This article has been adapted from the Australian Geographic.
Australians can be an ingenious bunch. Here are some of the best inventions to have come out of the nation.
Read the original article here.
|Shane Dillon is the co-founder of the International Alumni Job Network, an employment group focused on career outcomes for international students who have graduated from Australian, Canadian, UK, New Zealand, European and US higher education institutes.|
I was recruiting and building a team in Vietnam and trying to find returning Vietnamese international student graduates to employ. I could not find them and after some research realized that returning international students from all over Asia do not have a resource that connects them with top employers or a community to join that will connect them with one another so they can build a strong professional network.
I then met some returnee alumni by chance and after speaking with them heard that they too saw this as a major problem they faced when returning home after completing their international education. The idea for the International Alumni Job Network (IAJN) was born.
I was working full time, raising two young children and completing my MBA and could not figure out how I could successfully launch this idea by myself and that is when I had some incredibly good luck. I was introduced to Kate Harden in December 2015 who was looking for a new job in Vietnam after working for an NGO for the last 4 years. Her background was in HR and after some initial meetings and a signed NDA we started working on the International Alumni Job Network together. She came on as the CEO and co-founder, we raised $125,000 USD from two angel investors in Q1, 2016 and we started the company together. Kate works full time on the business and takes a salary and I work part-time on the business without a salary. We currently have 5 full-time employees and an office set up in Hong Kong and Vietnam. We launched the ecosystem of online communities and social media pages on the 31st May 2016 and have so far had over 20,000+ alumni register (It’s FREE for alumni to Join) with our community and placed several hundred jobs. We currently have international alumni communities in 15 countries across Asia and grow between 500~1,500 new members a week.
Starting a business is lesson after lesson after lesson. We had great feedback from alumni, employers, universities and government groups from day one, however this did not equate into any business support. We joked that everyone told us they loved us but no one would ask us to dance.
A huge lesson we continue to learn is that people, businesses and stakeholder groups may praise you constantly however to engage with you and actually pay to use your services takes a lot longer. The expression “Cash flow is KING” is so true and Kate and I have struggled with trying to balance the rapid growth of our alumni communities and employer networks while maintaining the high standards of service we strive towards with limited cash flow.
Releasing regular media kits has also been very beneficial for us. Sending out regular updates on what we are doing to the press has had IAJN featured in Forbes Magazine, PIE News, Study International and in the local press in Vietnam and Malaysia so far.
I did not have a mentor however at the time I was completing an executive MBA at RMIT and found the professors and classmates were always willing to offer advice and thoughts on business ideas. A huge thanks to great professors like David Robinson, Christine Murphy, Mark Leenders, Anthos Yannakou and Darryl Coulthard who were all very generous with their time and knowledge with me.
It helped that a few weekends a semester I would be surrounded by a great group of business leaders and entrepreneurs who were studying the MBA with me. A huge thanks to the fellow executive MBA classmates who I studied with in 2015 and 2016.
1. Start – I have had so many people ask me what it takes to start a business (while working and studying) and I tell them you just need to start. “A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step” and you need to take that first step and just START. There is never a perfect time to do an MBA or start a business.
2. You need passion and pragmatism and in my case a co-founder. Do not be greedy, get a good team around you who are also passionate and pragmatic and then share the up side with them. You succeed together or fail together.
3. Look at problems to find the solution not just to point out the problem. The world is full of people who love to point out problems and offer no solution. Starting a business you will discover problems every day, every week, every month. You need to have a team with a solution orientated attitude and understand their is always a solution to every problem.
|Shane Dillon completed the RMIT Master of Business Administration (Executive), 2016. He is willing to answer your questions about starting a new business. Find him in the Members section.|
I consider myself a recruitment expert. I’ve built a career in Human Resources and pride myself on the ability to hand pick the cream of the crop for unique roles and to add value to both business and organizational culture. My track record speaks for itself.
So you can imagine my surprise (and to be honest, dismay) when I realised that start-ups were a whole other beast and perhaps this fancy pants recruiter (with a start-up recruitment business) had a lot to learn!
It’s a good thing I love learning and I especially love sharing learning experiences… so here’s my advice when hiring for start-ups…
Let’s face it, the reality versus the glamour of a start-up are worlds apart. Money is tight, resources are tight and we all have to chip in even if it’s not in our job description!
Whilst we’d all love to hire those specialist positions – the people who are top of their game and experts in a niche area, there’s far more value to be gained for a new business when skills can be transferred. Get a Business Development Manager with marketing panache and an Office Manager with basic accounting skills – you’ll get more value and ensure your business has a cross section of skills.
A start-up should be a melting pot of new ideas and innovative concepts. I love it when my Admin staff come to me with ideas for client acquisition or my Marketing Executive thinks up new ways to cut costs without compromising quality. Choose people with creative minds who aren’t afraid to share their thoughts.
