Passionate, decisive and action-oriented; those are the best words to describe Hang Do, our Delivery Manager at GOInternational Finland. Despite having been in the company for just over a year, she has grown rapidly among us by proving herself with multiple professional skills. Today, we have her here at our office in the heart of Helsinki to share intriguing thoughts on her career development in GOI Finland as a Delivery Manager.
‘ I always see new challenges or responsibilities as opportunities for learning and improving. That is the reason why I never mind taking them.’ – Hang Do
You have been in our GOI Finland team for a year; can you share with us some of the skills you’ve gained during your work?
I started working for GOI Finland in November 2018 as an intern for five months. Working at GOI Finland has helped to reinforce my skills including sales, project management and planning, problem-solving, delegation and time management, leadership, etc.
The following are what I believe to be the most critical skills that I have had opportunities to develop professionally.
B2B and B2G sales skill in different business cultures. This is fascinating for me as our company has a wide range of international business networks. We work with clients and partners in Finland, Sweden, Denmark, Italy, France, Germany, Israel, India, Nepal, Indonesia, Pakistan and Vietnam.
Planning, leading and delivering projects. At GOI Finland, we work on real-time cases and gain hand-on experience. Therefore, to plan the project, set KPIs, coordinate with stakeholders, lead the team and get things done in an efficient and professional manner are inevitable competences required of my role.
Networking. As the nature of our work, we do a lot of networking at events and on e-platforms such as social media channels, forums and professional websites. I have had chances to gain more experience in networking, how to present myself on behalf of our company when talking with people or our prospects. Through events, I have networked with many people from different firms in different sectors, through which we obtain potential leads, and many of them are currently our clients.
Communication and negotiation. It was hard at first when I started the job. As I had been at home earlier, I was not assertive in communicating and negotiating. I have gained confidence after working here for a while, after understanding more about our company and what we are doing, I can start talking confidently with clients about our company, projects. We have quite lots of meetings and I have learnt gazillions of negotiation skill from our CEO.
Recruiting and Training. In my past career in Vietnam, I also took care of recruiting and training new staff. At GOI Finland, sometimes I am in charge of recruiting and interviewing new people for our company, giving assessment and making the final round together with our CEO. As an employee representing a company, believing in our company’s values is very important to effectively convey your message to new hires, help them possess the same trust and confidence in our company’s visions, missions and approaches, thus motivating them to work and devote.
Being in different roles in the company have given me opportunities to develop my professional skills and strengthen my knowledge. For example, sales, marketing, PR, HR, finance, budgeting, funding application, contract/ work template management, etc.
I can clearly see that you obtain stacks of professional skills. So which projects are you working on and what is your motivation for conceiving successful projects?
At present, we are boosting the presence of Finnish education in Vietnam and Nepal. In August 2019, we successfully organized a launch event in Hanoi to present a gamified digital learning platform for mathematics to Vietnamese schools. It attracted attention from schools, teachers, students and parents. Gamification in learning is not new, however, the 12-year research by Turku university has resulted in the best AI gamified learning platform for teachers and students, which has been scientifically proven to have significant impacts on learning and teaching.
We have also developed a pedagogical training package in partnering with Finland University (a consortium of four biggest universities in Finland namely University of Eastern Finland, Tampere University, University of Turku, and Äbo Akademi University). All of these universities are in the top 2% of global university rankings. With this, we are hoping to give teachers in our target markets opportunities to adopt new education philosophy to their current ones. It took the Finnish education system tens of years to be as it is nowadays. It costs reforms, innovation, and adaptation for the Finnish education system to become one of the best. Every culture has its own belief in education; however, we would like to introduce the Finnish education system, which is known as one of the best in the world, with the hope to bring impacts. It does not mean that the local teachers need to copy exactly what Finland has, but learning and adopting can help save time and money while making progress. Changing the whole system in developing countries is not easy, but if we start from changing step by step, I believe that very soon we will see the results.
In addition, I am also working on smart city projects with Indian and Finnish partners. We are constantly looking for companies with innovative solutions and help them grow globally.
My mission is to create values to our clients, to do business with impacts. That’s why The motivation for me to conceive a successful projects is that it aligns with my core values, my goals and missions. And I am happy that what I am doing support it.
As a manager, you probably have to take on additional responsibilities or challenges. How do you successfully meet all of the demands of these responsibilities?
I always see new challenges or responsibilities as opportunities for learning and improving. That is the reason why I never mind taking them.
New role means additional responsibilities. As the Delivery Manager, I have to make sure that all tasks are delivered efficiently and with high quality. I have to make sure that not only my tasks but those of our team members are delivered with the same expectation. Task prioritization is very important. I often start my day or sometimes the end of the previous day by writing a task list that need to be done. Even if my tasks seemed unattainable, I would buckle down and figure out the best approach to completing the tasks. I make a plan of action for them, mindmapping on my notebook 🙂 I highlight the tasks from most important to least, and then I begin working on the most important task. If possible, I could also delegate tasks to other capable team members. Not only does this help me to manage my tasks and not miss out any important events, but our team members also feel involved in the projects.
How do you prepare for the new position as the Delivery Manager? What is your plan to move forward and add value to GOI Finland?
With this new position as Delivery Manager, I have prepared to take more responsibilities, set more important targets and short-term and long-term goals. The most important thing for any business is sales and revenue. I work closely with our CEO to set targets for our company and make specific sales and marketing strategies to reinforce in the markets where we are present and also expand in more potential markets. In the coming time, my target is to create sales channels from education projects in Vietnam in both Northern and Southern areas together with our local partners. I will also open more channels for other education projects including pedagogical training, Finnish curriculum and book development. Beside edutech, I plan to develop a startup coaching project with local startup foundation and more projects in smart cities that we are strong at. That model is scalable in all of our target markets including Vietnam, Nepal, Pakistan, etc. With this plan, we will bring more projects and sales for our company.
In your experience, what is the key to developing a good team?
I have experience as an office manager for many years when I worked in Vietnam. Leading and developing a good team is not difficult when you really put your effort into it. In my experience and principles, to develop a good team, you must first be a good team member as an example. A critical part of this process is also about how to put people into roles and shifts that will allow them to shine, and to avoid putting clashing personalities together. At the same time, individual growth is also very important. I believe that developing a good team requires the following skills:
Communicating plays the most crucial role. It has to be everyday and every way and you have to make sure that communication among team members be clear and specific, be listening as much as speaking. Understanding mindset and culture. Building and leading a team with the culture is very important, especially at GOI Finland we have a very international team. Our team members are from different cultures and we also work with different international partners and clients. Engaging, empowering and enriching. “People support what they create”. Luckily here in our team, we always have real-time projects so that any team member has tasks at hand from the first day they join us. Encouraging creativity and innovation. While maintaining basic principles, we allow our team members the freedom to be creative and innovative. Creating a shared work environment. Sharing is learning from each other and understanding each other. We always try to create a working environment where everybody feels comfortable to share their work concerns, even personal problems, etc. I believe and have seen that such simple care has helped to inspire and motivate our team impressively. Be a good role model. To put it simply, you can’t expect a good team member if you are not a good one. Recognize and reward. When employees and their work are valued, their satisfaction and productivity rise, and they are motivated to maintain or improve their good work. Building trust and respect among team. Warren Buffet says “Trust is like the air we breathe. When it’s present, nobody really notices. But when it’s absent, everybody notices”. Trust can be gained via communication, listening, respect, engagement, encouragement, sharing, recognition and rewards.
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