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An internship across three time zones?

Although short, the 3 months I spent at FPT Software (FSoft) provided a once in a lifetime opportunity which allowed me to not only immerse into the Vietnamese culture, but I was also given a place to improve myself and my abilities.

Just before I had commenced my virtual internship, I too had my own doubts on the viability of receiving a fulfilling work experience especially when it would be held purely online. I was however, proven wrong very quickly. The program gave us interns a platform and a chance to learn more about Vietnam together with our Vietnamese buddies, whom we spent our weekends in various activities to engage with during cultural exchanges.

As a foreign student, I was in a peculiar situation due to COVID-19 as I was working and studying from home. This meant that I was constantly juggling between 3 different time zones to work, study and rest. At first, I was quite frustrated by how the timings of my day would never line up, but as time passed on, I devised my own method of dealing with the inconsistencies between hours. Looking back, I can confidently say that my time management skills have improved greatly dealing with the stress of time zones!

Something I have found extremely useful during COVID, or in general, would be having 2 monitors or more which ultimately depends on preference. The second monitor was extremely useful in my case as it allowed me to constantly display a page tracking my resources, notes or even schedules and tasks I must complete for the day. Another extremely useful utilization is for taking notes during meetings, as this allows you to direct your attention to the speaker whilst being able to take lives notes with your opinions ready for questions you wish to ask.

There’s always a merit to everything you do, and it’s based on the actions you take. Knowing this, I made it a goal to train my interpersonal skills during my time at FSoft. Fortunately, I was placed into a development team with a fellow intern with whom I teamed up and improved my programming skills with as we worked on our tasks. Additionally, the various cultural exchange activities gave an opportunity to converse with local Vietnamese students which ultimately lead to friendships forged from over the internet, over hundreds of miles. Even without seeing my peers physically, the time I spent was real and tangible.

Overall, the choice I made to take on this virtual internship was correct, which ultimately created an amazing experience. The staff team behind this program was extremely welcoming and I can assure the same for you. If you were to make the choice, I highly recommend it, you can only regret the chances you don’t seize for yourself.  

Justin Weit Kit Chin

Bachelor of Engineering (Honours)

Global Short Programs Student

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