Before Mai came to Norwich she was working as a department manager for Vietnam Communications Corporation, running a national children's website in her home country of Vietnam. But in January 2011, she decided to uproot and move to Norwich to study the one year full-time MBA at the business school at UEA, and we asked her why she decided to do that, what brought her to Norwich in particular and what she hoped to do next?
‘Yes it is true that I had a good job at home in Vietnam, and I enjoyed working on the http://socnhi.com website which was a successful project for me. At the same time I wanted to extend my background in IT and get some more business skills on my CV. I looked around at business courses and MBAs in particular and decided that the UEA MBA was a good option for me.'
‘Two things caught my attention about the course – a lot of the MBAs I had seen had September starts but Norwich Business School's MBA started in January which actually suited me much better with finishing my job in Vietnam. At the same time, I could see how the consultancy projects would give me practical experience of business management – exactly the skills I was looking to build on.'
‘When I finish the course, I hope I will have increased my skills enough to get some work in Europe somewhere. I know I wouldn't even be thinking of this without studying an MBA first – the course has given me a lot of experience and more confidence about my business skills.'
‘Lots of the things I hoped for before I came to Norwich have really happened to me. I liked working on the consultancy projects and a few of the other modules such as Entrepreneurship were very enjoyable for me too. The teaching style here is very different to what I am used to in Asia. Most of the lecturers here have a very active style and everyone is invited to speak up and participate to the group in some way.'
‘We've been working in teams of four for the consultancy projects and although I have learned a lot from Terry's lectures [Terry Kendrick, the Course Director and lecturer for the Management Consultancy Skills Module], I have also got a lot from the other people in my teams. In one of my consultancy projects, I was lucky enough to be with people who have lots of work experience. In such a small team you have close working relationships, you get to know each other very well and you can learn a lot from your friends.'
‘There's also a lot of variety within the groups. I really enjoyed the teamwork in another assignment when we were working in larger teams. When we looked at ourselves, we saw that the 11 of us came from 10 different countries! That kind of cultural diversity makes group work great fun and of course there's a lot to be learned about everyone's background and their lives before coming to Norwich.'
‘There is quite a focus on teamwork in this MBA and I think it adds a lot to the course. In fact, when I look back, I think I made a very good decision to come to the Norwich Business School and to study the full-time MBA here. I've enjoyed the course and I'm satisfied I made the right choice for me.'
Mai Vu now works in London as a Product Manager for Bossa Studios on an online social game: Monstermind. The game recently won a BAFTA™ 2012 award for the best online browser game.