RMIT Vietnam alumnus Thoi Thi Chau Nhi is working with artists to bring an end to the illegal rhinoceros horn trade.
As a lover of the environment, the Bachelor of Communication (Professional Communication) graduate has finally found her true calling – building projects to positively impact society. But her journey was not straightforward.
Thoi initially wanted a career in events but found that sector wanting. Then a conversation with a friend changed everything.
“One day I talked to one of my friends who was working for an NGO,” she said.
“I became fascinated by her job, and was interested in environmental issues, so I decided to try working as a volunteer and see if that was for me.”
350 Vietnam, a youth-led climate change movement, was her first stop. As a small group of environment lovers, 350 was preparing a campaign called Water World, with the aim of raising awareness of marine life protection.
“Unfortunately we couldn’t find a sponsor so my very first project failed,” Thoi said.
Luckily, the 350 director didn’t give up, and soon founded the Centre for Hands-on Action and Networking for Growth and Environment, and appointed Thoi as a project manager.
“In the beginning, I had to do everything myself – form a team, plan the project, find sponsors, everything. I learned a lot from that job,” she said.
“I’d always cared about the environment, but never thought I would work for a related organisation until then.”
Although graduating from a professional communication course and then working for an environmental group might sound like an unusual career path, Thoi said it was a natural progression.
“The subjects I studied at RMIT helped me a lot,” she said.
“All of our projects require co-operation with advertising agencies and the press and because I’ve studied the industry, I’ve found it easy to work with them.”
Thoi is also thankful for the time she spent volunteering for RMIT student clubs.
“Back then, I was the president of English Club,” she said.
“There, I gained crucial skills that apply to my current role.”
Story: Hai Yen