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Asia Pacific Career Dev Assoc
August 2019
Natalie Kauffman, Editor
President's Messsage
by Carla S. Siojo

APCDA is pleased to announce that our next President-Elect will be Sing Chee Wong, who was our Singapore Country Representative for many years and is currently President of the People and Career Development Association (Singapore). Her year as APCDA President will coincide with our 2021 Conference in Singapore. We are also delighted to welcome Dr. Constance Pritchard as Treasurer. She has experience as Treasurer with many other associations, in addition to being an NCDA Master Trainer for the Facilitating Career Development curriculum and Chair of the NCDA Credentialing Commission (and our upcoming August 29/30 webinar co-facilitator). We are looking forward to benefiting from the extensive experience and expertise of both these new Officers. Special thanks to our outgoing Treasurer, Jose Domene for his dedicated service and sound judgment in managing APCDA funds.

APCDA's new Bylaws were passed. This means there will be a lot of organizational changes for APCDA. We are now looking for candidates to lead the new Committee Council and Country/Area Council. Our Committee Directors will now be called Committee Chairs and the people we formerly called "Country/Area Directors" will now be called “Country/Area Representatives” to indicates that they represent a country or area. The number of Country/Area Representatives has grown recently because we have divided some of our largest countries into more areas to allow for more local representation in APCDA Leadership. India welcomes a new North India Representative, Dr. Chavi Sharma, from Manav Rachna International Institute of Research Studies in Faridabad, and South India Representative, Rahul Nair, from Lifology in Thrivandrum. We also have a new North China Representative, Dr. Zhijin Hou, from Beijing Normal University, and a new South China Representative, Ms. Elisabeth Montgomery, from Nanshan District Education Bureau. Thank you to the outgoing Country/Area Representatives for their country updates and selfless service. It makes the role of President a lot more pleasant when working with such a committed team.

In March of 2020, we will hold our annual conference in India just outside of Delhi. Have you submitted a Proposal to Present at that conference yet? This year the proposal deadline is a month earlier (October 31) because the conference is two months earlier (March 10-15). After you read the following article called Exploring India, you will certainly want to extend your trip to include vacation time in India.

Between our annual conferences, we attempt to offer one webinar each month. Our July webinar looked at the differences among countries of the career services offered around the world. The August webinar will explain credentialing — what it is, why it is so difficult to do well and tips for assessing credential quality. The September webinar will be FREE and will explain what Neuroscience has learned that relates to career choice.

Our APCDA Executive Director, Marilyn Maze, is planning to retire a year from now, at the end of June 2020. I would like to kick-off her final year recognizing, honoring and thanking her for always going above and beyond to make our association viable. She has spent a good deal of quality time over the past seven years helping to decide on and facilitate all of our initiatives. She very respectfully and efficiently maintains the functioning of APCDA. We wish her well in her retirement and trust that good health and much happiness follow her decision. We also hope that her family can enjoy more time with her. We wish to extend our gratitude to her husband for the sacrifices he has made as Marilyn has followed her passion of working for our APCDA community.

I am pleased to announce that Gulnur Ismayil will assume the Executive Director position in 2020. In order to learn the duties of the Executive Director of APCDA, Gulnur will work with Marilyn throughout the upcoming year as an intern.

I would like to thank the Officers and Board Members for their efforts and valuable contributions at meetings over the past months. I also would like to acknowledge the dedication and contribution of our Administrator, Emily Lizada, as well as each and every one of you, our members, that helped make 2018 a very successful year. I cannot thank everyone enough for continuing to participate and be involved with this important and esteemed organization.

I look forward to seeing the continuing upward trend of success of APCDA in 2019 and beyond.

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Exploring India – APCDA’s 2020 Conference, March 10 – 15
by Rahul Nair, South India Representative

There is a lot to experience in India while you are visiting in March for APCDA’s upcoming 2020 Conference. Consider including some days before and after the conference to explore. The country not only is one of the most diverse lands found anywhere in the world, it is the 3rd largest Asian nation, covering an area of over 3.2 million square km (1.269 million square miles). Currently, it has 29 states, each with their own unique languages, traditions and religions. ‘A sethu Himachalam’ denotes that India stretches from the southern tip of Kanyakumari to the northern Himalayas. From Kashmir in the North to the Indian Ocean on the South, the Sub-continent is about 2,000 miles long. Additionally, India has a population of more than 1.324 billion individuals, making it the second most populated country in the world. The country makes up the vast majority of the Indian Peninsula and has coastlines along the Bay of Bengal, the Arabian Sea, and the Indian Ocean. Inland, it is home to a variety of habitats, including the Thar Desert in the west, the Himalayan mountain range in the north, and the Indo-Gangetic watershed region in the north and east.

Beyond its geographic diversity, it can be said that there are many Indias within India. This statement is from the standpoint of the nation’s diverse cultural, lingual, geographical and economic perspectives. India is among the most miscellaneous societies with a plurality and diversity of cultures which marks it out as perhaps the largest multicultural society in the world. People from all the major religions in the world—Hindus, Muslims, Christians, Sikhs, Buddhists, Jains and Zoroastrians (Parsis) constitute its vast population. Although Hindus constitute the majority of the population, India is home to the second-largest population of Muslims in the world. The diversity is coupled with enormous cultural variations from one state to another, including different languages, cultures and traditions. Religion plays an important role
According to the 1991 census, there are 114 spoken languages in this country; of these, 22 were spoken by more than one million people.

