In the second year of her PhD, Ms Ho is investigating the factors which lead newly-graduated Vietnamese professionals who are working in accounting and financial firms to look for work overseas once they have returned to their home country with a degree from an international institution.
“I’m looking at how Vietnamese accounting and finance professionals readjust to their life and working environment in Vietnam after they complete their degrees in another country, and what makes these new professionals want to go abroad again,” Ms Ho, based in the Flinders Business School, said.
“Many Vietnamese people who go abroad to study in accounting and finance disciplines come home to work but they can’t readjust – they find they are dissatisfied with their home country and want to go back overseas,” she said.
“As a result we lose a lot of talented people from accounting and finance sectors.”
During her four-year research project, Ms Ho will survey 200 professionals in Vietnam, both in domestic and foreign financial firms, to determine why they chose to stay in their home country or work abroad.
Ms Ho said better overseas working environments, enhanced career prospects and higher living standards were among possible reasons for the Vietnamese ‘brain drain’.
“A lot of people find they have a reverse culture shock when they return to Vietnam so they have trouble readjusting to the environment, and they might find they have better career prospects or education opportunities for their children overseas,” Ms Ho said.
“Returned international students are very valuable human resources for accounting and financial companies because they have skills, advanced knowledge, international experience and language proficiency, which is why it’s important we do all we can to retain these highly-skilled professionals.”
Ms Ho, who is studying at Flinders after winning an Endeavour Postgraduate Award in 2011, said she hoped her research would influence policymakers and accounting and financial firms in Vietnam to develop new schemes to attract and retain professionals.
Her research was one of eight finalists in Flinders University’s 2012 Three Minute Thesis, a competition encouraging PhD students to explain their studies in simple terms.