AIESEC “Developing Leaders” Conference


“Hey, AIESEC!  What’s up?” 🙂   Yesterday, I had the pleasure of participating in a panel discussion that focused on How to Be Successful in Your Career Path at the national AIESEC conference on a chilly morning in Hanoi.  Below are some notes that I promised to post on my blog.

A word about AIESEC…  It’s the world’s largest student-run organization. Active in over 1700 universities across more than 107 countries and territories, its international platform enables young people to explore and develop their leadership potential for them to have a positive impact in society.  AIESEC has chapters in Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City (HCMC). 

Food for Thought

  • The three grand essentials of happiness are: Something to do, someone to love, and something to hope for. (Alexander Chalmers)
  • “Choose a job you love and you will never have to work a day in your life.”  (Confucius)
  • Work is love made visible. (Khalil Gibran)

Career Success

Career success is connected to matching abilities and interests to the task.  Studies have shown that job success is connected to personality traits.  Dr. William Revelle, a Northwestern University (Evanston, IL, USA) professor who specializes in personality research.


How To Choose a Major/Career:  ????

What do you enjoy? (interests)

What are you good at? (abilities)

What do you value/find rewarding?

What are your goals?

Pursuing Money Alone Isn’t Enough to Make You Rich  

Q:  You’ve trained over 500,000 people and written 11 books on the secrets of your success. If you had just one sentence, could you summarise the secret of your success?

A:  I would say “it’s all about loving what you do… and doing the very best you can in that field.

I think everyone can be successful, but they have to discover what they are special at, what they love to do and really focus on improving it every single day.

Adam Khoo, Singaporean entrepreneur, best-selling author and leading motivational speaker

Commencement Speech at Stanford University – Steve Jobs (12 June 2005)

You have to trust in something–your gut, destiny, life, karma, whatever–because believing that the dots will connect down the road will give you the confidence to follow your heart, even when it leads you off the well-worn path, and that will make all the difference.

Video:  How To Live Before You Die

Transcript & Video 


Good luck in making unexpected and fortunate discoveries

Learn to expect the unexpected!


A composer describes those moments when his work is at its best:

You yourself are in an ecstatic state to such a point that you feel as though you almost don’t exist. I’ve experienced this time and again. My hand seems devoid of myself, and I have nothing to do with what is happening. I just sit there watching in a state of awe and wonderment. And it just flows out by itself.


CareerZone New York:  The place to explore careers related to your strengths, skills and talents.

California CareerZone:    A new way to explore exciting jobs and occupations that the Golden State has to offer and to learn about what career path interests you. 

A FB Photo

Dr. Mark A. Ashwill

Managing Director & Founder, Capstone Vietnam

Former Country Director, IIE-Vietnam  



Making a point...


Study Guides & Strategies in English and Vietnamese.

From Baby Superstores to Vietnam – Paving Roads to a Better Life by Jack Tate (part I & II)

Study Guides & Strategies in Vietnam

The Study Guides and Strategies (SGS) website, A public service helping learners to succeed since 1996, is one of the most useful and popular websites around for students and others striving to become better and more efficient learners.  Last year, the site had nearly 18 million “page views” and 8.6 million visitors, a new record.  SGS ranks 57,986 in the world and 15,133 in Vietnam (as of 13.1.11), according to the Traffic Rank.  (There are an estimated 100+ million websites in the world, which places SGS in a very select group indeed – among the top 1%.)

SGS covers a wide range of topics, including

  • Time management
  • Meeting Challenges (e.g., problem solving, finding creative solutions, managing stress)
  • Learning
  • Learning with Others (collaborate/cooperative learning)
  • Studying
  • Classroom Participation
  • Online Learning/Communicating
  • Thinking
  • Reading
  • Research
  • Project Management
  • Test Preparation
Courtesy of Joe Landsberger

Since 1996, SGS has been researched, authored, maintained and supported by Joe Landsberger as an international, learner-centric, educational public service.  Joe has been assisted by volunteers from around the world who have donated countless hours to take the Study Guides across cultural and linguistic boundaries.  SGS currently features 1000 translations in English and 36 other languages, including Vietnamese. 

Six years ago, I contacted Joe about the possibility of developing a Vietnamese language version in an effort to meet the needs of Vietnamese learners.  He readily agreed.  With the assistance of a Vietnamese student intern who had received a Freeman ASSIST grant and under the auspices of the US-Indochina Educational Foundation (USIEF), a non-profit organization I founded in 2000, we proceeded to create a Vietnamese Study Guides and Strategies that has became one of the most frequently visited sections of the SGS site.  Some more relevant facts and figures: 

  • ranks 2nd (11.49%) as a source of traffic to SGS after (41.22%)
  •  Học cách học (learning to learn; Vietnamese), 53.6 million returns, SGS first
  • Topic/time spent on page-minutes:  13.    Vietnamese homepage/1:22
  • Categories:  top 500 webpages (accessed on January 4, 2011):

       194 were in the English learning folders

       57 in the Spanish folder

        50 in the Vietnamese folder

Another indication of the widespread popularity of SGS among Vietnamese young people and other learners in Vietnam is the publication of two books, the first of which incorporates SGS material and another one that is a print version of the Vietnamese section of the site, and for which I wrote the preface.

Dám thay đổi chính mình /Dare to Change Yourself by Nguyễn Đình Sơn (Tomson Nguyễn)

Học Tập Cũng Cần Chiến Lược/Studying Also Requires a Strategy

Happy 15th Year Anniversary, SGS!