Taj Mahal

India's rich heritage is embodied in its architecture as well. The Taj Mahal, Jain caves at Khandagiri and Udayagiri, Bhubaneswar, Sun Temple Konarak, Jagannath Temple, City of Puri, Lingaraja Temple, Bhubaneswar, Red Fort of Agra, Delhi‘s Qutub Minar, Mysore Palace, Jain Temple of Dilwara (Rajasthan) Nizamuddin Aulia‘s Dargah, Golden Temple of Amritsar, Gurudwara Sisganj of Delhi, Sanchi Stupa, Christian Church in Goa, India Gate etc., are all important places that have been passed down to the present ages to denote how varied the people and customs in this land have been.

Besides the architectural creations, monuments and material artefacts, the intellectual achievements, philosophy, treasures of knowledge, scientific inventions and discoveries are also the part of Indian heritage. In Indian context the contributions of Baudhayana, Aryabhatta, Bhaskaracharya in the field of Mathematics, Astronomy and Astrology; Varahmihir in the field of Physics; Nagarjuna in the field of Chemistry; Susruta and Charak in the field of Medicines; and Patanjali in the field of Yoga; are profound treasures of Indian Cultural heritage. Indian culture is one of the most ancient cultures of the world. The ancient cultures of Egypt, Greece, Rome, etc. were destroyed with time and only their remnants are left. But Indian culture is alive till today. Its fundamental principles are the same, as were in the ancient time.


Indian literature and scriptures namely Vedas, Upanishads Gita and Yoga System etc. have contributed a lot by way of providing right knowledge, right action, behavior and practices as complementary to the development of civilization. One can see village panchayats, caste systems and joint family system. The teachings of Buddha, Mahavira, and Lord Krishna are alive till today also and are source of inspiration. Indian society accepted and respected Shaka, Huna, Shithiyan, Muslim, Christian, Sikh, Jain, Buddhist cultures. The feeling of tolerance towards all religions is a wonderful characteristic of Indian society.

Vasudaiva Kutumbakam

Vasudaiva Kutumbakam (the world is one family) is the soul of Indian culture. Indian culture has always answered and activated itself by receiving and adjusting to the elements of foreign cultures. Indian culture has received the elements of Muslim cultures and has never hesitated in accepting useful things from foreign cultures. Therefore, its continuity, utility and activity are still there today. Spirituality is the soul of Indian culture. Here the existence of soul is accepted. Therefore, the ultimate aim of man is not physical comforts but is self-realization. The philosophy that Hinduism as a religion teaches and India as a nation preaches is that of tolerance and acceptance.

Geography seems to have played an important role in engendering Indian unity and the sense of Indianness. Shut off from the rest of Asia by the inaccessible barriers of the mighty Himalayas on the north, seas on both sides, to Cape Comorin on the south, India is clearly marked out to be a geographical entity. Thus, Indian geography has facilitated unity and continuity of her history as a country. Attempts either to divide the country or to expand it beyond its natural frontiers have mostly failed. The great variety in landscape, climate and conditions of life prepared in the mind a readiness to accept differences. Besides, the vast spaces offered room for slow infiltration by newcomers and allowed each locality unhampered scope of development along its own lines. A Cape Cormorin
permanent and characteristically Indian expression of unity is found in the network of shrines and sacred places spread throughout the country. The visit to holy places as an imperative religious duty has made travelling a habit for Indians.

Krishna River With all this diversity India is a unique place to visit and live in. The Indian subcontinent is separated into two by the Krishna River. The northern part of India is more explored and known and hence this article focusses on the southern part of India with its myriad fascinating stories and places. I, myself, hail from the southern part of Indian state, called Kerala. Kerala is known as God’s own country owing to the natural beauty and ecological diversity. Its enchanting beaches, backwaters and timeless tradition lulls both residents and visitors. Etymologically, the word, Kerala, could be interpreted in a number of different ways. Basically, ‘Kera’ means coconut tree and ‘alam’ means land or location. Coconut tree are abundant in Kerala and a main source of livelihood of the people from a very early age. While the mythological origin of the state revolves
around Parasurama, who was the sixth avatar of Mahavishnu, ‘the Preserver’, there are a number of variations of this legend. The difference among them being the identity of the main character. However, one basic fact on which all the stories share a common ground. After a weapon, an axe or a spear, was thrown into the sea, the land of Kerala emerged. Subsequent to its emergence, the land was ruled by King Mahabali ,whose benevolence resulted in the land being an embodiment of prosperity and happiness.

Kerala is most famous for its scrumptious food. Healthy and tasty, using spices to enhance flavor and tantalize the mouth, delights foodies all over the world. Kerala is also known for the Sadya, a traditional feast with rice, sambar, thoran, olan and varieties of pickles and coconut chutneys. If you get the opportunity, do sample the yummy Appam, Iddiappam, which is served as breakfast throughout the state. With so much to serve on one banana leaf, Kerala is sometimes referred to as “God’s own country”. Kerala is also known for some sports events. One of the most famous sports in Kerala is the Snake boat race.

