Meet Khoa Doan, better known as Kevin around Cape Breton University’s campus. You’ve probably seen him running around with a camera at various CBU events, capturing footage to bring the excitement of CBU to life on screen. This Saturday, Kevin will be graduating with a Masters of Business Administration in Community Economic Development (MBA in CED) with a major in marketing. Originally from fast-paced Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam, Kevin made the leap to Sydney in 2017 to nurture his love of travel and his dream of becoming an entrepreneur.
Coming from the field of multimedia design, diving into the world of business was a significant change for Kevin, but he was able to adjust to the learning curve thanks to the resources at CBU. It was worth it for Kevin, who says, “the MBA in Community Economic Development is unique and offers great opportunities. It also teaches the skills that will help me adapt to the constantly changing business landscape.”
It didn’t take Kevin very long to adapt to life at CBU, and he says the university community played a large role in that successful adjustment. “What makes me feel so great at CBU is that faculty members are dedicated to teaching, researching and helping students feel better in their learning environment,” says Kevin. “Not many schools can do that, even top universities. People at CBU are very kind and willing to help any time you have troubles.”
With a great support system and a passion for learning, Kevin has excelled during his time at CBU. He recently completed his major business project for the program, which focused on developing marketing strategies for the Cape Breton Food Hub to place a local food co-operative business model at CBU. When he wasn’t busy in class, Kevin worked hard to gain valuable work experience both on and off-campus. He became an important member of CBU’s Marketing and Communications team, filling the role of Video Productions Intern and working closely with Herbie Sakalauskas to bring awareness to the CBU experience through visual storytelling. Kevin says the strong work ethic in Cape Breton has rubbed off on him and he plans to hold on to it. “Regardless of the job you find yourself doing in Cape Breton, everything comes back to a desire to strengthen the community,” he says. “I am eager to keep this philosophy in mind in my own future business ventures.”
After graduation, Kevin looks forward to gaining more work experience in Canada and hopes to one day open one of his dream businesses such as a coffee store platform or an e-commerce food co-operative. If the businesses succeed in Nova Scotia, Kevin would like to enter the international market in Southeast Asia. Kevin feels prepared for these next steps in his journey thanks to his experience at CBU and the help of the professors in the MBA program. “They always support students as we pursue our dreams,” says Kevin.
Although Kevin is excited for the future, he says he will never forget his time at CBU. “I believe the choice to come to CBU was absolutely right,” he says. “Despite how fast these two years have gone by, my memories are priceless.” To those trying to find the perfect university for them, Kevin provides great advice. “The material flashes of a big city will easily tempt you,” he explains. “But CBU will show you the value of community and allow you to focus on your learning.”
To his fellow graduates, Kevin would like to share a message in his native language: “Tôi chúc các bạn tân sinh viên thực hiện được thành công những ước mơ trên con đường đã chọn. Các bạn là niềm tự hào của gia đình, người thân và bạn bè. Hãy cống hiến cho sự phát triển của cộng đồng nơi đây.” Translated to English, Kevin’s message reads: “I wish all new graduates the successful implementation of their dreams on their chosen path. You are the pride of family and friends. Don’t forget to help contribute back to the development of your community here.”