When I interview I ask ‘are you prepared to get knocked down and get back up again, and get knocked down and get back up again… a hundred times?’ because sometimes that’s what it feels like in a start-up business. You’re new, you try new things, you sometimes have no idea what will work and what won’t work – it’s not always easy, nobody forged the path before you. Only the resilient need apply.
When you have a team of 300 people, sure the new person should still be a good culture fit – but the culture is already there, they don’t have to build it from scratch. When starting a new business, choose people whose natural style compliments your vision for the business – it takes the hard part out of building a culture.
Choose people who have been involved in start-ups before, or have shown you that they truly understand the thrills and challenges.
It doesn’t matter if their first start-up was a failed one, ask them what they have learnt. The very fact they’re coming back for more tells you that entrepreneurship is in their blood. Many people are drawn to the idea of a start-up but aren’t so thrilled with the reality of it. For the people who like to sit in a comfort zone, it’s not the right fit.
Leave a comment and let me know any other tips you have for recruiting for a start-up!
KATE HARDEN is the Co-Founder and CEO of International Alumni Job Network. Kate has over 10 years experience in contemporary HR and Recruitment in Australia and Asia. Kate is passionate about people, learning and working together for positive outcomes.
When we think about studying abroad, often we’re overwhelmed by the high price tag we assume comes with such opportunities. But did you know – some countries in the world offer a FREE education or very low fees, even for international students!
Here are some of our favorites, all with universities in the top 200 in the world:
Finland universities are fee-free so long as international students can cover their own living costs which makes it an attractive choice for studying abroad.
Universities in Germany are all free. The government funds the education of all its people and includes foreigners. Over 900 undergraduate and graduate degrees are offered in English which means non-German speakers can apply!
Sweden is one of the wealthiest countries in the world and its tuition fees are low cost, but not entirely free. It has almost 1000 programs at 35 universities that are taught in English, which means so long as you can speak English, you can get a degree!
Norway does not charge tuition fees for international students, and it is known for having small classes, with easily approachable professors. English courses are offered at many universities, making it a popular choice for many foreign students.
In France most public universities charge only about $200 USD, but if your parents are unemployed, you can study for free.
So before you rule out an international education due to financial constraints, investigate further and be sure to research scholarship opportunities too – you’d be surprised what’s available!
Thanks to our friends at cashkows.com for the useful information and research fodder!
Company Name: Midway Metals Vietnam Ltd Co.,
Office/Branch Locations (globally): Tay nam IE, Phu ly City, Ha nam Pro., Vietnam
Established Date: 08th Dec 2005
Core Business: Stainless Steel
Interviewee (Company Rep) Name & Position: Nguyen Bich Ngoc – HR Manager
We founded Midway Metals Vietnam in 2005 and are proud to have grown this amazing company from modest beginnings to being a global leader in stainless steel manufacturing.
When we set up this company we realised there was a niche market that we could tap into. We wanted to recapture the production values, quality and consistency that we saw had been lacking in stainless steel production. Setting up the business in Vietnam has made this ambition a reality, far exceeding our expectations in terms of stability, cost effectiveness, geographical advantage and the willingness to embrace our vision.
We have a long history in the stainless industry through our partner Midway Metals Australia. Long-time clients of Midway Metals back in Australia and new clients around the world have trusted us to establish a manufacturing facility where they can place orders offshore but feel as comfortable as if we were located right next door.
We look forward to the chance to share more about our operations and our vision to be at the top of our industry for quality, price and service worldwide.
The Midway Group employs over 500 people in 4 countries throughout the Asia Pacific Region and exports to customers all over the world.
In Vietnam, we are having 120 and will be added up to 125 by the end of 2016.
Midway Metals Vietnam was established to fill a global need for stainless steel products produced to the highest standards and finest finishes. We are recognised as an international leader in the manufacture of marine and non-marine stainless steel products.
We deliver quality without compromise and constantly strive for accuracy, consistency and authenticity in all aspects of our work.
Our work is our passion and we are committed to achieving the best price and to ensuring that dealing with us is a rewarding experience.
We understand that equal opportunity, fairness and a commitment to our staff is a crucial factor in the quality we achieve. Our team is built around a collective spirit and we believe that we are all only as good as our last job and as strong as our weakest link.
Our folks are mostly from the local area of Phu Ly and they come from all ages and backgrounds. Most are university and trade school graduates and they work hard to provide for themselves and their families.
We sponsor regular internal training in leadership, English language and trade skills. External trainers are often brought in to add their expertise. We send our key staff to attend events in Vietnam and overseas to ensure their perspectives are broadened and their skills remain competitive.
Midway provides livelihoods that both reward our employees and increase our position as a good corporate citizen of Vietnam. Our staff understand that they are each a key part of something bigger than themselves. The end result is that our staff stay with us, continue to grow and provide great value for money, skills and dedication.
