On July 17th, 2020, Fulbright’s Venture Fellows were invited to visit the headquarters of VNG, the first Vietnamese “unicorn” with global ambitions, and one of the fastest growing tech companies in the country, as part of the Venture Fellows Program (VFP) “summer tour”. All summer, Venture Fellows will have the opportunity to meet with the leadership of the VFP’s partner organizations at their base of operations to gain a better understanding of how various companies’ function.
“Beyond equipping participants with solid internship experience, the VFP also aims to build, through exposure, deeper workplace connections, a clearer picture of professional expectations, and an appreciation for the varied strategies suitable at different stages of company growth, all highly useful assets to plan a successful career,” explains Ken Watari, who initiated the program.
The visit began with a presentation overviewing the history, business model and broad strategy of VNG by Chris Liu, VP of Publishing at the company, followed by a tour of the facilities outlining the roles and function of the many departments. As Venture Fellow Le Quoc Chi explains, “it helps us understand how different companies, at different scales, have different structures, departments, and ways to share the work and responsibilities. It’s also a great opportunity to ask questions to people at the center of the tech industries in Vietnam, such as Mr. Le Hong Minh.”
VNG CEO Le Hong Minh took time out of his busy schedule for a one hour meet and share with our students, fielding questions ranging from his thoughts on the future of technology to insights on building a project or a company. For Tung Lam, a venture fellow currently interning at VNG, the company is showing great interest in building relationships with a university such as Fulbright.
“They are showing us that they value a partnership with a university like Fulbright. As a liberal arts college, we have a very different profile. Traditionally, to find future employees for your tech company, you would go to the technology University, or the University of Science, and then you are looking for specifically tech people. But then students at Fulbright learn a vast majority of a very large range of subjects. Doing my internship with the business team, this is the kind of background that my team is looking for in students,” explains Tung Lam.
This thought was echoed in the Q&A session. A key takeaway was the importance of acquiring a mindset of lifelong learning and strong personal convictions to address a constantly changing world and continuously evolving professional needs. This is where a liberal arts education is an asset, encouraging students to forge their own path.