What do we do ?

Occupational Orientation Workshop for High School Students

On August 3-4, 2019, Better Life Vietnam in partnership with Hilton Hanoi Opera Hotel and Viet Dan Travel have organized successfully the Occupational Orientation Workshop for its scholarship recipients who are high school students from the rural village of Phuc Tho, Hanoi. This is the third component of the BLV Scholarship program. Joining this Workshop, students had the chance to spend two days and one night at the Hilton Hanoi Opera hotel to experience the 5 star hotel standard while learning about and being inspired to work in the tourism and hospitality industries. 

The students at Hilton Hanoi Opera hotel

Despite the heavy rain due to the storm, the students were very excited about joining the Workshop. Better Life Vietnam arranged a car to pick them up from their hometown and drive them to Hilton hotel. This was the first time they ever had a chance to leave their hometown village and spend the night in the capital city center at a 5 star hotel. They were all very happy. 

Students happily checked in the room
 In the first section of the Workshop, the students were invited to take the John Holland's  career self-assessment test. By taking the test, the students discovered their personal interests, talents, and aptitude while they also found out which type of career they would like, and the careers and college majors that would fit them best. 

Taking career self-assessment test
On the first day of the Workshop, the students had the chance to visit two tourism companies: Viet Dan Travel and Eviva Tour where they learnt about the tourism industry. Before a big picture of tourism industry, the students learnt about setting a goal in life and discussed ways to achieve those goals. The process of setting goals helps students choose where they want to go in life. By knowing precisely what they want to achieve, they will know where they have to concentrate their efforts. The students were taught to set their goals on a number of levels: first is to create the big picture of what they want to do with their life in the next 5 years and identify the large scale goals they want to achieve; then to break these goals down into the smaller and smaller targets that they must achieve to reach their lifetime goals; finally, once they have the plan, they need to start working on it to achieve these goals. By the end of this section, all students chose the goal of being able to speak English after one year when they enter university. 

During the visit to the two tour companies, the students learnt about the tourism industry from the trainers who are working in these companies. The students were introduced to the potential of the tourism industry and made aware of the lack of skilled human resources in this industry. They learnt about what skills and knowledge which they need to have in order to work in tourism. The trainers inspired the students when they shared their personal stories from when they were young students, how they set a goal and overcame all challenges to achieve that goal. 

Learning about marketing job

While learning about different departments of a tour company, the students learnt about different job positions and roles within in department, what skills and knowledges they need to acquire in order to work in those positions. 
Introducing different departments of a tour company
A whole section was designed to teach students about working as a tour guide. Better Life Vietnam invited a professional tour guide to share and teach the students about being a tour guide. Students learnt what to study to become a tour guide during the sharing section and also learnt how to take the tour during a two hour city tour exploring Hoan Kiem Lake and the Old Quarter.

Getting ready to start the city tour
The highlight part of the city tour was to taste the best foods of Hanoi, for example at Bun Cha Obama (the rice noodles and bbq pork restaurant where former US president Obama had eaten when he visited Vietnam), Trang Tien ice-cream, and traditional Pho Bo (Rice noodle soup with beef). 

Bun Cha Obama

Best ice-cream in Hanoi
Traditional Pho 

Because of the rainy weather, the students couldn't enjoy the swimming pool, but they had the fun experience of trying the buffet breakfast at this five star hotel. 

First time having a hot chocolate!
Day 2 of the Workshop was as exciting as day 1 when the students learnt about hospitality industry. The students learnt about the potential of working in the hospitality industry, what jobs are available, and what skills and knowledges they need to acquire in order to work in this industry. Using the case of the Hilton Hotel, the students learnt about different units of a hotel such as Reception, Sales, Finance, Marketing, Human Resources, Kitchen, etc… and how to prepare themselves to work in those departments. By talking to some staffs at the hotel, students learnt about the challenges and how to overcome those challenges while working in this industry. 

In addition to the main focus of the training which was about tourism and hospitality industry, students also had a chance to learn other skills such as public speaking and attend a hypothentical  Students were taught about the importance of  being able to confidently express their thoughts. Most of students from rural areas are often shy and not used to expressing their thoughts. In groups, students practiced expressing their thoughts by answering questions from the trainers and talking about what they had learnt in front of a camera and the whole group. 

One of the ways to help students finance their higher education study is to find a part-time job. The students were introduced to available part-time job opportunities in Hanoi when they enter the first year at university. A short section was designed to help prepare students for seeking and getting these part-time jobs. The students were put in a hypothetical interview with Ms Thinh Nguyen, the founder of Better Life Vietnam and Mr Hung Do, the Human Resource Director of Hilton Hotel. From the feedback from Ms Thinh and Mr Hung, students learnt what to prepare for the interview, how to perform during the interview, what to say when they walk in and out of the interview, etc. 

The hypothetical interview section

The two days and one night are not long enough for Better Life Vietnam to teach students all the knowledge and skills with which the BLV Team wish to provide for them. There is so much more we would like to provide for these underprivileged students, especially the soft skills such as leadership skill, presentation, time management, and problem solving. All those skills are very important and will help students to be successful in life. 

As for this Workshop, we were able to achieve our goal to prepare the students for a post high-school period when they have to choose if they should go to the university. If they choose to go to university, what they will study to pursue the career that fits their talents and interests. The Workshop also introduced the students to the tourism and hospitality industries where Vietnam has a shortage of skilled human resources, while it also generated students' interest to work in these industries. The Workshop was a memorable experience for the students. We believe that it will have a positive impact on the students and will motivate them to study even harder for a successful future. 

The Better Life Vietnam Team would like to express our thanks of gratitude to the Jeanne Sauve Foundation for enabling us to implement this project in Phuc Tho, Hanoi, Vietnam. The team also would like to express our special thanks to Hilton Hanoi Opera Hotel, Viet Dan Travel and Eviva Tour for supporting us to carry out activities of this project. Other thanks of gratitude are to the students and families of Trach My Loc village for their active participation in different components of this project. 


Post a Comment