South Indian cities differ from her North Indian sisters in a variety of ways. There are several states in South India region and all of them offer their own wonderful culture and attractions. The richness of South India culture beautifully reflects in its attractions like rituals and beliefs, temples, architectural masterpieces, art and craft, cuisine and monuments. Some major cities from South India stand out as prime tourist destinations. Cities like Bangalore, Chennai, Hyderabad offers a bird’s eye view into the vastness of South India.

Bangalore (officially known as Bengaluru) is the capital of Karnataka and located on the Deccan plateau in the southeast part of Karnataka. Bangalore is the 5th largest city in India. It is witnessing a tremendous growth in industry, trade and commerce; leading to a rapid growth of the city and large-scale urbanization. It is a multi-cultural city; permeating class, religion and language. Even though it is a cosmopolitan city, Bangalore holds on to its traditional features. There are a lot of festivals & events hosted in Bangalore. The city is a fine mix of work and leisure. It is the hub of where you can witness the vibrant youth of the India. With several pubs and restaurants, architectural marvels and natural getaways, Bangalore can be a traveler's delight. It is India’s third most populous city after Mumbai and Delhi. Due to its crucial role as the country’s leading IT exporter, it is

Lalbagh Botanical Gardens, Bengaluru

also called as the “Silicon Valley of India”. It is located over 3000 feet above sea level. Being a metropolitan city, Bangalore offers various entertainment opportunities to a busy city. The city virtually never sleeps; activities and functions continue until late at night. Bangalore enjoys a very good climate throughout the year. The city if full of huge lung spaces of trees which allow people a quiet getaway from the crowd. Relaxing in the lap of nature will surely rejuvenate any tired mind. The best food from both the south and north meets here. You can get any food according to your tastes. Bangalore is filled with ancient monuments and temples that are preserved and located right in the center of the city.

Tamil Nadu Temple Architecture

Chennai, formerly known as Madras City, is the capital of Tamil Nadu, the southernmost state of India. Tamil Nadu is known for its temple architeture and encompasses a large part of southeast India. Chennai and its suburbs have more than 600 temples. The oldest is the Parthasarathi temple built in the 8th century by Pallava Kings. The first British church in India, St Mary’s Church, is situated here. The city is also considered as the cultural hub of South India which is famous for its affluent heritage in classical dance, music, architecture, sculpture, crafts, etc.

Chennai keeps many of its riches in its kitchens, and the city is famous for its elaborate, spicy cuisine. With street-side sizzling, hot-plate griddling, frenzied lunchtime ‘messes’ (canteens), and a skyrocketing fine-dining scene, Chennai, the increasingly cosmopolitan capital of Tamil Nadu, continues to stake its claim as the capital of South Indian dining. Vegetarians are in for a treat because Tamil cooking is mostly meat-free and bursts with

the flavors of chilies, curry leaves and coconut. But Chennai also packs in enough top-notch non-vegetarian treats to keep even the most devoted carnivore happy. Breakfast brings out Chennai’s favorite foods, too. If you visit, consider starting with the humble idli – a steamed, spongey rice cake, dunked into tasty sambar (lentil broth) or coconut chutney. Also plan to sample Dosas, a savory South Indian breakfast crepes made with rice flour. Similar, but thicker, is the uttapam, chock-full of coriander, green chillies and tangy onion. And do try to include tasting some vadas, a deep fried, doughnut shaped lentil meant for snacking. Finally include some of the city’s famous brew, South Indian kapi - filter coffee made with milk, sugar and chicory. It is delicious, addictive and easily available at every street corner. Idli

Rameswaram Temple Rameswaram, an island containing a temple with one of the most venerated of all Hindu shrines, is one of the most popular destinations in Tamil Nadu. The great temple of Rameswaram was built in the 17th century on the traditional site said to be sanctified by the god Rama’s footprints when he crossed the island on his journey to rescue his wife, Sita, from the demon Ravana. The temple is built on rising ground above a small lake. The temple is perhaps the finest example of Dravidian architecture. Sacred to both Vaishnavas and Shaivas, it is the most holy place for Hindus in India after the holy city of Varanasi. Adorning the Bay of Bengal and Arabian sea, the island
provides the perfect getaway for a peaceful seaside saunter. One can't help but marvel at the surreal blue waters that meet the pristine sands of the coast of this and India’s nearby famous and exotic island cluster, the Lakshadweep Islands, nestled amongst the deep turquoise waters of the Arabian Sea.

My description of some major north and south Indian sites provides only a short version of what India has to offer. I look forward to tantalizing you with additional information about India in future Newsletter issues leading to our upcoming APCDA March 2020 Conference.

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Whats happening with Career Development in Vietnam?
by Vietnam Insight (Hon Viet) Team Members Phoenix Ho, Dang Phuong Uyen, and Le Tuan Anh

Career development in Vietnam is still at its early stage. With an increasing demand for developing a local network in this field, we organized the first Vietnam career conference with the topic 'Multi-perspectives on Career Development' in December 2018. The conference attracted 130 participants including career practitioners, teachers, and human resources professionals.

