Capstone After 11 Years: Still Reaching New Heights
Warm greetings from Capstone Vietnam!
On 16 September, we celebrate yet another milestone in Capstone’s illustrious and eventful
history. It was the day in 2009 when an idea became a company and a mission began to unfold like a flower in bloom. It was also the beginning of an exciting and richly rewarding new chapter in the lives of our co-founders.
We started out with three staff, including the managing director and deputy director, two
institutional clients, the University of Chicago and Hobsons, a solid work ethic, a willingness to take calculated risks, an enormous reservoir of enthusiasm, and a range of ambitious plans.
We now employ 10 full-time staff, in additional to occasional part-time employees and student interns.
Our first office was in Hanoi; a few years later, we established another one in Ho Chi Minh City (HCMC). Last June, we moved into a beautiful new state-of-the-art office in Hanoi’s Hai Ba
Trung District, yet another milestone in our 11-year journey.
- I’m proud to say we’ve remained true to our original mission, specifically,
- To enable individuals to achieve their educational goals and career aspirations.
- To help institutions actualize their international education-related plans in Vietnam and overseas.
- To make a meaningful and lasting difference in the lives of individuals, organizations, and society.
Our company name refers to a “high point” or “crowning achievement,” which in turn relates to our slogan, Reaching New Heights. Our core values of integrity, learning, global awareness,
innovation, and results continue to inspire us and propel us forward. Our growth over the past 11 years and our well-earned reputation for excellence, ethical behavior, and trustworthiness have enabled Capstone to become a living embodiment of its slogan.
Quality and Innovation Over Business as Usual
Capstone may very well be the only education company in Vietnam and the world that works
exclusively with regionally accredited colleges and universities in the US, the gold standard of
institutional accreditation, and officially accredited institutions in other countries. Why? For the simple reason that quality and integrity are far more important than money. It is for this reason that our unofficial slogan is Success without integrity is failure.
When we founded Capstone, our business model was unique. We saw needs in the market that were not being met and opportunities that were not being taken advantage of. We developed and offered a wide range of institutional services, which we have expanded over the years, mostly but not exclusively, related to overseas study.
Our approach to educational advising was also unique. In the spirit of “customer is king or
queen,” we always look for “best fit” educational institutions for students, i.e., we don’t guide, or pressure them only to consider Capstone partner schools.
Since 2009, Capstone has served thousands of individual and institutional clients, including
students and their parents, along with colleges and universities, boarding and day schools, and non-profit organizations.
The COVID-19 Era and Beyond
As I wrote in a spring message, in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, Viet Nam has done all
of the right things at the right time, placing the health and well-being of its people and foreign
visitors above all else. The result so far is relatively few confirmed cases of the coronavirus
compared with many other countries. Viet Nam, which is an international role model in the way in which it has handled the coronavirus pandemic, is now patiently waiting for the rest of the world to catch up.
This is a difficult time for you, as it is for the families we serve. For obvious reasons, most of our work these days is online, including a variety of digital events that benefit students and parents, along with you and the institutions you proudly represent.
We look ahead to 2021 with cautious optimism. Capstone students who remained in the US from last year and those who recently traveled there to begin their studies have shared overwhelmingly positive news about their experiences both in and outside of the classroom.
In a separate message to Vietnamese parents and students, I assured those young people who were forced to defer their dream of overseas study because of COVID-19 that this delayed gratification is well worth the wait. The knowledge, experience, and skills they acquire from a quality overseas study experience is a long-term investment that will benefit them for the rest of their personal and professional lives.
In addition, we’re offering a new service called CareerCoach that helps young people uncover
their aptitudes and natural talents that are combined with interests to create a profile that can be used to select academic majors and future careers. (It’s for everyone age 15 and over, regardless of whether they plan to study overseas or at home.)
For foreign colleagues and their institutions, we are offering an array of Capstone Online! digital marketing services and digital events, many of which we will continue to offer in the post- COVID-19 era. Our fall and spring flex-fairs will continue to feature in-person, surrogate, and virtual participation options.
On a Personal Note
If I had a tagline, it would be Academic by training, education entrepreneur and international
educator by trade. While I always had a lot of freedom of action in my previous jobs in the public and nonprofit sectors, Capstone gave me more freedom to chart new directions and blaze new trails.
Thank you to those we have already served for placing your trust in us. To everyone else – I
cordially invite you to consider working with Capstone and our outstanding team of dedicated
staff to help you achieve your Viet Nam-related goals, including student recruitment in challenging times.
Take care and stay healthy!
Mark A. Ashwill, Ph.D.
Managing Director & Co-Founder