Senior Chemical Engineer at Nike Vietnam: ‘I have managed my time better with an MBA’

“Since studying for my MBA, I’ve realized the need to use my time in a more reasonable and effective manner,” shared Mr. Du Nguyen Khoi, Senior Chemical Engineer at Nike Vietnam, during the recent MBA Meetup event in August 2023.

With over 10 years of experience working at Nike Vietnam as a Chemical Engineer, could you share more about what you found most interesting during your journey so far?

“Firstly, it’s worth noting that the footwear industry in Vietnam is quite unique, especially in the domain of Chemical Engineering. Most universities offering this field have remained quite limited. Therefore, obtaining my university degree and entering the workforce was almost synonymous with starting over from scratch.
Similar to the concept of ‘starting from scratch,’ the past 10 years have been a continuous learning experience, far beyond my university education. The most intriguing aspect of my job has been utilizing the knowledge gained and translating it into a language that enables our factory team to execute their tasks. It’s been a challenging yet fascinating process!
Moreover, coming from an engineering background, I wasn’t particularly enthusiastic about communication in the past. However, after becoming a Chemical Engineer at Nike Vietnam, I realized the necessity to express myself more and began focusing on persuasion and communication to align the team towards common goals. This has been a significant personal evolution over the last decade.”
Anh Du Nguyên Khôi, Senior Chemical Engineer, Nike Việt Nam
Mr. Du Nguyen Khoi, Senior Chemical Engineer at Nike Vietnam, participated in the ’24-Hour Self-Management’ themed MBA Meetup program in August 2023.

Having been committed to the same field for many years, what challenges have you encountered throughout your career journey?

I think this is one of the common challenges everyone faces after working for a long time—the struggle to maintain motivation every day. Over the past 10 years, there have been moments when we lose that work drive or our mood fluctuates. Without knowing how to balance these aspects, it can be challenging to stay resilient.
Of course, work comes with both enjoyable and tough times, and various environments add to that mix. However, when we understand ourselves better, we can manage our emotions more effectively. This depends on each person’s level of self-awareness about their emotions. Therefore, in my opinion, finding a balance between pressure, motivation, and setting daily goals is crucial in one’s career journey.
Anh Du Nguyên Khôi, Senior Chemical Engineer, Nike Việt Nam
“If I didn’t know how to balance pressure and motivation, it would have been difficult for me to sustain myself for the past 10 years,” shared Khôi.

So, how have you managed yourself to overcome work pressures?

To better manage myself, I often prioritize time management. Specifically, I have a habit of scheduling my day the night before, based on the importance of tasks. This helps me complete things quickly and move on to other pending work.
After that, I delve into more detailed planning of the tasks at hand. For instance, determining their priority level and understanding deadlines, what needs to be done within that timeframe…
Finally, it’s about becoming more disciplined. Discipline can drive us toward goals where motivation might fall short. Once I set a goal, I strive to stick to each step. Once I’m in that ‘routine,’ I can manage my time both for work and further learning.
I realized after pursuing my MBA that I didn’t have much time to spare. Time is something that once gone, can’t be reclaimed. Therefore, missing deadlines leads to a backlog of tasks and triggers a ‘Domino effect’—something I never want because it affects not only the team but also myself.
Anh Du Nguyên Khôi, Senior Chemical Engineer, Nike Việt Nam
Talking about self-management, Mr. Khoi prioritizes time management because once a work or study deadline is missed, it leads to a ‘Domino effect,’ impacting subsequent tasks.

I heard that currently, you are currently an MBA student at Western Sydney University. How do you manage your time while balancing work and pursuing an MBA?

I’ve had my fair share of juggling numerous tasks and MBA assignments all at once. Typically, I slow down for a moment and consider two factors: priority level and deadlines.
I tend to divide and conquer tasks based on their proximity to deadlines. I handle the ones with the closest deadlines first, followed by high-priority tasks with near deadlines, and lastly, the high-priority tasks with more distant deadlines.
Regarding balancing studies with work, everyone has their formula. However, I usually focus intensely for about 8 hours at work and keep personal tasks outside of that time frame. Then, I can plan separately for myself and rearrange my personal schedule.
Overall, pursuing an MBA has been a wise decision for me. Since starting the MBA program, I’ve found myself using time more reasonably and effectively. Instead of letting myself have free time as I did before, I prefer to keep myself busier, making my time more meaningful.
Anh Du Nguyên Khôi, Senior Chemical Engineer, Nike Việt Nam
“I usually focus intensively for about 8 hours at work and then plan, rearrange my personal time afterward,” Khôi shared when asked about balancing work and studies.

Finally, do you have any advice for students to prepare themselves mentally to face the intensity of studies in an MBA program?

MBA is a prestigious degree; however, if you observe it from the perspective of personal development, committing to this journey will yield more value than just a ‘degree.’
I’d like to convey a message to those hesitating to enroll in the program: ‘What’s there to lose by trying?’ When you decide to try, to enroll, you need to commit 100% to your decision. Once you commit, follow through!
Initially, there might be difficulties in balancing work and studies, but gradually, you’ll learn how to adjust and organize your life. If your determination is strong enough, you will bring about change.
Anh Du Nguyên Khôi, Senior Chemical Engineer, Nike Việt Nam
At the end of the program, Khôi mentioned that while an MBA is a prestigious degree, it’s essential for individuals to view the program from the perspective of personal development in order to achieve the best results.

Thank you for your insightful and interesting sharing, Khôi. Wishing you good health and success in your career!

MBA Meetup is a series of online networking events focusing on academic journeys, educational experiences, and work insights shared by current and former MBA students.

See more: MBA Events of Western Sydney University