Ladies and Gentlemen: let me introduce you to our new brand ambassador; her name is Le Xuan Nguyen, she has asked us to call her Swan, because of the problems with people pronouncing her name and it is much easier to remember. She is originally from Hanoi, capital of Vietnam, very far and very tropical. She is a freshmen from IB16.
Q: How long have you lived in Kouvola?
Swan: It’s been around 5 months since I moved here.
Q: What made you choose this field of study? And why Kouvola?
Swan: International Business seemed to me as a new concept back then when I was a sophomore back in my previous university, French Department and I kept having a feeling that this wasn’t what I wanted to do, I wanted something more open. I’m that kind of kinaesthetic person. I love coordinating events, I’ve done basically all annual events for my department. I want to work with different people to work on new ideas that can be recognized later on as something to motivate other people. That’s why I chose International Business. So, I was finding a way out, which my parents weren’t happy about it since I dropped out, and I have this guy best friend, he’s like my twin. He was recommending me that I should go to Finland, it could be a perfect escape. So, I applied. At first, I wasn’t thinking of anywhere specific, as long as it’s Finland. But then I removed my first choice, and Kyamk, now is Xamk became my first choice. Then I got in. I started looking for information about the school, I saw great photos of other Vietnamese students around the school, the antique-looking red brick wall with all this amazing creeper, and Paja and computer labs, etc. I was so excited and I knew by then I will love this place.
Q: What are your future plans/goals?
Swan: Well of course to pass all courses and graduate. I want to join a non-government organization, or it could be a Marketing company, anything that can help me help other people, inspire them to do everything that they wanted to. I want to be a free entrepreneur like Tony Tavi, he is one of the example for people to look up to, I learnt a lot when I was working on a project about him and his projects. Honestly, I am still trying to figure out how he can handle so many things and still be efficient for each project.
Q: If you could describe our campus briefly, how would you describe it?
Swan: To me, it’s cosy, very cosy, and very friendly. People say hi to each other everywhere even though we don’t know each other. The facilities are amazing, we have AMICA restaurant and Paja too, so the students have various choices of where to go for lunch. The teachers are so dedicating, they listen and help with all problems, the staff is very friendly. I mean I couldn’t ask for more.
Q: What are the key responsibilities of a brand ambassador?
Swan: In my opinion, the key responsibilities are to help boost the brand name, not only by posting the good things that everyone can see but also the things that the ambassadors themselves see in the brand. Furthermore, the ambassador embodies the brand, they create the recognition, influence for the brand on people so that it can attract potential customers.
Q: Do you prefer to work independently or in a team?
Swan: It depends. I would love to work in a team, I mean the more, the merrier. I don’t think anyone can be successful by their own, they need help to improve and complete themselves. Personally, I think team-work is very crucial, when you have a lot of people around, you have more ideas, more choices, more solutions. Of course, there are tasks that should be done by oneself. If you’re too dependent on others, then you should probably give the task to that person and let them have the credit. Working individually forces me to work harder, it requires a lot more time but in the end, I learn a lot too.
Q: Have you had any formal training in brand management or marketing?
Swan: No, I haven’t. This is the first time. Before I joined the brand ambassador for IB program in XAMK, I was only a spokeswoman in some ceremonies, or a host or a performer back in my previous university. I wish I had some training so I could be better.
Q: What aspect of being a brand ambassador makes you the happiest?
Swan: The best part is to know people more and to know more people, I want to learn from people, how they manage to become an expert in their field. When I know people more, I also know more about the place. Like XAMK, after 5 months of living and studying here, I get to know a lot of new friends, friends from different parts of the world, I learnt about the culture here and I got used to it. And I think it’s beneficial for me as an ambassador too.
Q: What are the downsides of being a brand ambassador?
Swan: I think the negative side for being a brand ambassador is when you must talk about something you don’t like but you don’t know if someone else does. For example, if an ambassador must talk about a product that they never use and don’t like, they would still have to promote it as it’s part of their job. Or another downside is when you get bad feedback, it can affect the person psychologically in a bad way, either that person accepts it and let it damage them or turns it into something that will help them to get better. It’s always hard to be brought down by people’s prejudice, you might be telling the truth but people will just think that you are lying and get paid for it.
Q: How would you market this to students on social media? What online tools do you use, and which are the most effective?
Swan: I post everyday on Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat and Twitter. If there’s any news, I would go there and look for information so I can share it online with the students, and I don’t share it all on just Facebook or Instagram or Twitter or Snapchat. I post different things on each social media channel so that people would be more active like me too. And for the most effective one, definitely Facebook, I mean everybody uses Facebook, you can see all images, videos or live videos on Facebook, you can share anything with people.
Q: Describe yourself in 4 words
Swan: Humble, hard-working, open-minded and committed.
Q: Do you have a support team that you can turn to when facing problems/difficulties while representing this brand?
Swan: Yes. I have my family, my boyfriend, my friends here is XAMK. Basically, everyone I have. I am not an expert on words and how to formulate them perfectly nor I have experience in being an ambassador, so I need their opinions on everything, I need them to see my job as from the aspect of a customer, should I do this or not. I search through their honest thoughts to improve myself but without having too many opinions influence me.
Q: Would you recommend this to others? Why yes/no?
Swan: Of course, I recommend. Being a brand ambassador is completely something which made me step out of my comfort zone and think outside the box. It’s really fun, you get to know about more things, you need to cooperate with people in order to finalize a post on Facebook or promoting a product, etc. It’s fun and it requires a lot of enthusiasm, I think that this job is so ideal for everyone, introvert people can become more active, more outgoing. This could be something that can change a whole person, especially if you get to know the brand and you get along with it, it becomes easier for you to represent it too.
You can follow Swan’s journey as a brand ambassador through her social media accounts;
Instagram: bongggggggggggg (12 g’s, I counted)
Facebook: Bông Nguyễn (Swan)