On the other hand, a few years ago, a small group of educators planted a seed of hope to bring the APCDA conference to Vietnam. The dream has come true. The annual APCDA 2019 conference was hosted in our homeland from May 21 to 25. This is the largest APCDA conference so far with the participation of 234 career development professionals from around the world to share their best case practices and research.

What will happen next?

Since its inception in 2018, Vietnam Insight (Hon Viet) always strives to build a community of dedicated and competent Vietnamese career practitioners. We have offered train-the-trainer programs to better equip career consultants, teachers, as well as parents with necessary competencies to fulfill their roles. Until June 2019, nearly 200 career consultants, teachers, and parents completed the training programs. After completing the training program, the graduates were asked to join the biweekly, peer-supervision, career guidance sessions or monthly group supervision. We also organized key events throughout the year to strengthen our still small yet active career development network. For instance, a conference named 'Gather to learn' was held by Vietnam Insight in June 2018 in Ho Chi Minh City. Sixty-seven Vietnamese career practitioners throughout Vietnam gathered to foster peer learning through six sharing sessions and other learning activities.

Furthermore, we are building a career resources platform for youth, parents and career practitioners. With the backbone-based theory of careers and vocational choice by John L. Holland and other important career theories, we have introduced popular career assessment tools and existing career resources such as ILO publications to the public. Also, we have created initiatives tailored to the needs of younger users. An example of this is the illustration book of 6 Holland codes. Our industry overview webinars and real people profiles are also getting good feedback from the audience.

Although this is still a new field in Vietnam, career development is expected to grow rapidly in the coming years in our country. Therefore, we look forward to connecting more with career-oriented organizations and international experts to learn and exchange career experiences.

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Phoenix Ho is currently the director of the Career Education and Guidance Center of Vietnam Insight (Hon Viet). Ms Ho has over ten years of experience in the field of education, counseling, career counseling, and career guidance education. Some of her skills include career services leadership and management, program management, train-the-trainer facilitating, career counseling, career program teaching, curriculum development, MBA course lecturing, parenting workshop facilitating, community radio show hosting, substance abuse prevention, data collection and analysis, interviewing and writing, theatre art performing, and classroom management. Ms Ho is recognized by students, clients, staff, and colleagues as a passionate counselor, effective team player, holistic leader, and community change agent.

Uyen Dang is a change-maker at heart. She aspires to leverage the power of social entrepreneurship and guidance services towards creating systemic changes in education. Ms Dang is at the first stepping-stone of her new journey at Vietnam Insight to co-create and sustain a Careers Education and Guidance center following the Teal Organization model introduced in the book Reinventing Organizations, by Frederic Laloux. Her previous work spanned from leading youth organizations/working groups such as Enactus UEH, AIESEC HCMC and WEF Global Shapers HCMC, to fostering public-private partnerships for innovations such as Circular Economy projects with leading multinational companies and the Frontier Innovators program of the Australian Government Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade's innovationXchange to support impact businesses in the Asia-Pacific region.

Anh Tuan Le is the career counselor at the Career Education and Guidance Center of Vietnam Insight. With a background in communication, Mr. Le built a very strong personal branding as a blogger of career development among Vietnamese youth. He also published two books about job searching and personal branding. Mr. Le loves working with students, helps them to explore their career journey based on their personal development.

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Career Reintegration Strategies Pre & Post Study Abroad
by Satomi Chudasama

Studying abroad . . . a number of today's students consider it and some bravely take on this adventure. There are a wide range of study-abroad opportunities, varying in length and purpose. Some study abroad opportunities last as short as a month or a semester while others last for a few years. Some aim for cultural exposure and language acquisition whereas others are geared towards obtaining a formal degree. What seems common among these experiences is student excitement with a dash of anxiety. Studying abroad is not exactly the same as traveling overseas for a few days or weeks. For students studying abroad for a short period of time such as a couple of months, cultural exposure might be less significant as compared to those who stay overseas for an extended amount of time. Such a short stay might even allow students to bypass much of the cultural adjustment process and return home while they are still very excited.

The cultural adjustment process can be quite complex. The adjustment experience can influence the overall study-abroad experience and sometimes career reintegration after returning home. It is helpful for career development professionals to become familiar with the adjustment process and help study abroad students articulate skills and attributes they learned along the way. To provide a context, here is a brief summary of cultural adjustment stages:

Honeymoon: In this stage, students are excited about the new culture and environment.

Culture Shock: All new and exciting experiences do not last forever. As students starts becoming familiar with the new environment, they become more aware of different norms, customs, values and systems that may conflict with those in their home country and potentially lead to culture shock.

Critical: After experiencing and recognizing culture shock, students tend to becomes frustrated, critical and even angry with various aspects of life in a new country. This is the stage where feelings of isolation and loss of self-esteem occur. But later in this stage, slowly and gradually, experiences and circumstances are seen more rationally as "cultural differences".

Home: After potentially going through culture shock and/or through the turmoil of the critical stage, the adjustment process would finally lead to feeling "at home". This is the stage where students accept cultural differences and find ways to cope with and adapt to the variances. Students become more comfortable with being in the new country and start feeling "settled".

It is important to point out that the degree and length of each stage varies from individual student to individual student. Some who share more similarities than differences with the host country may go through the adjustment process more quickly than others and the magnitude of the culture shock and critical stages may be less. Regardless, the fact still remains that the cultural adjustment process is a significant experience for students studying abroad.