1. Can do attitude
2. Willing to learn & take challenges.
3. International thinking & awareness.
Our products are exported worldwide with international clients so We think International Alumni will be the perfect source for us to find the right candidate.
Whether it’s a lifelong career in sales and business development, or a short term stint working retail whilst at university, many of us at some point in our lives find ourselves taking on a role that requires us to sell something.
It could be products in store, memberships over the phone or an experience online. Tangible or non-tangible – any business with a product or service to share, needs people to influence and inform others of the benefits they can gain.
In fact, there are few who truly love the art of selling – they are the hunters who thrive on the adrenalin of winning. They have the natural instincts, adaptability and willingness to go to great lengths to secure the sale. They are personable, knowledgeable and charismatic – they are born to sell.
But even those of you to which selling makes you feel slightly uncomfortable, I guarantee you, working in sales at least one time in your life will benefit your entire life and career in ways you never imagined.
Sales usually requires the seller (you) to approach the client and take the lead. It’s the salesperson who navigates the journey and this requires the confidence to start the process and follow it through.
Self-confidence is an essential ingredient in your career and will help you when you need to make a presentation at work, or wish to speak up in a meeting.
The very first step of sales, before you even start discussing what it is you’re wanting to sell, is building a relationship. Starting a conversation, finding common ground, making a joke – building rapport is the foundation to a successful sale. You’re gaining trust and building an alliance.
This valuable skill translates to so many real life experiences from attending a job interview to meeting new work colleagues, being able to quickly and sincerely build relationships with people will be a lifelong asset.
A true salesperson will always take time to listen to the client first. If we don’t know what their needs are, it makes it harder to sell our product. Asking open ended questions and really listening to what they want will make it easier to match them with the right product or services.
Listening is an often forgotten skill when it comes to all interactions in the workplace and beyond. When people feel heard they are happier, more productive and more willing to listen in return.
The next step from listening is to figure out and understand what the client needs and how you can fill the gap. If your client wants a green tractor, don’t try and sell them a red sports car.
In business and life, the same principles stand. Are you a Manager? Find out what your team need from you, don’t assume. Is your neighbor angry? There’s no point trimming back your garden if the real issue is the loud music coming from your house. Identifying people’s needs leads to quicker, more effective solutions.
Let’s face it, the key to sales really comes down to being able to convince someone that they need what you are offering.
Learning the art of persuasion through language, non-verbal cues, eye contact and body language will leave you with the ability to influence and persuade others in all aspects of life, and all with a smile on your face!
A great salesperson must feel comfortable asking for the sale, coming right out and saying ‘so how would you like to pay for that?’
The confidence to say exactly what you want and how you want it (and perhaps more importantly, knowing when to say it) will see you moving forward in life. Deserve that promotion? You’ll know exactly how to ask for it!
Your career in Sales, no matter how short or lengthy, may not be your favourite job but when you look back at all you have learnt and the impression it has had on your career, I’m sure you’ll agree on its lasting impact and value.
So you’ve invested the big bucks, worked like crazy, studied to the point of dreaming about IELTS test questions and taken the plunge to study abroad.
Sure, it’s a great experience but challenging in more ways than you ever expected – new school, new friends, language differences, cultural confusion, studying and working consumes your life but at the end you walk away with the prize – an international qualification.
Unless you’re planning to be a career academic, the qualification is just another step on your journey towards the career of your dreams.
So what does it mean exactly? What does your qualification say to employers?
So it’s not just a piece of paper; it’s a symbol of all of your experiences along your international student journey. It’s not just grades and exam results; it’s real, character building, personality shaping stuff. And whilst your qualification might be the gateway to your next job, it’s the other non-tangible things that will prove why your employer values you most.
KATE HARDEN is the Co-Founder and CEO of International Alumni Job Network. With over 10 years experience in Human Resources in the for profit and non-profit sectors, Kate has achieved success through her contemporary style and business acumen across the Asia Pacific Region.
“Choose a job you love, and you will never have to work a day in your life.”
You know that feeling of falling in love? Where every moment of time you can spare, you want nothing more than to spend it with the object of your affection. Where you walk around in a bubble of happiness and find your mind wandering often – thinking about future possibilities.
We follow the same patterns when we truly love our work. We spend extra hours in the office, because we care about our work and enjoy building successes. Our positivity oozes out of us with every client and colleague interaction. We constantly find ourselves thinking about our work and dreaming up innovative new ideas.
When you love what you do, that’s when the magic happens.
It doesn’t mean that you’ll never have a rough day, be overloaded with work or feel the pressure of a looming deadline – but it means that when the going gets tough, your ultimate love for your work will keep you strong and focused. Like a relationship, you know that you have to ride the storm out in order to enjoy your job at its brilliant best.
