What did you do at work, did your work experience help you confirm your career path?
I worked as a research intern, so I was involved in a collaborative research paper looking at why Cambodian high school students don’t want to study STEM subjects at university. I really enjoyed the work I did, I felt like it was meaningful and would be used to make change here in Cambodia and actually I really enjoyed working in research. In terms of career path, I think I learnt a lot, gained so many new skills but I have realized I can’t do a desk job for the rest of my life. I feel so inactive and I think it would be good to be involved with work on the ground level with hands on experience. Whereas working from a desk gives you more of a general overview of a situation.
Was it easy or hard to meet other people in Phnom Penh? Were your friends local or expats? What did you take away culturally from the experience?
It was easier than I expected to talk to locals here but most of my friends were western. I knew a boy from my uni was coming to work here and I became really close with Bea (another intern). I think it was quite easy to meet new people here because we are all in the same boat. We are all coming from abroad and working here trying to learn and embrace the culture, so we all have that in common. Everyone is super friendly and just start conversations with you too. Culturally I took away the food and the lifestyle here of getting up earlier to get more things done