Upon returning to one's home country, there is another process of cultural adjustment. The feelings one experiences prior to returning home may range from excitement to anxiety and nervousness, or even to resentment, depending on the circumstances that exist at home. For example, if one's study abroad plan does not include more than studying or one has been missing home, going home may feel more like relief and possibly include excitement. On the other hand, if the student's original plan did not pan out and they are forced to go home, they may be experiencing resentment, shame and disappointment. Career development professionals can help with the planning process for the latter group by realistically discussing primary and back-up plans for post-study abroad experience. If a student has to go back home against their original plan to stay in the host country, it is helpful to talk about their concerns, hopes, and, if the student is ready, their unique experience with the cultural readjustment process.

It is not unusual for study-abroad students to experience reverse culture shock upon returning home. In fact, many returnees struggle with this phenomenon and most are not prepared it. The reality, however, is that many students have changed personally while studying abroad. Their experience of change is compounded by changes that occurred in the people and things back home. Many returnees assume that what they left at home is exactly what they will find upon their return. The gap generated by these changes manifests itself as reverse culture shock. Similar to going to a foreign country, they have to readjust to home. The process of readjustment can be quite challenging. Sometimes, it evolves into mental health issues. As career development professionals, we need to be aware when any mental health issues are suspected or present in returnees. As we know, mental health impacts the career development process.

To assist you in supporting study-abroad students prior to and after their overseas experiences, I would like to share some ideas that I have been incorporating into my work over the years in both workshops and individual sessions. These strategies have also been used and have been found to work well with students who embark on working, interning and volunteering abroad.


  • Allow a student to freely describe their excitement and anticipation. Focus their discussion on what they want to learn. Help them establish some goals for the study abroad experience and brainstorm with them how they might achieve the goals.
  • Facilitate a discussion of any concerns and potential challenges, and discuss how a student might tackle them. When having this conversation, try to help them realize they may already have internal resources that might be helpful (e.g., strong problem-solving skills, fearlessness about asking questions, curiosity, stress-coping skills, etc.).
  • Identify alumni they might be able to connect with while abroad. If possible, have a student reach out to those alumni prior to departure so they can be helpful resources and share advice.
  • Encourage them to connect with a student who previously has gone through a similar experience so they could enhance their preparation and problem-solving. (Sometimes, this can be accomplished in panel discussion and tabling formats.)
  • Introduce the cultural adjustment/readjustment process. Discuss perceived cultural similarities and differences and how they might work with them.
  • Discuss a strategy to keep track of their learning, experience and other self-reflection.
  • Ensure they are aware of support and resources that are helpful and necessary during study-abroad. This may include remotely-available support from you (e.g., virtual appointments).

Post-Study Abroad:

  • Host a "Marketing Your International Experience" type of workshop where students with similar experiences not only learn how to unpack their experiences but also have an opportunity to connect with each other.
  • Have students work on a skill & attribute inventory while sharing stories. It will help them identify various transferable skills and attributes acquired or enhanced while studying abroad. It will become a foundation for identifying potential career interests and sharing their stories with potential employers. A lot of follow-up questions can be asked during this exercise, which will help them dig deeper into their experiences. Often, they find a way to articulate what they enjoyed and how they got inspired, etc. during this exercise.
  • Ask a wide range of questions including some rather unexpected ones. It will help students to think more broadly about their experiences and push themselves out of the comfort zone of their "favorite" stories that might have been repeated over and over.
  • Discuss the cultural adjustment/readjustment process. This part may also include how they coped with and survived cultural adjustment, which often results in identification of additional transferable skills. Moreover, if a student is struggling with the readjustment process, you will be able to refer them to an appropriate support resources.
  • Discuss ways to leverage their experiences and learning. How might they continue to stay current with the culture and country they became familiar with? How might they keep practicing newly acquired language skills? How might they stay in touch with people they got to know while abroad?

There is much more we can do to support study-abroad students. Working with those who have earned degrees overseas and are looking at career integration in home countries may require a different level of career advising and cultural competencies for career development professionals. From a university's career center's perspective, I have strived to support and prepare students returning home both in workshops and individual sessions before their departure to home countries. I have personally assisted both students who are excited to go home and those who are reluctant to go home. Incorporating some of the above strategies has been helpful. On the other hand, supporting alumni who came back from overseas after earning an advanced degree has required a good balance of career counseling skills and tactical help.

In conclusion, I have personally found it very fulfilling to work with study-abroad students and helping their career reintegration process. It is critical for us as career development professionals to become familiar with, better yet, comfortable with, the cultural adjustment process and how we can help students connect their experiences with their next stage of career, professional and personal development.

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News and Tools from Australia
by Agnes Banyasz, APCDA Australia Representative

In May, the federal government released the 2019 Australian Jobs publication, which provides a comprehensive overview of trends in the Australian labor market to support job seekers and providers, career advisers, those considering future training and work and people interested in labor market issues. Australian Jobs allows users to explore a wide range of factors, e.g. industry snapshots, occupations, training pathways, location of jobs and future employment prospects. The analysis and the excellent data visualisation in this publication provides an introduction to and overview of some of the factors which can be considered in understanding employment conditions and trends. Click here to access and read full report.

