My name is Dat Tien Dinh and I ’m approaching my third year of the Bachelor in Business Administration. I joined IE University because of its academic prestige, a full scholarship, the Spanish lifestyle, and the chance to connect with peers and professionals from all walks of life. On top of my studies, I’m the co-founder and CFO of an edtech startup, as well as a finance advisory intern for the Deloitte Passport 2022 Program in Vietnam.
How one student embraced trial and error
After countless applications, Dat recollects how he first learned about his current internship from Deloitte’s official career website. He applied, hoping to put his business knowledge into practice while also bolstering his financial skills even further.
For this social entrepreneur, the process was quite extensive, with résumé screening and a financial analysis presentation. Not only did the one-hour interview challenge his financial knowledge, but also the presentation skills that he’s been developing at IE University.
In Dat’s opinion, his entrepreneurial background in edtech played a major role in helping him land the internship at Deloitte. While pursuing his undergraduate degree, Dat is also the co-founder and chief financial officer of VSPACE Education: a startup that provides college preparation consultancy and develops various edtech products. Along with a team of 30 people, he assists Vietnamese talent to study abroad.
So far, the startup has mentored over 200 students, helping them improve their English. At the same time the company has built a network of nearly 1,000 participating universities. Dat says that his leadership and management skills have been beneficial while completing his Bachelor in Business Administration. His team has also excelled in different business competitions which, while exciting, have put their mental stamina to the test.
With the demands of both his academic work and running and operating VSPACE, Dat says his second year at IE University was one of the most challenging but rewarding years of his life. Even so, despite the hectic schedule he also began applying for summer internship opportunities at this time.
Considering that more than 80% of his applications were rejected, though, this was a difficult time for Dat. Sometimes he felt unsure of what he was trying to accomplish. In the long run, he had to change his approach and start learning from his mistakes. Instead of blaming external factors, Dat started to recognize his unique strengths and weaknesses. Reaching out to his mentors also provided invaluable guidance.
In this respect, the support Dat received from IE University—especially the Talent & Careers department— carried him through this tough period. They provided exposure to stock pitch contests and real estate competitions, as well as the CSR writing contest held by the university. Thanks to these opportunities, Dat sharpened his critical and cognitive thinking skills.
With graduation on the horizon, Dat would like to thank the Talent & Careers team for offering students so many practical services, like résumé help and cover-letter training. The finance webinars and networking events organized through various clubs at IE University were also beneficial for Dat, especially the restructuring session held with BCG Partners. According to him, he feels like he grew up at IE University and became more of an expert on the financial industry.
In retrospect, Dat says that his story reminds him of how platforms like LinkedIn often only show the rosy side of achievement, rather than the struggles and failures that every professional experiences. This well-crafted and curated depiction of success used to stress him out during his internship search, making him feel as though he was lagging behind his peers.
Aware of what he overcame, Dat promised himself that he’ll share his journey regardless of the outcome. His ultimate hope is to empower others who are, or will one day, be in a similar situation while seeking internships. Following some trial and error, Dat is beyond grateful for the opportunity to participate in the Deloitte Passport 2022 Program as the finance advisory intern.
To advise students applying for this internship, Dat encourages them to focus on learning. Having a strong academic performance is vital, especially in the courses applicable to this position. Along those lines, motivated applicants should self-study and go the extra mile to master the necessary skills. This way, they arrive at interviews feeling more confident and prepared.
Dat also recommends asking a mentor to proofread your résumé and cover letter. In addition, connect with professionals working at your desired company to gain important insights. Finally, he suggests summoning up all of your courage to take risks in order to achieve your goals. It’s certainly what he did, and we wish him all the best.