English, and businesses may face shortage of skilled manpower, especially in the rural areas. Even if positions are filled, companies may face the issues of staff retention and talent management. This is because the local employees are very entrepreneurial; they prefer to set up their own business after acquiring the relevant skills set and experience. It is definitely not easy operating in another country and requires a lot of hard work and perseverance to make the business succeed.”
Janessa Peh Jia Hui revealed that she experienced a “culture shock” of a different nature – the traffic condition on Vietnam roads. “I have never seen such congested traffic conditions, with so many cars and motorcycles plying on the busy roads. You really need to be very alert and skillful to be able to manoeuvre your way through the ‘traffic jungle’!”
Serene Tan Xue Lin found the overseas experience fun yet educational. “I learnt more about Vietnam’s culture, its people and their way of life. I learnt to bargain at the Ben Thanh Market where the local stall-holders will try to convince you to buy their products with the constant “same same but different” sales pitch! I also find the home visit a good way of learning and interacting with the local people.”
Mandy Wong Sin Mun also benefitted from the trip as she had the opportunity to experience first-hand and to better understand regional issues. She concluded, “The trip has widened my global perspective, and I have learnt to be resourceful when one is doing business in a foreign country. It is also heart warming to build up relationships with the locals whom we made friends with during the trip. We continue to keep in touch with each other via Face book and email correspondences. “Cam on ” (Thank you) for the overseas experience!”