It has been almost three weeks since I moved to Ho Chi Minh City and started my internship at VinaCapital. I have experienced and learned so much since my first day here but never actually got the chance to reflect upon my journey so far until this blog.

My first real day in Ho Chi Minh City is also the day I started my internship. I share the rental building with another intern at VinaCapital so every morning we would catch a cab to the company together. The building where we work at is located on a huge boulevard in the center of the city. Our office is on the 17th floor, with the view overlooking the boulevard featured in the picture below.

VinaCapital is an investment management and real estate development firm with a diversified portfolio in listed and private equities, real estate and bonds. The company currently manages three closed-end funds trading on the AIM Market of the London Stock Exchange. It was one of my proudest achievements to secure an internship at the firm as it would push me forward in my career aspiration in finance.

My first impression when I got a tour around the office is the small size of this company. There are around 70 people in the firm and all employees are close and know of each other. Even the news of an incoming intern like me spread around the office as I met and introduced myself to the employees. As soon as I settled down in my spot at my team’s cubicles, an analyst sitting next to me, who is currently my direct mentor, assigned me with my very first task: an industries research report. I was very excited and got down to work immediately. An obstacle I have during my first weeks here is a lack of familiarity with Vietnam’s market as well as Vietnamese technical finance language. However, I try to learn and familiarize myself with some independent research as well as ask for help from my team members. I was very grateful at everyone’s willingness to help me, even though they’re already overwhelmed with work. Most of the time I try to work on my own first. As I work my way through the tasks, I was very excited to connect and translate between what I have learnt at Dickinson and the real-life projects in Vietnam. The expected similarity between materials on class and the real-world application better emphasize and strengthen my knowledge and skills.

The team that I work in is called Idea Generation, whose main purpose is conducting market research to find investment ideas for other functions in the company. I am very excited at the broad range of subjects that I get exposed to because of working in this team and look forward to more new experiences in near future!