To your boss, your passion is likely your most valued attribute. In circumstances where your skills may be lacking or your experience insufficient, they’ll have faith that your enthusiasm for what you do will see you work hard to improve. They know that your positivity is contagious and contributes towards workplace culture. As they see you grow, they’ll open doors for you.
So long as you’re equally committed to learning new things, your passion will help you build your career and drive your success.
Author Stephen C. Lundin, when talking about work / life balance once said ‘work is not separate to life, work is part of life, it’s all life’. When work is such a big, time consuming part of our lives we can’t afford to not be happy. Love what you do and do what you love and you’ll be rewarded with a successful career and even more importantly; a happy life.
Tens of thousands of young Vietnamese head abroad every year to pursue university studies in foreign countries. There are more than 30,000 Vietnamese students in the US at any one time, even more in Australia. The UK and other ASEAN countries such as Singapore are also popular destinations for Vietnamese students.
The impact of this generation of Vietnamese educated internationally is having a significant impact on the local labor market, and on the students themselves. Positions at multi-national companies that once would have been filled by expatriate employees and now more often than not staffed by internationally-educated, bi-lingual locals at a fraction of the cost.
While that education can certainly open up opportunities, it also comes with its challenges. That exposure to different ways of thinking can cause some frustration when they return. I was recently speaking with an acquaintance who studied at an Australian university, who was chaffing at the behavior of some of her colleagues and their more traditional mindset. It seems an international education has many advantages, but in some ways it can be isolating.
It was just this kind of scenario that brought about the creation of the International Alumni Job Network (IAJN), which was recently officially launched in Vietnam and now has a presence in 15 countries across Asia. Founded by Australian pair Shane Dillon and Kate Harden, the idea for a network of international alumni came from a chance encounter at a resort on the island of Phu Quoc.
Dillon, who works in the insurance industry, ran into a young graduate at the resort who had returned from studying overseas but was feeling a sense of dislocation and felt he was unable to leverage his education into a suitable job.
“That was the starting point, we thought ‘how can we make a social group and employment group for these guys?’,” he says. “They want to be connected to good jobs and they want to connect with each other because they have become almost third culture.”
The IAJN membership has grown organically in a few months to around 8,000, with up to 200 new registrations per day. They are aiming for 100,000 members by the end of the year.
Harden, who runs the IAJN’s day-to-day operations, says the strength of the concept is backed up by the fact many of their members are working for companies that are looking to recruit local staff with an international education.
“We are finding we have got a lot of buzz in the community in general because [our members] are referring us to their HR managers, or they are the HR manager or the owners of the business,” she says. “There is a really interesting synergy we’ve got with this cycle of education to employment.”
Some of the companies tapping into the IAJN pool of talent include Microsoft, Zalora and Prudential. Companies post their vacancies on the network’s site, or organizations signing up for the premium service can make use of a candidate matching service. There are also plans to begin a series of social events for the alumni, allowing them to connect with those with similar experiences.
DEK Technologies provides high quality software and hardware development services with proven capabilities in all aspects of end-to-end product development.
DEK Technologies is a professional organization that places high value on people and the individual competence that they contribute. People enjoy working with us. They enjoy the team camaraderie, flexibility, opportunities for travel, and feeling part of the company’s success.
With over 300 employee in offices situated in Melbourne Australia, Stockholm Sweden, Rome Italy, and Ho Chi Minh City Vietnam, you too can be a key part of our success.
DEK Technologies Vietnam has 157 employees. (September 2016)
At DEK Technologies Vietnam, our vision is; “To be an employer of choice and show the world the incredible talent of Vietnam”.
We want people to be happy and enjoy working with us. We want to show that Vietnam is a country to be reckoned with as it’s been said to be one of the most attractive countries for software outsourcing. DEK Technologies Vietnam has a great company culture where people belong, trust, develop, and grow together. Therefore, it is important that we have people who strongly believe in our values. We do not believe in hierarchy, it is only when everyone works together as a team that we can achieve the best possible outcomes for ourselves and our customers. We need to follow through, be open and honest, and appreciate that learning and improving is a never ending endeavor.
We have an open and honest culture where people are valued, treated fairly, trusted and empowered.
We have a friendly and supportive environment showing that our organization is focused on our staff.
We also have sport and music clubs along with annual trips for the staff and great working facilities.
– Opportunities for short and long-term training/work overseas
– Working with projects that span multiple countries and time zones
– Developing technologies/features for the future
– Innovations laboratory known as the DEK Lab where employees can create awesome products
– Good attitude, flexible to learn new things with a can-do and proactive mindset
– Strong technical and programming language skills
– Passionate and willing to build a career in a professional and multicultural work environment
We have an environment that promotes empowerment and taking responsibility.
To apply to join the DEK team, visit ia-jn.com