Global Retail Engagement Product Lead, Google
Alumna, RMIT University Vietnam
Chi Vu’s career has taken her from Vietnam to Singapore to the US, working for some of the world’s largest multinational companies. Chi credits her Australian education with kickstarting her successful marketing career and giving her the confidence to take professional risks.
When I was young, I didn't know what I wanted to be when I grew up. I thought about becoming a lawyer, a fashion designer or perhaps running my own business. My parents are both businesspeople. My mum works in engineering and my dad has his own company, and they suggested I go to business school. I decided to give it a try and enrolled in a Bachelor of Commerce at RMIT University Vietnam.
Studying at the campus in Hanoi, where I was born and raised, meant I could enjoy a western education while staying close to my parents. At RMIT, I was encouraged to question and challenge what I was taught, to 'think outside the box' and be creative. The approach was very different to the structured way I'd been taught in school, and it really helped to build my confidence.
We did a lot of group assignments as part of the course, which aren't as common in Vietnamese universities. I learnt to adapt to working with different types of people, which proved to be very good training for the workplace, where so much of what you do is collaborative. I also did an internship with HSBC, where I could apply my skills in a real-world setting and prepare myself for graduate employment.
Studying at RMIT really shaped the way I think and inspired me to pursue a career in business. I ended up doing very well academically and was selected for Unilever's competitive Management Trainee program, which recruits top students from universities all over Vietnam.
This program facilitated my entry into the business world and helped me figure out where I wanted to work. I had the opportunity to do rotations in lots of different areas of the business, including finance and supply chain management, before eventually finding my passion: marketing. I was promoted to Brand Manager and, soon after, I moved to the Singapore office to take up a position as Regional Brand Manager. It was such a thrill to move abroad and continue to grow my career.
After six years at Unilever, I was offered a dream role at Google. It took three separate job applications and a whopping 21 interviews before I was successful, and I've been with the company ever since, working in a variety of marketing and sales positions.
Google really believes in knowledge transfer and unique thinking, so when one of the US offices invited me to apply for an open position, I took a leap of faith. Now I live in New York City, working as a Global Retail Product Engagement Lead.
It's a niche role that focuses on marketing products like Google's Pixel phones and smart speakers. I work with our engineering and product management teams to create demonstration products so customers can have the best experiences of our products in a retail setting.
I've been lucky to enjoy a successful marketing career in three countries – so far! – and I really believe my experience studying at RMIT, which built my personal and academic confidence, helped me get to where I am today.