How did you come across this internship and what made you choose this internship?
I completed my internship at HOPEE, an IT company headquartered in Ho Chi Minh City that provides software solutions to enterprises, independent software vendors, digital agencies, and startups.
Several reasons motivated my decision to pursue an overseas internship. Firstly, the idea of immersing myself in a foreign culture was incredibly appealing. I wanted to explore a role beyond my major and I believe the best way to learn was to expose myself to an overseas environment. Secondly, Vietnam is a beautiful country with amazing people. Through my internship there, I would have the opportunity to interact with the locals, understand their way of life, and form connections that would last beyond my internship.
How did you prepare yourself for the internship?
I secured the internship through the NTU Career & Attachment Office (CAO) and JDI who connected me to host companies in Vietnam. JDI is a venture catalyst that aims to jumpstart the growth of innovative companies in various sectors, including FinTech, F&B, e-commerce and education. Apart from helping me acquire university-sanctioned travel, CAO also extended their help in securing financial support which I greatly appreciated.
On a personal level, I mentally prepared myself to be open-minded and committed myself to learning throughout the experience.
What were your main responsibilities as an intern?
As a business development intern, my primary responsibilities included assisting the business development team in evaluating potential business opportunities within the IT industry, conducting market research to analyse emerging IT trends, and proposing ideas to enhance and promote the company’s brand across various platforms.
What do you like about this internship experience?
There was never a dull moment from the moment I stepped into the country. From my interactions with the people to Vietnam’s rich history and breathtaking landscapes, I enjoyed every aspect of my internship experience. During the weekends, I would travel around the city and also explore other provinces.
My job scope also played a significant role in shaping my positive internship experience. Working in a business development role in an IT company allowed me to delve into the emerging and diverse aspects of the industry. Every day was an opportunity to learn and gain invaluable insights. The interactions with my colleagues and the locals were genuine and heartwarming. The friendships and connections I formed within the company and beyond were among the most valuable takeaways from my overseas internship experience.
What were some challenges you faced and how did you overcome them?
Initially, I felt uncertain about what I could contribute to the company as a business development intern given my non-business background. However, I approached the challenge with my willingness and enthusiasm to learn. With the support of my colleagues and supervisors, not only was I able to fulfil my responsibilities, I managed to push myself to go beyond.
The language barrier also posed a challenge. Thankfully, my colleagues were able to help me translate presentations that were only in Vietnamese. To overcome the language barrier, I proactively took note of the essential keywords commonly used in the IT industry and conducted additional research on the meaning of these keywords to better my understanding.
How have you developed through this internship? What have you learnt and what are your key takeaways?
As an intern with HOPEE, I had the opportunity to delve into the world of coding, software development, AI, machine learning, and more. Gaining basic technical knowledge proved to be invaluable in my role as a business development intern. I was able to have more insightful project discussions with clients, and with a clearer understanding of their needs, I was able to deliver better tailored solutions.
The knowledge and experiences I acquired during this overseas internship will be valuable for my future career in the 21st century, where information technology serves as a catalyst for innovative ideas.
Share advice with your peers who will be going on internships.
Don’t allow inexperience to define your capabilities. My internship journey serves as a testament to this. With a willingness to work hard and an open mindset to learn, you can acquire the necessary skills to achieve seemingly daunting goals. We often surpass our own expectations and achieve more than we believe possible.