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Hospitality Management alumnus Hieu: “Be active when you’re looking for a work placement”

Hieu Luong worked in Restaurant Factory Kamppi during his studies.

Hieu Luong and Satu Paronen
Hieu Luong and Factory Kamppi restaurant manager Satu Paronen.

Hieu Luong graduated from the Hospitality Management and Service Design programme at Laurea in December 2020. While studying he had a work placement at BarLaurea and worked at the Restaurant Factory Kamppi. Hieu encourages other international students to be active and bold when looking for work.

- If you knock on a door, it might open, Hieu notes.

Hieu believes that the more dynamic the working environment is, the better the team. He encourages companies to hire international students, because doing so benefits the company itself.

- Diversity provides different perspectives on how to solve challenges at work, Hieu says.

“Send emails and ask directly”

Hieu thinks the most interesting part of his studies was his time at BarLaurea, which led to a job at the Restaurant Factory in Kamppi. At Factory, his work included preparing breakfast, the salad bar, and the lunch buffet.

- I was lucky. Before working at Factory, I didn’t have much experience in cooking. Luckily, I am a quick learner and the people here supported me a lot, Hieu says.

Hieu notes, that many work placements aren’t advertised, and that’s why it’s important to be active in seeking work:

- Don't be afraid. Be active when you’re looking for a work placement. Send e-mails and ask directly. For example, I didn't know that Factory was hiring, and I thought that they only hire people who spoke Finnish. How wrong could that be!

Hieu emphasises that the work team at Factory has people of many different backgrounds, but the team is like a family – people support each other and have fun at work.

- At Bar Laurea and Factory I learned to work with people. If everyone focused on themselves alone, work would be difficult. You have to be a team player, know your team and then work runs smoothly.

Diversity brings innovation to the workplace

- The importance of the Finnish language might be overemphasised in Finland. I see it as only a small hurdle, and not necessarily even that, Restaurant Factory's Satu Paronen comments.

Restaurant Factory Kamppi, where Hieu worked, offers a range of restaurant services, including lunch, an evening bistro, catering, and meeting services. Restaurant manager Satu Paronen says that Factory is committed to hiring international interns and employees. Factory also encourages other employers to do the same.

- Diversity and multiculturalism enrich the working community, and nowadays it also gives companies a competitive edge, Satu observes.
- Language skills increase, people see new possibilities and ways of working, resulting in new innovations and ideas. It also leads to greater appreciation for other cultures and promotes tolerance.

She also encourages international students not to hesitate to contact employers when looking for an internship or a job.

- Here at Factory many have just walked in and asked for a job, and many have found one, Satu explains.

Watch the whole video interview:

Laurea experiences: Hospitality management alumnus Hieu