On December 5, 2021, Fulbright University Vietnam junior Dang Nguyen Huong Duong (Class of 2023) along with her teammates Nguyen Cao Nam Anh (Tampere University of Applied Sciences, Finland), Hoang Dieu Khanh (Foreign Trade University, Ho Chi Minh City) and Nguyen Le Minh Thy (DePauw University, USA) won the first prize of VinUniversity Global Case Competition 2021 organized by VinUniversity. The team EVA competed head-to-head in three rounds against 1,085 teams with 4,000 students from 200 prestigious universities in 30 countries before becoming the First Prize Winner of the competition.
The theme of VGCC 2021 is “VinFast – Go Global”: How can VinFast – a young Vietnamese business – lead the “green” movement and establish a permanent presence in the US market with its electric vehicle models. The competition’s methodology and case were designed with the consultation of Cornell University. The competition got increasingly selective after each round as teams were required to propose 2 solutions, conduct a compelling 20-page case analysis to expand business globally, and deliver a 20-minute live presentation for the judging panel, in which gathered many notorious professors from distinguished universities all over the US alongside VinFast senior managers. After 7 weeks of pursuing the strategy to position VinFast as the best choice for the Wait-and-See segment – customers who are careful with their finances and make purchasing decisions based on a car’s features and ease of use, the team EVA was officially named the Champion.
“As soon as I signed up for the competition, I spent a lot of time reading the requirements of it because I did not have much experience in dealing with real challenges of real businesses,” says Dang Nguyen Huong Duong, the Fulbright student. “Each time we were informed to be selected for the next round, we were taken by surprise since there were a lot of participating teams, many of which were comprised of graduate students who were enrolled in the MBA programs and from globally renowned universities such as Duke University, Cornell University, Oxford University, Yonsei University, National University of Singapore, etc.”
Talking about the contributing factors of their victory, Huong Duong praises her team’s solidarity and the ability to work online despite the differences in time zones and university backgrounds. “Since I have already been familiar with the teamwork culture at Fulbright, I got along with other members quickly and hardly had any communication difficulty despite the fact that it was the first time we worked online as a team.”
Huong Duong also attributes the success to the lessons she learnt from the Principle of Economics I and II courses instructed by Dr. Nguyen Chi Hieu – an adjunct faculty member in Economics, Fulbright University Vietnam. “Thanks to Dr. Hieu’s courses, I honed the skills such as researching, analyzing, compiling, and presenting information. Especially, I learnt a lot from the consulting project for a corporation’s economic strategy, which was the final assignment in place of traditional exams in his Principle of Economics II course,” she says.
Huong Duong is a familiar face in both the organizing committees and contestants of many entrepreneurship competitions initiated by Fulbright University Vietnam including Hult Prize at Fulbright, Mini Challenge by Infinity Blockchain Ventures, and EntreCamp Asia Summer by Reactor School – a partner of the Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation at Fulbright. According to Huong Duong, the process of learning and accumulating these valuable experiences has somewhat matured her mindset, attitude, and skills when facing challenges and made her the best version of herself to be a fourth of an extraordinary win at the VinUniversity Global Case Competition 2021.
As the First Prize winner, the team EVA will receive a total prize of 10,000 USD and the opportunity to directly implement their solution with VinFast over the summer internship.