Week 2: The Unexpected Challenge

Unfortunately, I am writing this second blog a few days early due to the copious amount of free time I have due to the fact that I am isolating with COVID-19. All in all, not the fun first week at work I was imagining.

Thankfully, I got to spend one day at work before testing positive the next morning. My first day was really exciting, and I can’t wait to come back after I’ve recovered and regained my strength.

Myself and two other interns are working at NFQ Asia – a multinational tech firm which empowers the scaling of international start-ups through services including: consultancy, IT transformation, and finding the right business model. Based in the heart of District 1, I can already tell that just being in NFQ’s environment will be fascinating. Vietnam has a start-up ecosystem unlike anything in Aotearoa. NFQ itself is testament to this – they were founded in 2015 in HCMC and already have hundreds of employees and multiple locations across Europe and Asia. Not only this, but they are quickly outgrowing their own start-up stage, at the same time as helping other start-ups  scale up and grow.

The building we’re working in alone is exciting and dynamic (not to mention a whole floor for recreation and food), let alone the projects, work environment and my colleagues. Admittedly, I cannot comment on much more as I haven’t been able to work very much since getting set up and introduced to everything. But I am confident already that I will not only be able to learn from the work I’m doing but from the people around me and the dynamic work environment.

I’m very sad that I had to get COVID this week as NFQ Asia is due to host their Summit, which brings together employees and clients from all over the world to participate in activities, seminars, workshops and more. It promised to be an enriching time for networking and learning. Alas, I have been isolating in my room for the past few days.

Being sick always tends to make one yearn for home a little bit more. Being in a new city and new place, practically isolated and sick, has made me a bit homesick. I won’t lie. However, the silver lining is that the rooms we’re in are very nice, and the food has been amazing. It’s incredibly easy to have cheap food at your doorstep within 20 min. I’ve been able to enjoy myself on a diet of tropical fruits (including jackfruit, mangos, dragon fruit and other things you don’t find as nice in Aotearoa), daily morning Bánh Mì, scrumptious noodles and rice dishes, and a selection of Vietnamese snacks my flatmate got for me. If it weren’t for COVID, I’d say that I could really get used to this.

Hopefully I’ll have a more action-packed and interesting blog for you next week. In the meantime, here are some photos of the view outside my room. Although I’m stuck in my room 24/7, I never get bored of looking out my window!

Until then,


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