A month later, in June, Deloitte released an important report ‘The path to prosperity - Why the future of work is human’. This is the 7th paper in the Building the Lucky Country Series, which was developed to prompt debate and conversations across business, industry associations, government and the media on issues facing the Australian economy. The June Deloitte report launches the Australian economic discussion from the very positive premise of Australia’s 27 years of continuous economic growth, even through a period of global economic volatility. (Australians benefit from high living standards. The third highest in the world according to the Human Development Index, Then the report moves to the 'call for action' part; stating that Australia must get to work and use the opportunity to make better choices about work, workers and workplaces to pave the path to prosperity for all Australians. The Deloitte report continues with the assertion that a big part of Australia’s productivity story will be about people. Click here to access and read full report.

Both the previously mentioned May and June reports contain a wealth of extremely valuable data and information for carer practitioners to use. You may wonder how all this useful information gets to the general public, who may not look at professional organizations’ or government websites. Additionally, you may ask the following question. How do young job seekers, later year career changers, recently arrived immigrants obtain the most up to date and relevant information? Both the May & June reports are high-quality free resources, that are utilizing up-to-date data, integrate with career planning tools and present these on a friendly user interface. MyFuture, grounded in best practice and career research is a prime example for this; a free platform that can guide an individual of any age from an idea, or sometimes no idea stage to course, employment, industry research, career building blocks, job search steps and actions. The well-oiled cycle of up-to-date research informing best practice user material should and hopefully will contribute to good career choices and prosperity for all.

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Cross-Culture Expressions of Affection
by Marilyn Maze, with comments by Gulnur Ismayil

At the recent APCDA Conference, I vividly remember jumping up to hug old friends, then wondering if they wanted to be hugged. Given the variety of cultural backgrounds in our Asia Pacific region, it is not always clear which social norms to follow. Eighty percent of our members are women, so I was mostly giving female-to-female hugs. Would it have been different if I was a man, giving hugs to females?

In the US, women and men routinely meet together in business settings (sitting in a private office for a discussion), but physical contact in a business setting is usually a handshake. In our helping profession, we often talk about feelings. Usually, we are discussing the feelings of clients, but even these discussions can feel more intimate than normal business conversations. Feelings of understanding and closeness can easily develop due to our shared experiences in helping others with career decisions. Of course, as a scrappy little association that is encouraging career planning excellence in the Asia Pacific region, there is also a bond among many of our members of the challenges we all have and continue to overcome. This bond can encourage a feeling of closeness and may make many of us feel that hugging is appropriate. I also love to attend the NCDA Conference in the US because there, hugging is the norm, whatever the gender of the recipient. And there is no confusion about the meaning of the hugging. I get my quota of hugs for the whole year at one conference!

What are the norms at an APCDA Conference? Do we hug people we know or shake hands? When is a private discussion embarrassing and when it is perfectly normal? Recent feedback from some of our 2019 conference participants have focused attention on these questions. US customs are quite different than norms in other parts of the Asia Pacific region. In China, I sense that physical contact is much rarer, and a handshake is more comfortable. In Muslim countries, I think even more restraint might be called for, so I asked Gulnur Ismayil how she navigates such situations.

According to Gulnur, "most Muslim countries are, in fact, sensitive about how a man and woman greet each other. The greater difference is with cultures and norms across the countries. Usually, greetings are simply verbal, avoiding hugs, kisses and even handshakes. However, if a woman is ready to shake hands with a man, she is expected to be the one who first extends her hand."

"Only close male relatives can hug a woman in most Muslim countries, but this varies some from country to country. I have recently been through an experience when a French colleague of mine visited our University. He shared with us that, in France, it is completely normal to greet with a hug and kisses on each cheek, even with people who are meeting for the first time. In our culture though, the maximum can be a handshake, offered by a woman, and a very rare pat on the back, but never involving a kiss."

In today's world, there are an increasing number of reports by women of harassment by men. In the US, we have recently watched a number of careers destroyed by such reports. If these issues are confusing within a single country, how much more confusing must they be when we greet friends from other countries?

The Asia Pacific region contains a wide variety of attitudes toward physical contact and requires us to "read the signals" or simply consider just asking permission when we approach friends we have made across borders. Hopefully, as people who work with feelings in our professional lives, we may be better than most people at reading the signals. Gender roles also play a part in the signals. I hope it is recognized that, when a woman offers a hand to a man, that is an invitation for a business-like handshake and not for a hug. Extending a hand sets a line that a man should not cross. Our region does not include Southern Europe where kissing is the norm, so we generally do not kiss or touch faces. However, our APCDA staff member, Emily Lizada, reports that this type of greeting is common in the Philippines among close friends. Please keep in mind, although we may feel a sense of closeness toward colleagues, we still need to exercise caution in sharing physical contact, such as hugs. Given the differences in gender roles among our member countries, it may also be wise for men to wait for the woman to initiate any physical touching.

If you have opinions about this subject, please click the LinkedIn symbol on the top of this newsletter and add your comments to the thread with the name of this article.

