Sunday the 4th May 2014
Volume 300

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Today's Profile of an Inspiration is of Na Pham's story and how she went from being an international student to a business owner in Sydney.


We also turn 300 today! Have a drink on us.    cheers dog with a glass of champagne


One woman's linguistics entrepreneurial success story                 
Na Pham (second from the left) and her team at Sydney Language Solutions at their Sydney CBD campus.
Interviewed and photographed by Tanaya Das

There is little doubt that for all new immigrants to any country, it's struggle in the beginning. Meeting those who have who have not only managed the pitfalls but have actually thrived is an inspiration for all hear about. We all yearn for positive role models who have created something special in their lives and stories like Na Pham's gives us something to aspire to.


The bright and charming Na Pham moved from Singapore to Sydney in 2002, to pursue her Doctorate in Linguistics/ Education under an International Postgraduate Research Scholarship. Originally from Vietnam and having lived in multiple countries before moving to Sydney, she embodies all the qualities one has come to expect of young, ambitious, highly qualified migrants who are attracted to Australia. 


After obtaining her Doctorate Ms Pham was offered a job as an Academic writer for an education company and subsequently worked as a Lecturer at a Sydney based education provider. Starting over as an international student in a new country is a daunting prospect for many however Ms Pham proved her resilience by steadily advancing in her chosen career. She went from strength to strength finally establishing her own training company Sydney Language Solutions in 2010 smack in the middle of Sydney's busy CBD. 


A delicate woman who presents herself with utmost professionalism her journey is both inspiring and a testament to what can be achieved with determination and qualifications. Her company offers corporate language and cultural sensitivity training, translation services, IELTS, NAATI and other language courses as well as consultations to individuals as well as companies. 


ImmigratioNEWS visited Sydney Language Solutions and chatted with her about the journey from being an international student to the founder and director of a language school as well as the courses offered that may interest our readers. 

While at her office, she spoke to her various staff members in various different languages and on being asked how many languages she speaks replied with a smile "I know five languages: Vietnamese, English, French, Russian (Beginner level) and Japanese (Beginner level)."

She truly believes in a multicultural, globalized world where many languages will thrive and language experts will be valued "I do believe languages open the door for many life and career opportunities, help people to overcome many barriers, understand and communicate better with each other. Especially in multi-cultural country like Australia, language training is of great importance not only in training and education, but also in economic development, cultural communication, personal relationship and career development."

Her advice for international students moving to a foreign country for their studies is; "Gain a 'marketable' skill, not just a degree. Choose a career that matches your passion and not just social demand. Learn about law, IT, accounting, human resource management and marketing anywhere you can learn, set a small goal to achieve first, step and step and your dream will become true one day."

It was refreshing to meet someone with such a positive attitude towards everything and everyone around them, she says "Genuine passion, expertise and persistence are important qualities required from any company owner/founder to launch and maintain a business. Passion empowers you to forget the initial challenges to carry on, expertise helps you to 'master' your product and persistence is needed through hard times.
Apart from that, a genuine thorough knowledge of the training product and an understanding of customers/students' need, which I gained from my own personal experience as an international students, are also very important in helping building my business successfully.   
Finally, a business cannot be successful without a strong team and efficient staff. I'm very proud of all our experienced teaching staff as well as office staff in my company."

Sydney Language Solutions provides various level of intensive IELTS and NAATI preparation courses to meet different needs and their eight week English conversation course aims at rapidly improving conversational English skills. Their courses are pocket friendly and aimed at International students and migrants and Ms Pham says "We're not in the business of recruiting international students so they can get a visa by studying with us. Our aim is to genuinely build their language skills so they can get on with their lives and careers. We offer courses in group settings and one-to-one tutoring and aim to keep our fees as well as our class sizes lower than our competitors"

Class sizes are deliberately kept small.

"Languages are best learnt through practice and confidence can be gained with true understanding and love for a language and our aim is that we are able to do that with our students. It wonderful when our students call us after passing their tests with flying colours or when they've done great at an interview."

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