Alumni Alumni Stories Unveiling the Inspiring Journey of Our Alumna Turned Academia

Unveiling the Inspiring Journey of Our Alumna Turned Academia

Unveiling the Inspiring Journey of Our Alumna Turned Academia

Introducing Nguyen Vuong Hoai Thao (Amy), a graduate of the Master of International Tourism and Hospitality Management program at James Cook University, Singapore. She has since taken on the role of Vice Dean in the Faculty of Tourism and Hospitality Management at one of the universities in Vietnam. Discover her inspiring journey here.


In which course and academic year did you enroll at James Cook University, and what factors influenced your decision to choose this university over others?
I enrolled in the Master of International Tourism and Hospitality Management course in 2015/2016. I opted for JCU in Singapore based on recommendations from friends who informed me about the comprehensive Master's degree programs in Tourism and Hospitality offered by the university. This influenced my choice to pursue my studies at JCU in Singapore

What got you interested in the course you chose?
I took some time to research about JCU, and I was drawn to the vibrant and multicultural learning environment it offers. I liked that the modules in my course were relevant to my career. Also, I was impressed by the JCU lecturers whom I used to work with, they are so friendly, considerate, and passionate. They helped me a lot in my studies. I can say that I did have an amazing time at JCU.

How was your course or the experience you had at James Cook University relevant to your current career and role?
Currently, I work as a lecturer teaching Tourism and Hospitality modules at an international university, where English is commonly used. The majority of the modules are conducted in English. The two years spent studying at JCU significantly contributed to improving my English proficiency and communication skills. Furthermore, the well-structured modules provided by JCU played a crucial role in advancing my knowledge within the field.

Can you share more with us about your job and how did you overcome the challenges you faced?  Following my graduation from JCU, I returned to Vietnam and commenced my employment at the current university. At that point of time, I lacked teaching experience, and due to that, I spent a year-long period as a trainee. Despite the challenge, I diligently worked late hours, enthusiastically undertaking all assigned responsibilities. Fortunately, my commitment led to a promotion, making me the youngest team leader at the time. Most importantly, I never shied away from any tasks assigned and consistently gave my best to complete them. I can confidently affirm my passion for my work and my unwavering dedication to it.

Were there any inspirational lecturers who left a personal impact during your studies?
Dr. Jenny A. Panchal was a significant source of inspiration for me during my studies at JCU, and we've maintained communication since then. I plan to extend an invitation for her to deliver a guest lecture at my university in Vietnam.

As for Dr. Jackie Ong, her kindness and sweetness left a lasting impression on me. I fondly recall her classes where she would bring chocolates and share stories related to our future careers. I'm fortunate to still be in touch with her, as she is currently teaching at a university in Vietnam.

Do you have any advice for students pursuing a similar course or career path?
I believe that no matter what courses the students select, as long as they enjoy their chosen path, set clear objectives, and work hard,  they will eventually attain favourable outcomes and encounter numerous opportunities either for personal or professional growth leading to success.