NO DREAMER IS EVER TOO SMALL, NO DREAM IS TOO BIG
At the age of ten, I did not have the faintest idea of marketing, Ansoff growth matrix or Boston box. However, I did feel brands such as Coca-Cola, Doublemint or Honda. In my early childhood memory, I still remembered how exciting it was to take part in the promotion campaign of Coca-Cola to win a stylish mountain bike by collecting all six parts of the bike picture printed under Coke bottle caps. As I witnessed the interesting and stimulating ideas about lifestyle these brands spread out, I was deeply impressed with how they inspired people and became part of everyday life. Since that time, I had dreamed to join these colossi and contribute to the development of long lasting brands.
That was of the early twenty-first century when Vietnam was at the dawn of globalization and marketing had its very first step in local business. At that time, entrepreneurs who successfully applied new Western business models in Vietnam such as e-commerce or convenience chain stores made a name for themselves and earned society’s respect. As a young student, I was fascinated by their branding stories. Therefore, I joined Tomorrow Entrepreneur Club, one of the strongest clubs in the university aiming at incubating young student entrepreneurs. During that time, I engaged in various activities from designing leaflet, posters, organizing events for students to partaking in a student business start-up. I decided to trade off my academic achievements of the first three semesters at university against work experience to gain an insight into business, particularly marketing.
Adults could consider these first three semesters as a failure of mine, as my average point at university plummeted from good to above average grade. Compensating for this alarming average point was chances to learn soft skills, a practical life perception and a more proper understanding of marketing. Firstly, via students’ activities, I had valuable opportunities to practice team-work skills, problem solving and critical thinking. Secondly, by doing part-time jobs and implementing our student business plan, I learned two essential lessons of life. The first one was the lesson of time. As Vincent van Gogh once said “Great things are not done by impulse, but by a series of small things brought together”, there were no miracles to build up a successful company in a short period of time. This may sound simple but to fully understand it, I had my first start-up failed. The latter was the lesson of how life went on. Bill Gates made this clear in his speech at MT. Whitney High school in Visalia, California “Life is not fair. Get used to it!” However, it was not until I did my first job that I could catch on life’s “bitter fairness”. Lastly, I met many talented people who shed light on marketing, branding, PR and events and other business operations. Consequently, I finished that period without any money, success or recognition, but I did have a clear view...