The past two weeks in Vietnam became the part of my life that I will never forget. Through this trip, I was able to make a lot of lifelong friends, both from Pitt and UEF, and experienced many things that I would never have otherwise. I was able to witness how a country goes through development and globalization through various company and site visits, and also see how the tradition is sustained meanwhile the city is rapidly changing. This trip truly widened my perspective, and I would like to share three transferrable skills I developed through this opportunity.
First, I was able to improve communication skills significantly. Before this trip to Vietnam, I often found myself being introvert when it came to public speaking or having conversations with strangers. However, as I confronted students from Pitt and UEF, and professionals from various fields, I realized this was my opportunity to work on the skill that I thought I always lacked. As I met a lot of professionals from around the world, I learned that the language wasn’t a barrier to building an exceptional communication skill, but it was rather about how I use it to express my ideas. I became a lot more confident and comfortable in confronting people, and I am thankful that I was able to improve this skill through this trip.
Next skill I was able to develop was the ability to understand others’ perspectives and mediate between two different parties. As we spent days at Vietnam together, I realized that I was more aware of the Vietnamese culture compared to other students from Pitt since it shared some similarities with the culture in other Asian countries such as South Korea. When other students couldn’t comprehend certain behaviors, food, or the culture in the foreign country, I tried to understand the difference and explained how the culture is distinct from the U.S.. Toward the end of the trip, Pitt students started to ask me many questions regarding the tradition and the culture when we were visiting various sites, and I am glad that I was able to help others understand and respect different cultures.
Lastly, I was able to learn how to manage time efficiently. During the trip, typical days included Vietnamese language class and lectures on various topics in the morning, company visits, and dinner with UEF students. Since there was a limited time to post daily blogs, I had to plan accordingly in order to not fall behind. For example, during the week, I tried to write my blogs between the afternoon activities and the dinner, and during the weekend, I worked on blogs on the bus since we usually went on a day trip. I believe that this skill I adopted will help me study efficiently next year as I expect it to be a busy semester.
Overall, this trip was a life changing experience for me. Not only I was educated academically, culturally, and professionally, I was also able to befriend with great people across the globe. I will never forget these memories I made during this trip, and I am thankful for Pitt Business for this great opportunity. Until I come back again, hẹn gặp lại Vietnam!