[Meet the Community Leader] Australian Hospitality Alumni Network Vietnam (AHA Vietnam) is pleased to welcome Nguyen The Dai Duong (Alex) as our newest community leader. Alex graduated with a Master’s Degree in International Hotel Management from Blue Mountains International Hotel Management School and a Bachelor’s Degree in Marketing from RMIT University. Moving back to Vietnam after graduation, Alex is currently the Front Office Supervisor at Intercontinental Saigon and ready to support other hospitality alumni to build their career in Vietnam.
The AHA Vietnam has recently invited Alex to an exclusive interview to discuss further on our future collaboration. We also believe that our alumni will benefit from learning more about Alex’s journey in hospitality.
Start with why: Alex, why did you choose hospitality?
Alex: A few years ago, I chose to study a Bachelor’s Degree programme in Management (Marketing), but I never felt so right at that time. I knew that I could have made lots of money if I work in this field, however, something was missing, something that was genuinely inspiring to me from deep down. After that, I started looking for something that fulfils my desire then there was an opportunity to work in the industry as a Guest Relations Officer, I decided to apply for the position and got the job. The feeling of working in the industry helped me discover my missing piece. For me, that is kindness. Witnessing and delivering kind and genuine human interaction is much more beautiful to me than an office life sitting in front of a computer screen.
The feeling of working in the industry helped me discover my missing piece. For me, that is kindness. Witnessing and delivering kind and genuine human interaction is much more beautiful to me than an office life sitting in front of a computer screen.Alex Nguyen
After gaining my very first experience of working in the hospitality industry, I decided to go to Australia to study hotel management to have a better understanding of the industry. I managed to work as a Cluster Guest Service Agent and Night Auditor at the Novotel and Ibis Melbourne Central.
Why did you decide to go back to Vietnam after graduation?
Alex: I wanted to stay back to Australia for a few more years at least to gain more experience, however, with the unexpected Covid-19 situation, I thought it was best for me to come home. I landed a job as Front Office Supervisor at the Intercontinental Saigon.
How is life in Vietnam?
Alex: I was very uncertain and a little passive at first, because I did not expect to go home so soon. I had a difficult time to adapt the old-new culture. I had tried to apply to many different positions, but there was no reply in return. I was under a lot of pressure and self-doubt about whether my education and perspective were not well-perceived back home. I didn’t know how to overcome the situation and decided to reach out for help. That was when I first spoke with Mr David Dao, who happens to be a senior Australian hospitality alumna and also a Community Leader at the AHA Vietnam.
David shared much of his experience including the difficulties that he had to go through himself when he first came back to Vietnam and how he’s made people accept him for who he is and for what is good at. I feel so blessed because it certainly helped me to go through a very challenging time of my career. Most importantly, this experience taught me a lesson that we should never underestimate how important emotional support is when we have to go through all different stages of our career and life. Now it has been five months since I have been working in my new role and I am feeling great. I do not think I could have been able to feel so confident about myself again without the help from the AHA network.
Why would you like to be part of the AHA?
Alex: I believe that the AHA is a platform for me to build my network in the industry and allow me to help and get help from one and another. I think I have received enough support and help from people of hospitality who are senior to me, and it’s now time for me to return the favor.
At the AHA Vietnam we also trust that Alex Nguyen has successfully overcome some of his very first challenges as he’s been putting much effort to create a hospitality career back home in Vietnam. Alex is now ready to share his experience with other alumni who need his support. Please visit Alex on LinkedIn or contact AHA Vietnam via firstname.lastname@example.org should you wish to reach out to Alex.
Pictures are provided by Alex Nguyen