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Singapore’s E2I Learning Visit to Manila
by Carla Siojo

The management team of e2i (Employment and Employability Institute) Singapore,, was recently in the Philippines for a planning retreat at the Heritage Hotel, Manila, from July, 17-19, 2019. The Philippine’s Department of Labor and Employment, National Capital Region (DOLE-NCR)’s Senior Labor and Employment Officer, Ryan Delos Reyes, of the Employment Promotion and Workers Welfare Division, conducted one of the management team’s Learning Sessions.

Ryan Delos Reyes DOLE-NCR’s Learning Session addressed the employment climate of the Philippines, the government’s strategies to improve employment rate/reduce unemployment rate and the challenges for implementation. His comprehensive presentation also included information about Philippine culture and Filipino values. Overall, Ryan’s Learning Session was informative, engaging, and entertaining! Both a Q&A session and dinner followed; where conversation continued to focus on the employment climate in Manila and its similarities and differences to Singapore’s.

In addition to e2i Singapore’s CEO, Gilbert Tan, Deputy CEO, Vicky Wong, and their 22 team leads, Ryan Delos Reyes’ Learning Session participants also included our very own APCDA President, Carla Siojo, as well as APCDA Administrator, Emily Lizada. The photo is of Ryan opening the e2i Singapore Learning Session.

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Intentional and Dedicated Career Placement Practice: APPCU is Paving the Way
by Prof. Lucila O. Bance, APCDA Philippines Country Director and Leonila V. Urrea, Secretary of APPCU

During its 11th year as an organization, the Association of Placement Practitioners of Colleges and Universities (APPCU) trailblazed the need to organize a functional career placement program that would prepare higher education students for labor and employment. In the past, the association’s conventions and learning sessions/professional development sessions brought together stakeholders from both higher education and industry; each significant to the career planning and development of students in higher education. However, with the advent of APPCU’s Senior High School Program in 2016, the association started to extend its reach to include both junior and senior high school faculty and work immersion teachers/coordinators. This 2016 effort provided timely information about the workplace and encouraged high school faculty and coordinators to be more proactive in re-skilling or up-skilling their competencies related to their career advocate function. Additionally, the 2016 effort fostered high school faculty and coordinators’ interest in developing work-related competencies for their students appropriate to the courses the students would eventually choose in college or to the work that their students would seek after graduation.

APPCU’s 2-day Convention last March 2019 at Sr. Caridad Barrion Hall, St. Scholastica’s College, Manila, centered on the theme, “Talent Development and Management in the Digital Age: A Challenge to Placement Practitioners, Faculty, Student Services Practitioners and HR Personnel”, and aimed to increase participants’ knowledge of the most recent workforce trends, structures, issues and challenges vis-à-vis talent acquisition, talent development and management practices in order to motivate them to adapt to the ever-changing world of work in the era of Industry 4.0. The Convention also affirmed the organization’s commitment to developing 21st century skills for placement practitioners; enhancing their effectiveness in helping students transition from school to a competitive global workplace and in bridging the mismatch gap between existing jobs and skills new employees can provide. The knowledge and best practices shared by the keynote speaker and other resource speakers inspired the participants to improve their placement and career practice. The conference also provided an avenue for participants to connect and reconnect with those who work in basic and in tertiary education, in industry and in government agencies such as the Bureau of Local Employment of the Department of Labor and Employment (BLE-DOLE) and the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA); thus benefitting the nation’s young people moving towards meaningful employment (*Siojo, 2019).

APPCU’s upcoming professional development session, scheduled for August 23, 2019 at Friedenshaus Hotel School, St. Scholastica’s College, Manila, will highlight the academe-industry engagement in the formation of professionals. Invited resource speakers are from the People Management Association of the Philippines (PMAP), Philippine Association of Colleges and University (PACU) and PHINMA Education. The August speakers will share their insights on the importance of academe-industry engagement in the curriculum. In addition to the presentations, there also will be skill-building workshops on managing emotions and critical thinking; designed to help participants fine-tune their strategies to implement student/talent formation programs.

APPCU’s advocacy of promoting a relevant and meaningful career placement program will thrive as it relentlessly addresses the needs, issues, and concerns of the career placement practitioners/advocates and the future workforce. It will continually offer a learning convergence for the participants to be playful, stress-free, and most especially, to think out-of-the-box in the design or enhancement of their own, respective career placement programs.

Reference: *Siojo, Carla (2019). Post- Convention Executive Summary of the 9th Annual Convention of the Association of Placement Practitioners of Colleges and Universities (APPCU), Sr. Caridad Barrion Hall, St. Scholastica’s College, Manila on 7 and 8 March 2019. Submitted to the Professional Regulation Commission.

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Three APCDA Members Recognized by NCDA
by Natalie Kauffman

This year at the 2019 NCDA Global Career Development Conference in Houston, Texas, members of APCDA once again were the proud recipients of NCDA awards. Two of our members were welcomed into the ranks of NCDA Fellows and a third received the International Practitioner of the Year Award. NCDA President, Dr. Spencer "Skip" Niles, bestowed NCDA Fellows awards to Soonhoon Ahn (APCDA Legacy Member, Founder and Founding President) and Dr Roberta Neault (APCDA frequent presenter and long-standing member). Our two (APCDA) NCDA Fellows were honored for achieving major and significant contributions to career development theory and/or practice and for providing strong and sustained leadership and commitment in the career counseling and development profession. Soonhoon Ahn & Dr. Roberta Neault a were also welcomed into NCDA's Brain Trust at the Houston conference. The Brain Trust is comprised of Eminent Career Award winners, former NCDA presidents, executive directors and Fellows.

