Alumni Profile: Quynh Tran
Digital Learning Specialist, Aalto University Executive Education
Quynh Tran has Master's degree in Information and Knowledge Management. As a learning provider she utilizes both her technical knowledge and her soft skills to help people grow and develop.
The first step towards success is to define what you want to do.
Tell us a little bit about yourself. Who are you? What subjects did you study? And when?
My name is Quynh Tran, I was born and raised in Hanoi, Vietnam. I arrived in Finland to start my university life right after graduating from high school in my home country. Now, 11 years afterwards, I am still in Finland living in my second home.
Back in 2010, I began my Bachelor’s degree in International Business in the city of Lahti. Then in 2015, I continued with my Master’s degree in Information and Knowledge Management at Åbo Akademi University in Turku. Since graduating in early 2018, I have been working in Tampere and now in Helsinki. I would say that I have a fair share of commuting and experiences of living in many parts of Finland!
What made you choose Finland and Åbo Akademi University when there are so many other great countries and universities in the world?
When I was 15, I thought and dreamt of studying abroad and experiencing living somewhere new – somewhere outside of my comfort zone. Compared to many other English-speaking countries, Finland was indeed not in my comfort zone! Having a big curious mindset and now looking back, I think Finland was the perfect fit to my dream – great educational system, exciting new culture and nature – I don’t regret my choice one bit. I was very lucky to be able to come here!
In 2015, I think that Åbo Akademi University was the first and only university that offered a Master’s degree in Information and Knowledge Management – and again, owing to my curiosity, I was very keen on continuing my study with a new topic.
Where have your studies taken you? What are you working with now and how did you get there?
Interested in technology, innovation and knowledge management, I gradually grew my passion in finding ways and solutions to understand information, through experience and education. I’m also very interested in arts and design, as I practice graphic design and video editing as my hobby. I found myself beginning my career as a Distance Learning Intern while still in university, and developing skills enabling me to become a Digital Learning Specialist at Aalto University Executive Education.
What does it mean to be a Digital Learning Specialist?
It’s a great feeling knowing that you are able to do something meaningful – and I feel it every day. It’s an exciting time to be a learning provider as technologies keep developing, many things are changing and evolving in how we learn. As a Digital Learning Specialist, I combine communication and andragogy skills with web-based tools and multimedia to create learning content to deliver impacts for the ever-growing learning journey. I specialize in video-based learning so the creativity takes me to a new design for each project. To me, it is a very rewarding job – I help people grow and develop in their own path and with this, I take my technical knowledge and soft skills into use effectively. Creative, innovative, leadership, problem-solving, interaction skills – among many things. And continuous learning and development is the key!
Many international talents struggle to find qualified work in Finland, but you have succeeded. Was it hard for you and do you have a message to other job-seekers?
Yes, it was hard for me! But, to be fair, it was hard due to my own mindset. I didn’t vision a concrete picture of what I wanted yet, and I tried many things instead of focusing on doing one thing properly. Then I decided to sharpen my design and communication skills, and essentially, to change my mindset.
Thus, I think that the first step towards success is to define what you want to do. Don’t let yourself be intimidated by not having a lot of experience when looking for a job. Take up any courses, develop your skills, build your confidence and view that as your experience working for yourself.
How do you remember your time at Åbo Akademi? Is there any special memory you would like to share with us?
Our class was quite small, and I remember one time when we had a fruitful discussion about the difference between information and knowledge and how to manage them. The interesting thing about this topic is, there is no wrong or right answer, but open discussion adds up to our perception and mindset. The instructor was great facilitating the discussion, and it would have been a never-ending one, had time allowed.
I started my career quite early while pursuing my Master’s degree, during my first year already. I think that Åbo Akademi University was very flexible in enabling me a chance to apply what I had learnt to the working place.
Do you have a message for today’s students?
Stay curious and be bold! Stay curious always to develop yourself in certain skills and to build up confidence and believe in yourself. Be bold to take up any chance, opportunity and even risk coming out of your comfort zone to improve. If you don’t step forward, you’ll always be in the same place!