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The University of Southampton

Hong Lien Doan Vietnamese, due to graduate in July 2019

BSc Businesss Management (with Placement Year)

Hong Lien Doan's Photo

My degree has offered me chances to explore various aspects of business and my placement next year would help me gain practical knowledge of the business world and improve my professional skills.

Why did you choose to study at the University of Southampton?

I chose to study at Southampton because firstly the university is a member of Russell Group and is renowned for good education. Also, I learned that the weather there was quite nice and warm, which was suitable for me as I come from Vietnam, a tropical country.

What were your first impressions of the University of Southampton?

I was overwhelmed by the green campus. I loved to see that every corner was filled with green trees and beautiful flowers. The weather was a bit colder than I had expected and quite changeable.

Everyone was really friendly, approachable, and helpful. I got lost a number of times when finding the way to some particular buildings and the Meet and Greet helpers were very supportive and took me to these places. Also, I was quite surprised that there were so many student societies here, at that time roughly 300, and I just needed to register to join the society.

What do you enjoy the most about living in Southampton?

I love the environment and atmosphere here. I feel that the tranquil atmosphere and the green environment really soothes my mind when I am stressed with my study. I often spend the intervals between my seminars/lectures wandering around the campus and enjoying the views. I took a lot of pictures of the plants and streets here.

What is your favourite spot on campus?

An interesting thing is that my favourite spot on campus is not any green space, but the library. As a student, I spend a lot of time in library, which allows me to appreciate the care from the university staff for students. For example, during exam time, they set up a large drawing at the entrance for students to colour in order to relax, or they leave many flower/fish-shaped pieces of paper for students to write their methods of reducing stress and their wishes on and stick to their white board.

My friends and I have always enjoyed the times we work in group there or the times we come and do our own assignments but still drop by each other’s lot and encourage each other when taking a break from study.

Did you receive a scholarship for your studies?

I receive the International Merits Scholarship and it really helps reducing the financial burden for me.

What has been your proudest accomplishment while you were in Southampton?

My proudest accomplishment is that I have secured a one-year placement with Westminster City Council. I applied to many throughout the year and was so glad to finally secure the one which is suitable for me. The hardest part of applying to placements is that I needed to maintain my determination and patience after receiving quite a lot of rejections and keep improving my skills. I always tried to work closely with the placement advisors to improve my cover letters and practice my interview skills, which were my weakness. Also, it is important to find out information about the business, their achievements and what makes you feel interested and want to work for them.

Would you recommend the University of Southampton to students from your home country?

Yes, definitely. The university has offered me chances to explore different aspects of business. I really like that fact that we have the first two weeks every term to come to the lectures and classes of different modules, then decide whether we will stay with the ones we have registered or change to others that we feel more interested and suitable.

The lecturers and class tutors are very approachable and helpful as well. I often come to their offices and ask about my assignments or some practice exercises and they always try to explain everything for me and make sure I understand clearly.

What will you do with your degree after you have finished your studies?

I believe along with the skills I have gained through different extracurricular activities, my degree will help me to find a suitable job. My degree has offered me chances to explore various aspects of business and my placement next year would help me gain practical knowledge of the business world and improve my professional skills.

Do you have any stories about your time in Southampton or a happy memory you want to share?

Making friends with many international and local students is definitely my great happiness. The time when I stayed in Wessex Lane halls in my first year and lived with five other first year students from different countries was unforgettable. We had a lot of flat meals and often organised mid-night birthday parties, which were full of fun and increased our intimacy. This year even though we do not stay together but still keep in touch and support each other. Last Christmas, we had a one-day London trip to catch up and share our life.


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