Alumni Spotlight: Viet Ha Tran

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Alumni Spotlight: Viet Ha Tran

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Originally from Viet Nam, Viet Ha Tran came to Japan in 2000 to study international management at APU. Since graduating in 2004, she pursued further education, worked in Tokyo, Singapore, and Hanoi, and is now in Madrid as an admissions specialist and award-winning photographer. We caught up with Ms. Tran recently to hear more about her time at APU and what she has been involved in since graduation.

Please tell us about what kind of work you are currently involved in.

After graduating from APU, I experienced a variety of job positions at several companies in Tokyo, Singapore, Hanoi and Madrid. However, working in my current position as the Senior Associate Director of Admissions at IE Business School in Madrid has been my greatest inspiration so far. I came to IE Business School in 2008 to pursue a master’s in marketing management, and was lucky enough to get a job offer from this school upon completion of the program.

Apart from my full time job, in my free time I work as a photographer, as art is my great passion. I am self-taught and started in 2013. My works have been featured in a wide number of newspapers and photography magazines such as Vogue Italia, Vietnam News, Photography MasterClass Magazine, Visual Artistry Magazine and more. In April 2014, I shot for Talents Shooting of Vogue Italia and in August 2014, my photos were selected to appear at the ongoing digital exhibition at Saatchi Gallery London. My artwork has also appeared at Brighton Photo Biennial 2014, UK’s largest photography festival.

Why did you initially want to study at APU?

I wanted to study business administration in Japan, due to the fact that Japan had the second largest economy at that time, and learn how it became such a powerful country after World War II. Also, I wanted to learn the language and about the working discipline of the Japanese people, which I anticipated would be important for my future professional growth.

How do you think you grew during your time at APU? Additionally, why do you believe you grew in such a way?

I am tremendously thankful to APU for giving me such wonderful international exposure, as I had never met people from so many different countries before coming to APU. It was incredible that during my four years I had friends from such far-off countries as Madagascar, Jordan, Syria, Djibouti, Congo, Lithuania, Hungary, etc. In addition to Japanese, I also learned Spanish at APU, which set the first bricks for my experience in Spain, and led me to the amazing professional life I have now. Back when I was a student, it was not as common for foreign students to be able to get a job in Japan after university. But I had the luck being able to start my career working in Tokyo which taught me so much, and this experience in Japan was one of the key reasons why I got a job offer in Spain after obtaining my master’s degree here.

What do you think is the most effective way to spend four years at APU in order to secure one’s future?

It is absolutely important to make as many international friends as possible while at APU. Nowadays, we are living in such a globalized world that you need to be able to interact with people from different backgrounds and cultures. You need to know how people from each culture think and act, as this is crucial when you do business with them in the future.

It is also very important to get involved in different extracurricular activities and clubs because this experience will teach you many precious social skills, and you will discover great things from your classmates.

Where do you see yourself in one year? In ten years?

Over the next year, I see myself becoming more deeply involved with photography. I always wanted to be a great artist. However, I will still maintain my full time job since I am truly passionate about growing people and guiding them into the best professional path.

In ten years… It depends very much on the opportunities the future will give me. However, I wish to grow as an artist and gain worldwide popularity. This will give me the opportunity to have financial capability to fund my dream projects: to establish schools for orphans in Vietnam and other developing countries, or other projects that help children in the poorer parts of the world. I believe that the right education for children can greatly change the future for the better.

Finally, do you have a message for prospective students thinking about studying at APU?

I think my experience at APU has been the most crucial step in my personal and professional growth. Without the four years spent at APU to learn both Japanese and Spanish, and the opportunity to work in Japan afterwards, I would never be where I am right now. When I was a student at APU, my biggest dream was to live and work in Spain, which has come true! I am endlessly thankful to Japan for being my 2nd home and to APU for having changed my life in such an incredible way.

I strongly recommend APU to future candidates, I am sure it will not only be a great place to study, but also to know about other cultures and to have life-changing experiences.

Thank you, Viet Ha, for sharing your experience!