INTRODUCTION

Workshop “The Importance of Charting Your Course”, led by Mr. Kyle Nunas- Consul General of Canada, took place on October 9th, 2018. This is the second workshop of the series “Press pedal to the medal” hosted by UEH Connected to connect the youth with three Consuls from France, Canada, and Italy.

Over 70 participants, including students and employees from Vietnam and other countries, were actively involved throughout the workshop.

WARMUP

Two MCs briefly introduced about UEH Connected community and two upcoming important events of the community. First, we have successfully launched the Lead The Change competition. It was established with the purpose of encouraging young entrepreneurs to embrace the challenges, surpass their own limits, and speed up the process of changing themselves. Join right now to compete for a chance to win prizes worth up to 500,000,000 VND including a special trip to Korea where you will be trained by top experts.

Details:

The third and final workshop of our series “Press pedal to the medal” will be led by Mr. Dante Brandi – Consul General of Italy on 29th November. Mr. Dante will speak about 3 key issues: first, personal branding – which is very important to the youth nowadays; second, how to keep enthusiasm and passion for work; and last but not least, effective communication skills. In addition, the Consul will discuss his perception and representation of Italy to all the stakeholders where he has served as a Consul.

START

Captain of a ship

Everyone gave a big round of applause when the Consul entered the room. Mr. Kyle warmly greeted the audience in Vietnamese “Xin chao quy vi”. He shared that he had thought about the themes for his speech, and he chose “charting your course.” The Consul then raised a question “If passengers want to get to a destination, what does one need to do as a captain of a ship?” “He needs to know the routes to that destination. He must be clear of what his team is trying to accomplish and what their objective is. As a captain of a ship, you need to have a “map”, and the ability to draw the big picture. You should communicate with other people in the team about the directions of the “map” you created, so when you start you can know what to do and to expect.

The Consul’s story

By the time he was 10 years old, he had lived in 5 provinces in Canada. His parents were English speakers. For him to succeed in Canada, he had to learn French, because French and English in Canada are both official languages. So his parents decided to move him from an Indian school to a French school.

7 years old

People always ask him what story that made him who he is now. When he was in grade 2, there was one time his teacher held up a sheet of paper of a bicircle divided into 5 pieces and asked the students to put their hands up if they think those 5 pieces weren’t the same size, and Mr. Kyle put his hand down while the others put their hands up. Then the teacher asked again to know who thought those pieces were the same, he was still convinced that there were 1 unique piece. At the end, the teacher said that he was the one with the correct answer. This is the story that has guided his life since then.

His first job

Mr. Kyle started as a media analyst in Canadian government. His job is to research media coverage, how the media and newspaper covered the topics, what kind of issues they were interested in, what questions they might ask, and so on. He had to try to understand what is important to organizations and what their thoughts are. The Consul then moved to Vancouver and became a communication strategist. In 1998, he prepared a royal visit of Prince Charles. He also organized big promotional events for Canada participation expo; In 2000, he contributed to the 50th commemoration of universal decoration human rights. Mr. Kyle then worked on international sports through  government communication efforts to organize winter games in Vancouver. He received his first overseas assignment in 2012 where he was responsible for a trade program in India. Two years later, he took up Canadian technology initiative to help Canada companies go abroad. In 2017, he officially became the Consul General of Canada in Vietnam. His job was to plan the visit of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau in November 2017.

Mr. Thang Huynh asked  the Consul what he had learned through all of his experiences. Mr. Kyle said that when he worked in teams, he had to take up more responsibility. There was more real-time communication and more directions to give if you were an executive. He stressed the importance of knowing what’s important, what the objectives are, and what he should expect others to do. Ideas come from all direction and and people or what you read and observe. Too much information sometimes can be overwhelming, therefore hard work is essential if you want to have razor-sharp focus and know what to do to your organization. He mentioned a famous quote of Albert Einstein “If you can’t explain something to a 6 year-old, you probably don’t understand it yourself”.

To be a good team member, (because a lot of young people in Vietnam are not good at teamwork), it is important not to view soft skills as bad skills. To be effective, you must understand what others’ responsibility is. You also need to build trust, have a common objective, and know all the strengths and weaknesses.

Q&A

  • You have plans for your goals already but you have to face with a whole new environment. How to adapt to a new environment and manage your goal?

=> That’s something that comes up many times in life. You’ll be stressful. But you need to understand the culture. Everybody who goes into a new environment experience psychological change. It’s a new environment for you so you won’t be happy, you lose your confidence and start upsetting about your choice. It’s normal. After you understand the role and environment works, you will realize your own function and confidence is raised back. You should feel interested in the new environment. Explore and understand it, you can find it a good time.

  • Could you share more about your difficult moments in your life?

=> I used to work for a boss who was very demanding. He planned for everybody. I remember going home every day just looking for a courage to come back to the office the next day. One day, I was in a meeting, I didn’t do something well, but the boss criticized me in front of everybody. I stood up and said: “Want to do my job? You can do it.” When you have your limit, sometimes you have to decide if you want to change or when to stop.

  • How do you feel about the workforce in Vietnam? What would you suggest us to prepare for joining in Canada workforce?

=> To me, Vietnamese people are fascinating, very motivative, very good at critical thinking skill, and good at English and French as well. They memorized tasks but don’t understand the full picture. I think Vietnamese student should make things in a process, do teamwork, have the courage to take a risk. For example, I want to learn how to skate, and when searching on youtube, I find the first lesson is teaching how to fall. You have to learn from failure. Figure out, what would you do if did not have a plan, try out when your plan doesn’t work. I know, when Vietnamese people willing to do something, you can do very well.

  • What to do to avoid conflict among the team?

=> Not all the conflicts are bad. You’re not respectful of each other, you try to make other people look bad, strong personality conflict. You have to set an environment to let people know the team should work in a respectful behavior. If you’re a manager or supervisor, it’s really important to clear each team member’s responsibility. You have to listen to other people, their problems. Sometimes your team member will be smarter and better than you, so you need to know how to interact with people, and raise your concerns.

  • How to keep a positive mind and motivation?

=> When you are working on a project, I think it’s important to assume what’s coming up. Do the “What if”, what if this or that happens, what is the difficult things that I should concern about. You have your choice, panic, deep in the fear, or think about a new solution.

After several more questions from the eager audience, the workshop came to an end. Mr. Kyle and Mr. Thang came to take pictures with the audience. He kindly stayed longer to have more conversations with some attendees. Overall, the atmosphere was cozy and everyone was in good spirit.

UEH Connected would like to express our appreciation and thanks to the University of Economics in HCMC for sponsoring the event’s venue.


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