Alumni Alumni Stories The Power of Soft Skills: Key to Career Excellence

The Power of Soft Skills: Key to Career Excellence

The Power of Soft Skills: Key to Career Excellence

"The soft skills I acquired during the course have been invaluable assets throughout my career path." This is the story of Huy Tran and how the skills he learned at JCU have helped him in his career.

Huy Tran

Which course and year were you enrolled in James Cook University?
I enrolled in the Master of Business Administration course (majoring in Marketing) from 2010 to 2011.

Why did you choose James Cook University in Singapore over other universities?
After thorough research, I found James Cook University, Singapore which was a globally recognised education institution, just around 2-hour flight from my hometown (Ho Chi Minh City). I also liked its dynamic and multicultural studying environment, as well as its wide range of up-to-date subjects that are relevant in today’s global economy.

What got you interested in the course you chose?
I was drawn to the wide range of advanced knowledge in all aspects of today’s business world, including core courses such as Leadership, Corporate Strategy, Entrepreneurship, Finance and Marketing. Also, the trimester system made it possible for me to finish the course within just one year rather than one-and-a-half years.

How was your course or the experience you had in James Cook University relevant to your current career and role?
What I appreciated the most about the MBA course is the multicultural experience during assignments and project work. It equipped me with an open and flexible mindset, which helped me to quickly catch up and be successful in any multinational working environment.

Additionally, the soft skills I acquired during the course have been my invaluable assets throughout my career path. Time management, project management, problem-solving, critical thinking, strategic planning, team management… you name it, I got it. Thanks to all these skills, I was able to shine in the workplace and steadily grew from an executive to supervisor, manager, and into directorial positions at major companies.

Can you share more with us on your job and how you overcame the challenges you faced?
After graduating in 2011, I came back to Vietnam and joined a renowned electronics company as a Retail Executive. Over the span of nine years, I played a pivotal role in growing the team from two to over 30 members. This team was responsible for various aspects including retail marketing, operations, and sales management across 24 stores nationwide. Our collective efforts were acknowledged through numerous awards. However, desiring to steer my career trajectory towards e-commerce, I decided to transition to a different company in 2020, assuming the role of Head of E-commerce.

Every company faces unique operational challenges. As a Head of E-commerce, I managed a vast array of products. A significant issue that I faced was the prolonged processing time for online orders, causing frustration among customers. With the help of team members who provided useful insights, I proposed solutions addressing the issues, which were subsequently approved by the Board and swiftly executed. Within a month, we managed to slash order processing time by 80%, ensuring timely delivery to customers regardless of the season. This accomplishment stood out as a significant success for me and my team.

After leaving my previous position, I transitioned into a freelance e-commerce consultant role, aiming for greater schedule flexibility and increased family time. I engaged with numerous multinational and domestic enterprises to evaluate, revamp, and enhance their omnichannel retail strategies in Vietnam. Amongst my clientele are prominent brands in sectors such as technology, fashion, and consumer goods. Presently, I operate remotely from the United States (US), focusing on a peer-to-peer marketplace initiative tailored for the US market.

Were there any inspirational lecturers who left a personal touch during your course of studies?
Many lecturers left great impressions on me during the course, thanks to their professional attitude and extensive knowledge. However, the one I admire the most is Mr Charles Tee, who was my professor for two courses – Brand Management and Global Marketing. He provided us with not only valuable insights of the business world but also fundamental skills necessary at every milestone of our career paths. Until now, we still keep a good connection and I sometimes even ask him for career advice.

What would your advice be to students who want to pursue a similar course or career path?
Make the most of every lecture, homework, research, assignment, etc. Put in all your effort and harvest as much knowledge as possible. Utilise all academic and volunteer activities to sharpen your mindset and skills. All of these will be your unique selling points throughout your career path.

Enjoy every moment of your student life because you are going to miss it very soon. Go outside the classroom, dive into all the best experiences that Singapore can offer with your classmates and remember to capture those memories.

Finally, imagine the person you want to become in the next 10 years, the specific goals you want to achieve (both professional and personal), then put them into a vision board and stick it on your room’s door. Every morning before going out, quickly go through the board and think about the little steps you can take each day to achieve those amazing goals. Always remember that success is the sum of small efforts, repeated day in and day out! Good luck with your endeavours!