Raza Abbas (APCDA frequent presenter, long-standing Country/Area Director and Newsletter Committee member) was the proud recipient of the International Practitioner of the Year Award. He is from Karachi, Sind, Pakistan. As a social entrepreneur, Raza initiated career education as a new professional concept in Pakistan which had not been institutionalized in 71 years. For more than a decade, he has emulated NCDA's mission by "Inspiring careers, empowering lives" to 100,000+ students, teachers and employees nationally and globally across 6 continents. In addition to his APCDA activities, Raza is a participant in three NCDA Committees: Global Connections, Government Relations and Information Technology. Raza also is APCDA's 2017 Outstanding Career Practitioner Award recipient.

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My Many Recent Firsts
by Emily Lizada

I was one of the many hundreds of first timers (more than 350 total) who recently attended the NCDA Conference in Houston, June 26-29, 2019. The conference experience also provided me with the first time to be a round table presenter. And finally, traveling to the conference resulted in my first time outside of Asia, alone, my first time in the US, in Texas and in Houston.

During the NCDA June conference, I was able to meet and network with Career Development professionals from 23 different countries. It was a good learning opportunity for me and allowed me to exchange ideas and best practices with people in the same profession. I attended a multitude of breakout sessions; choosing ones applicable to the work I do as a Career Advisor in Ateneo de Manila University. I found Dr. Freeman Hrabowski’s keynote message to be very affirming of what we do as career development professionals. Attending the NCDA Conference also provided me with a benchmarking opportunity for my APCDA work. I was overwhelmed with how big the NCDA Conference is in comparison to our APCDA conference. I returned home re-charged and inspired to be a member of such a caring profess ion.

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APCDA's 2019 Conference Video Production
by Dr. Cherry May Palacio, RGC, RPm

As a member of APCDA's Public Relations Committee, I am pleased to acknowledge and warmly thank the RMIT Mass Media Student Team and all the representatives of RMIT for their excellent work crafting the recently released 2019 APCDA Conference Video that was filmed during our conference at RMIT, Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam on May 21-25. The video wonderfully captured the career development advocacy spirit forged by the synergistic efforts of the RMIT conference planning team, our APCDA staff and our APCDA Board. Their combined positive attitude, effective communication of vision and firm commitment to the achievement of organization objectives helped conference participants not only network with others in the field but also continue to build a global community of career development practitioners. As you saw or can see from the recently produced video, many of our conference participants shared that they felt at home with hardworking, open-minded and passionate people who dreamed for a progressive future.

As potential new members connect to and view our Conference Video, the experiences and comments wonderfully captured will surely demonstrate our association's welcoming warmth, sharing spirit and burning passion for career development!

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Cherry May Palacio is a licensed guidance counselor and psychometrician in the Philippines. In addition to being an active member of APCDA, she is a member of the Career Development Association of the Philippines (CDAP) and Philippine Guidance and Counselling Association (PGCA). Cherry worked for 10 years in an academic setting where she developed various career programs for college students. She moved to industry practice in 2008 where she continues to practice. She is currently the VP for Operations of POEC and concurrently the National Administrator for the International Association for the Exchange of Students for Technical Experience (IAESTE) — Philippines (a non-profit organization). Both organizations provide global career development opportunities to students and young professionals.

Newsletter Theme Issues
by APCDA Newsletter Committee

Since our APCDA 2019 Conference, your APCDA Newsletter Committee thanked and bid farewell to two committee members: Nika Ohashi and Gerald Tan, warmly welcomed four new committee members: Raza Abbas, Anne Rouh-Ling Chen, Mai Kato, and Li Fern Tong, as well as virtually reviewed the following topic/THEME ideas for consideration for our upcoming THEME issues. Our next THEME issue is our October issue with the deadline of Wednesday, September 18th. If you would like to submit an article for one the following THEMES or would like to add an additional THEME idea, please get in touch with us at Our committee greatly appreciates your ongoing support.

Career development education for and practices/research with . . .

  • an Aging Population
  • Career Women
  • the Homeless
  • Immigrants
  • Industry
  • Lower Class Workers
  • Private Sector Workers
  • Public Sector Workers
  • Re-Careering
  • Re-entry Women
  • Refugees
  • Second Careers (post-retirement)
  • those with Special Abilities/Needs
  • Succession Planning in Corporations


Career development education for and practices/research with College/University students regarding:

  • Career Reintegration after Study Abroad
  • Female Students
  • First Generation
  • Immigrants
  • International College students
  • Internships and other 'hands-on' experiences
  • Re-entry Women
  • those with Special Abilities/Needs
  • Successful Job Placement Programs
  • Displaced Workers


  • Career Readiness
  • Employability
  • Parental Involvement in Career Planning
  • the Psychology of Working
  • Systemic Theories & Career Counseling
  • Theoretical Approaches to Career Counseling
  • Vocational Training vs College

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Upcoming Webinars

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