Elite university grads find jobs something of a shock

September 30, 2009

LookAtVietnam – Only the most excellent university graduates are lucky enough to find jobs in their specialties right away. . .  

Only the most excellent university graduates are lucky enough to find jobs

The things one studies in university are just theory, so faced by the reality of the workplace, many new graduates can’t stand the shock.  Aware of this, a few student clubs are organizing job orientation workshops and inviting former classmates to discuss their life in the workforce.  That’s the exception, however, reports VNMedia.  Most new graduates haven’t a clue . . . .


Not as one imagined


They left university lecture halls just a while ago, never imagining that they would be put under such a hard pressure in their future jobs. 


Lan was graduated from the elite Hanoi Economics University with an ‘excellent’ degree, and survived three rounds of competition to land a job as public relations officer for T&A Communications Company.  She was very self-confident when she started the new job, but it has turned out to be not so rosy as she imagined.  Lan must deal with a big volume of work every day though she has no experience in the field. Lan is always in fear that she will not fulfill her tasks.  “I leave my home at 8 am every day and only finish work at 9 pm, nearly exhausted,” she said.


Totally self-confident in her capacity and training when she became the communication officer for Standard Chartered Bank, Linh also has found her first job rough going. She was shocked when told that she, a new graduate of the English faculty of Hanoi University, did not speak English well enough.

“Working in a bank demands a whole new way of thinking. My biggest problem is learning banking and finance jargon,” Linh said. 


Fitting in is the toughest part


Newcomers in the office not only have to have professional qualifications good enough to do the work they are assigned, but also they must be wise enough to win the acceptance by the office ‘community.’ Most new hires experience some bullying – and that’s the principal reason they have trouble fitting in with their new environment.


Giang, a new staffer at NDecor, a decoration service company, once burst into tears because she felt so alone at work. “I would come into the office in the morning and return home late in the evening,” she said wistfully. “No one took any notice of my presence at the company. I wished someone would make a friendly gesture, but everybody seemed totally indifferent to the newcomer.”


Van, hired at Agribank, related that she is not only a market analyst but also a maid. Van has been automatically assigned the job of cleaning chairs and washing tea cups every morning.  “A lot of odd work has been burdening me,” she said. “Meanwhile, everyone thinks that it is my job. They do not need to say thank you when they get a clean cup.”


Besides relations with colleagues, every ‘newcomer’ always must try to establish ‘sweet relations’ with bosses.


Lan, hired by a media company, related that she had problems with the chief every day and she felt that he deliberately ill-treated her. Finally, she decided to give up the job just after her one-month probation time.  “He asked me to rewrite the meeting minutes too many times. I expected some cooperation among colleagues,” Lan said.


Dieu Ngoc’s self-confidence was her downfall.  An ‘excellent’ graduate of the Hanoi Foreign Trade University, Ngoc was not pleased by the unprofessional way her colleagues worked — and she made the mistake of telling them so.  As the result, Ngoc’s work was been left unfinished because the colleagues refused to cooperate.  Ngoc quit the job after only three months.


Jumping from job to job


A lot of new graduates take jobs for which they have not trained fields and are quickly disappointed.


Linh decided not to become an interpreter, the job she thought was really boring, even though she’d majored in English interpretation at the Journalism and Communication Academy.  Instead, she decided to take a job as a public communications officer.  A month later, she gave it up – “it was too hard.” Then Linh took work as a secretary, but she stayed at the new office for only two weeks, because she was expected to spend her time running small errands for other company staff.


Every new graduate cherishes dreams of earning lots of money. Many regularly ‘hop’ from one job to the next in search of more attractive salaries.


Hoa earned a degree in Korean language studies.  Though she was earning $350 per month at a South Korean software company, she’s quit that job.  Hoa believes that nowadays, when more and more South Korean investors come to do business in Vietnam, she will find better jobs with higher pay. “One of my classmates has a sales job that pays her more than $400, not to mention kickbacks.  Others are working as interpreters, making an easy $500.” It is still unclear how many jobs Hoa will try before she gets a job that’s good enough for her.




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