My Internship at NIFTIT Viet Nam
posted by admin
on Sep 13, 2017
According to Forbes, the rate of students participating in foreign country-based programs has increased up to 350% since 1990. Perhaps unsurprisingly given that statistic, the number of students receiving internships abroad has seen growth rates of 50% annually, showing how global experience in both education and in the workplace is not only desirable but also becoming the norm.
At NIFTIT, we value learning. We believe that training students by giving them the experience necessary to successfully enter the world of work can bring them added value – and self-confidence. Therefore, we offer students the opportunity to experience and fully participate in the life of a company by doing an internship here at NIFTIT’s main foreign office in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam. From June to September of 2017, NIFTIT welcomed a new intern (Alix) to its ranks. She agreed to answer a few questions about her internship and time at NIFTIT Vietnam.
Can you introduce yourself?
My name is Alix. I am studying Business and Management in the South of France, and to validate my second year of school I had to carry out an internship abroad. I speak French, English, and I am still learning Korean and Mandarin. I’ve been passionate about Asia since my childhood and I want to pursue a career in this area.
Why did you choose NIFTIT Vietnam?
NIFTIT has a partnership program with my school. The person in charge of corporate relations forwarded me a NIFTIT Business Internship proposition while I was looking for a training opportunity overseas. I wanted to experiment with several sectors, particularly IT, energy (and renewable energy), or industry, and I already knew I had an interest in developing countries and in the Asian region in general. NIFTIT had already made a name for itself in the United States, was active in South-East Asia, and has recently opened an office in France, giving me insight into the dynamism of the company and a foretaste of future challenges ahead. NIFTIT was the perfect fit.
What was your position within the company? What were your tasks?
I have worked with the Business Development and Marketing teams.
As a Business Developer/ Marketing intern, my first mission was to connect NIFTIT with the European market and test the waters for future partnerships and contracts in this area. I started by doing market research and competitor analysis, which I quickly followed with email campaigns, email exchanges, and meetings with potential partners.
In the background, I participated in the organization of SharePoint ‘meet-and-greet’ events for the South-East Asian SharePoint community in which NIFTIT is highly involved.
The meaning of being “an intern” was completely different from what I was expecting. My supervisor, Hung, didn’t hesitate to give me tasks requiring responsibility, and he was ready to support me in every step of my duties. At no time was I told I wasn’t experienced enough to achieve a specific task.
What skills did you improve upon while interning at NIFTIT?
I really improved my teamworking and organizational skills during this internship. I was assigned tasks I had to manage separately and complete in an appropriate amount of time, so I had to organize myself so as not to be overwhelmed. Teamwork was essential to carry out projects and events; we had to work independently on our tasks but work at the same pace to meet our goals in time.
I gained more efficient communication skills as well. With NIFITT being an international structure, I had to work and interact with people of different nationalities and experience with speaking English. My level in English, both written and spoken, has really improved since I had to address partners in a more professional and business-like way.
Also, traveling alone to Vietnam will test your adaptability to a different environment and put your resourcefulness to the test. Now I have a different approach for facing difficulties and I manage to keep a cool head better than before.
What do you like best about NIFTIT?
The corporate culture. NIFTIT is conveying values you can really feel when you work here, such as innovation, creativity, quality, and team work. On my first day of internship, I was welcomed by the CEO, Khoa, himself, and I was directly introduced to each member of the different teams.
I immediately understood that NIFTIT’s corporate culture was based on this welcoming and caring attitude, as well as on a high sense of duty towards their collaborators, associates, and their clients. Everyone was willing to help and answer my questions at any time despite their busy schedules, which gave me a strong feeling of “belonging” all the way through my internship.
Team meetings were part of weekly duties, which allowed everyone to recap their daily achievements, ask questions, and discuss future projects. The management team was open to any suggestions and remarks, and they gave me the opportunity to express my opinions about different projects.
Happy workers make happy clients, and NIFTIT understands that very well.
How did the Vietnamese culture influence your way of working?
Vietnamese culture differs greatly from European culture. Values like respect for the hierarchy and for seniority, sincerity, and collectivism are deeply rooted in the society and have a real impact in the professional world. The Vietnamese have another way of apprehending stress and have a different pace of work. While working here, I felt less pressured and more relaxed. I also experimented with another notion of ‘sharing’; here, you share everything with your colleagues – from food to knowledge – and I really enjoyed it! Human interactions are very natural, sincere, and full of good-will.
Would you recommend Vietnam as a good destination for students? Do you have any advice to share?
Whether South-East Asia is your predilection or not, developing countries are full of challenges. In Vietnam, interns are not simply trainees that are meant to just stand around and watch; rather, they are true collaborators. You will be part of a company not as “the intern,” but as one of the team members. Be ready to work hard, and your efforts will be greatly rewarded.
Vietnamese traffic can be impressive the first time you experience it, but I recommend you try to ride a motorbike. You will quickly become used to the feeling of freedom you get on the roads here. As a pedestrian, watch out when you cross the street!
How would you summarize your experience?
This experience was enriching from a personal and professional aspect. I met wonderful people who have helped make my professional aspirations clearer.
Carrying out a professional project in Vietnam requires being aware of certain situations. You must take into consideration that you won’t be understood outside of the office unless you speak Vietnamese, but everybody will try to help you. Just keep calm, be patient, and be resourceful.
Vietnam is a beautiful country. I had the chance to travel every weekend to heavenly places, eat amazing food, and meet very welcoming people.
Doing an internship in Vietnam is combining the useful with the pleasant!
Thank you, Alix, for sharing your insights. We hope your experience will motivate future students to adventure to NIFTIT Vietnam!