It has been three weeks in Vietnam & I can wholeheartedly say that I wake up eager to explore every single day.
I am working as an Intern at NFQ, a global tech company, and the humbleness, hospitality, and genuine kindness amongst all employees have made it a breeze to settle in. In the first week of my internship, NFQ held their yearly summit in Saigon with events ranging from their tech and business conference to networking at rooftop bars. Clients and employees from their different global offices gathered & I was presented with the opportunity to meet people from all walks of life. Being able to talk about the different cultures in their own countries & sense of similarity in terms of ambition and career goals amidst vastly different lifestyles opened my eyes to the things that physical geographical separation cannot divide—a sense of community, openness & support where everyone tries to build everyone up.
Following the week of the Summit came a bit more normality, with regular office hours being 9 am – 6 pm. However, a strong sense of a welcoming culture & hospitableness remained. Buying each other lunch is common amongst the Vietnamese business custom & this has been accompanied by endless delicious food for motivation—different types of pho, seafood noodle soup, Japanese udon & so much more. A key clear culture shock has been the relaxed environment within the office. There is no set time period for lunch – where getting back to work is at our own discretion. This is also a general consensus for all employees to choose when to arrive and when to leave. My supervisor and co-workers are constantly supportive and help me to think in dynamic ways & they have made getting to know myself and the other interns in a social setting a priority. This is the biggest contrast to the work culture in New Zealand, where the environment is a bit more controlled, and there is a greater hierarchical distinction in roles with no clear priority for social culture.
The thought of working in Asia is becoming more and more of a reality I would like to ensure within my own ambitions rather than a mere possibility.