Remaining days of my summer internship

My summer internship at IDG Ventures Vietnam was a wonderful experience. I really wish that I could extend my summer internship here into the Fall; however, I need to return to the States and finish my last year of undergraduate study. By this time, I have developed a clearer sense of what I want to do in the future, and private equity is definitely something I want to pursue in my professional career.

During the final two weeks of my internship, I mainly worked on finishing up my white paper described in previous blogs. As my summer break came to an end, I was also busy making some travel plans to make the most out of the remaining days of summer, therefore making it harder for me to finish the paper on time. However, I brought up this problem to my supervisor and he gladly allowed me more time and also guided me to add some finishing touches to my research. My final presentation was scheduled on August 11th, which is also my last day of work. I was quite nervous for this last task; but I told myself that I have been working hard all summer. I collaborated with my teammate to touch carefully on Industry background, competitor analysis and business models of social networks in Vietnam. We also pointed out characteristics that are specific to Vietnam, which the managers found interesting and noteworthy. In the end, they asked us some follow-up questions and encouraged that we would keep in touch frequently with them on the situation of the project regarding new changes in regulation in the coming years. I am obviously glad about this chance as it seems like a great opportunity to maintain and extend my professional network.

Looking back over two months working at IDG, I felt I am truly blessed to work with hardworking individuals in a top private equity firm in Vietnam. Every analyst and associate here possess certain qualities in analytical and verbal that I really want to master, and this is definitely something I want to accomplish over my last year at Brandeis. I look forward to take more challenging courses at IBS and engage in more social activities on campus this year. I hope to make the most out of my last semesters here before joining the workforce in the coming year.

For students who are looking to work in private equity or venture capital

1)   Be close to your professors and start looking for your ideal internships as early as possible.

2)   It is ideal to have passion for a certain or multiple industries, since as an analyst you would have to pitch a lot of ideas to managers. Read more about private equity here

3)   Work on your analytical, research and presentation skills

In short, I think that venture capital is an option that many people consider thanks to its balanced lifestyle and work hours. I am thankful for the opportunity to intern here at IDG Ventures Vietnam and I strongly believe it will lay down a strong foundation for my future steps.

– Nam Pham ’14


Halfway through my internship

At this point, I have completed six weeks of my internship with IDG Ventures Vietnam. This has been a long journey, and I feel grateful for this opportunity. I am privileged to work for one of the top venture capital companies in Vietnam and have learned so much from this internship. People at work are very friendly and understanding: they made me feel comfortable and offered me helpful advice on the job. My research about how better to incorporate social networking into our business model is nearly complete. I have developed a comprehensive understanding of social network sites in the world, their business drivers, revenue models, cost structure, and organizational framework. My business writing skill has improved a lot, and I have nearly mastered XLSTAT-PRO and STATA for data researching purposes. My supervisor frequently checks in on me and provides critical feedback on my work so that I learn as much as I can from my job. He was pleased with my progress and confident that I would finish this research before the end of my internship period.

IDG building located in the centre of Hanoi capital

Last week I had a chance to join on a CEO meeting with Vat Gia, a small IDG portfolio company that has been growing tremendously over the last few years. Although it was just founded two years ago, Vat Gia has emerged as one of the leading online marketplaces in Vietnam. Its mission is to follow eBay’s model, with much attention and resources on providing pleasing purchasing environment platforms  for buyers and sellers. During the meeting, my manager requested updates from the company’s CEO, assessed the working condition and reviewed the annual goals. As the administrative assistant, I took notes and wrote a memo of the meeting afterward. Based on my notes and analysis, the CEO will have more ideas about future contact and potential next steps with this portfolio company. I really enjoyed the trip because I was exposed to a real business situation and learn about professional etiquette and communication techniques. I also told the start-up CEO about my research and he was very excited and willing to help me improve the research. After the trip, I grew a few good contacts in the technology industry.

vatgia web intf
Vat Gia web interface, similar to eBay

Besides working on the research and joining business meetings, my daily tasks also consist of assisting IDG analysts and associates with handling phone calls, scheduling meetings, and organizing electronic files. You might say these seem like boring tasks that no intern likes to do during any internship; however, by doing this, I have greatly enhanced my communication skills in the office. Although I have heard about this a lot, knowing how to communicate with other employees and managers is highly critical in today’s work environment. When I come back to Brandeis in the Fall, I will fully utilize these skills to network with alumni and reach out to potential employers during full-time job recruiting season. Besides, familiarizing with work environment also allows me to quickly adjust to a new workplace and deal with pressure in the work environment.


I look forward to finishing up my internship and please let me know which part of my internship you want to know more about! I hope you all are having a great summer before returning to campus in the Fall!

First week at IDG

Welcome everyone!  I have just completed my first week at International Data Group Ventures Vietnam (IDG Vietnam). I arrived in Vietnam on May 22nd, and I have been slowly adjusting to the time zone. Despite the exhaustion from jetlag, I was still very excited about my upcoming internship.

IDG Ventures Vietnam is the first technology venture capital fund in Vietnam. Since 2004, IDG has been working with entrepreneurs to grow innovative and market-leading companies. The company currently has $100 million under management, with investments in over 40 companies in the information technology, media, telecom infrastructure and services, and consumer sectors.

Unlike many WOW fellows, I  have worked at IDG previously .  I spent two months in the summer after my freshman year as a research analyst. It was already a valuable experience, but I thought  that I could still gain more from working here. Luckily I maintained a good relationship with my supervisor, and he introduced me to the IDG internship program and suggested I apply.   After reviewing my application, the CEO interviewed me via phone. We discussed my interests in social networks, and how I would contribute to the organization’s goal to develop them more fully. The CEO offered me an unpaid internship on the spot.

My internship kicked off with an orientation at Mercure Hotel in Hanoi, where I got to meet IDG staff and other interns in the program. The IDG branch in Hanoi is relatively small, comprised of four partners and fifteen investment professionals. The friendliness of the partners and other members of the company really impressed me. The managing partner introduced me to the staff and provided me basic information about the operation of the company. I also met ten other interns, many of whom come from top universities in Vietnam and the United Stes. My teammate on my project is a senior at Mount Holyoke College, MA (small world). She seems great, and I am definitely looked forward to working on the project with her.

Me during the orientation (bottom 2nd from left)

During the internship, I will primarily learn how to conduct market research on social networks in Vietnam. In the first week, my supervisor showed me how to collect and analyze empirical data about domestic and foreign markets, and write weekly reports for the company.  In the following weeks, I will learn how to build complicated charts about supply-demand and cost-revenue for social networking sites. I have learned some of these concepts at Brandeisl, and I want to see how it’s like to apply them in the real world settings.. I think the biggest challenge about this project will be  the technology aspect of establishin social networks. Since I don’t have a strong background in computer science, I will definitely have to consult my IT friends and other associates in the company.

Looking forward, after the summer, I really want to have a deeper understanding about venture capital in Vietnam and expand my networking contacts in the industry. Venture capital is playing its greater part in this country, and I really want to contribute my knowledge to its development.

-Nam Pham ’14