Capstone Highlights of Lunar 2020
As I’m sure all of you would agree, 2020 was a supremely challenging year both personally and professionally. Viet Nam has fared better than most countries because of its remarkable success in containing COVID-19.
In spite of the global pandemic, which kicked in two months into the year, 2020 was another year of Reaching New Heights and helping our clients, individual and institutional, do the same. Here are some of our most noteworthy accomplishments that we are proud and pleased to share with you.
1. New Hanoi Office: In June 2020, we moved into a new office after working in a temporary office right across the street and, later, working from home during the short spring shutdown. It is a state of the art facility with beautiful office, meeting, and classroom space. It is also conveniently located, e.g., 5-10 minutes from Hoan Kiem Lake, the heart of Hanoi, and with a view of the Red River.
2. Expansion of Digital Marketing Packages: We added a number of new options designed to meet diverse institutional needs and accommodate different budgets. These new packages were offered in the spirit of "necessity is the mother of invention," the realization that foreign colleagues would not be able to travel to Viet Nam for in-person events for a long time.
3. Introduction of New Digital Event Options: These include hybrid information sessions and one-on-one matchmaking sessions. As with the digital marketing packages, we will continue to offer digital events in the post-COVID-19 era, one of the silver linings of the pandemic.
4. Flex-Fairs: Since foreign colleagues have been unable to travel to Viet Nam since March 2020, when the government stopped issuing visas, we decided to offer virtual and surrogate options, which many institutions took advantage of in our fall global education flex-fairs, hybrid events that combine higher and secondary education. With the former, colleagues work closely with two student volunteers, one at the venue and another in one of our offices. That individual acts as an interpreter during the video chats with parents and students at the fair venue. The surrogate option includes students, parents, alumni, in country representatives, and other designated individuals.
5. Webinars: Capstone began offering free webinars to update colleagues about what’s happening in Viet Nam in general and as it pertains to student recruitment in particular, in addition to providing practical information that they can put to use immediately, e.g., digital marketing.
6. Market Intelligence: Dr. Mark Ashwill, Capstone managing director and co-founder, wrote numerous blog posts and articles related to COVID-19 in Viet Nam and Vietnamese student recruitment trends, in addition to continuing to send a steady stream of his popular Update from Viet Nam and periodic announcements. Our goal is to keep colleagues informed on what’s happening in Viet Nam in order to assist them in their planning and decision making.
7. Stability: We are both pleased and proud that Capstone was able to continue to employ all of our staff and offer all of our usual services, plus some designed to take into account the temporary “new normal” that is the COVID-19 era. Our nationwide network of student volunteers continues to assist us (and you) through their participation in various events. Finally, we continue to send students for overseas study, albeit in smaller numbers, including to Ireland, the Netherlands, and the US.