Trang Tran Overcoming Challenges and Developing her Career
“The first thing that I learned by joining Wittenborg was how to be self-sufficient and take care of myself. Before moving to the Netherlands, I was living with my parents and they took care of everything. Living by yourself can be quite difficult at first, but eventually I overcame this challenge,” says graduate Trang Tran, who recently completed an MBA degree in Finance.
After working for several years as an accountant in Vietnam, Tran decided that it was time to invest in self-development and step up her career by studying for a higher degree abroad. Among other reasons, she chose Wittenborg because the school’s flexible entry dates were a considerable advantage in comparison to other institutions.
In the graduate’s view, pursuing her programme enabled her to become more independent from a personal and professional point of view. “At Wittenborg, I learned how to self-study, and I developed research skills that have been useful even in my personal life. No matter what kind of issues I face, I now know how to approach them in a logical way and solve them.”
Tran’s journey, however, was not one without challenges. During the COVID-19 pandemic, she lost all of her part-time jobs, which caused her to experience significant financial difficulties. “I was working various jobs in restaurants and hotels, to be able to support myself. But when I lost all of my jobs during the pandemic, I did not have money to pay for my housing and food, and I had to borrow five thousand euros to cover my expenses. I was very distraught and I thought about giving up everything and moving back to Vietnam, to my parents’ home. Fortunately, I had a very nice and understanding landlord who helped me. He encouraged me by saying that I could not give up and that, if I managed to deal with these difficulties, life would reward me later,” she says.
The graduate highlights that the support she received from Wittenborg’s lecturers was also crucial for her success. “I really miss my professors, especially Dr Muhammad Ashfaq and Dr Dadi Chen. They helped me a lot when I was working on my proposal and also when I was writing my thesis. That was a really difficult time, but I am happy I managed to complete my thesis.”
Finding New Paths
While pursuing her programme, Tran had the opportunity to do an internship at Signify, in an accounting role. According to her, this experience was essential for opening up new paths. “I got that position because I knew a Vietnamese lady who worked at Signify and she referred me to it. By doing an internship, I developed important skills such as working with people of different nationalities and how to adapt to Dutch working culture. In addition to that, I started finding other jobs and receiving new offers. So, this experience at Signify was fundamental for me. It improved my professional network and helped me find other opportunities afterwards.”
At the end of 2021, right after graduating, Tran got five job offers – out of which three were from Dutch companies and two were from Vietnamese businesses – in the fields of finance and accounting. Since April, she has been working as a finance officer for an Amsterdam-based company. In this position, she is responsible for tasks related to invoicing, accounts receivable and payable and administrative reports, among others.
“I feel that the problem-solving skills that I was able to develop at Wittenborg have been very useful in this job. That, in my opinion, is a really important competency to have,” she points out.
Regarding her plans for the future, Tran says that she would like to sign a permanent contract with her current employer so that she can stay in the Netherlands. Moreover, she plans to join one of the courses offered by the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA) in order to become a certified accountant.
Asked about what advice she would give to current students, the graduate encourages them to work on their ability to be resilient. “Whenever you face any problems, you should not give up. You need to practise resilience every day, otherwise you cannot achieve anything great – it just will not happen.”