Thanh Van Dang

Where is your home country?

Vietnam

What languages do you speak?

Vietnamese, English

Where do you live now?

Hanoi

What was the name of your course?

Bachelor of Computer Science and Technology

When did you graduate?

2003

What is the name of your education institution?

The University of Sydney

Hero Photo of NSW Alumni Van Dang

It is sometimes better to make some mistakes early because you will have the courage to face them when you recognise them at an earlier stage of your life.

Why did you choose to study in this field?

For most people the straightforward answer would be because of passion. For me, passion is only the tip of the iceberg as I take pride in being someone  who has a vision. When I was in 7th grade, I was really impressed with the power of a computer and I imagined the beautiful life that a computer could one day bring to the world. That is why I chose to study computer science and looking forward to exploring the infinite possibilities that programming can give.

Why did you decide to study in NSW?

For me, knowing is winning half the battle. Apart from having a scholarship, that was a tremendous financial help, I came to NSW because I realised this was a chance of a lifetime for me to truly understand and find out who I really am and what I am capable of.

Tell us about your experience studying in NSW

By studying in NSW, I got one step closer to stepping out of my comfort zone and traversing into a new one which has contributed to making me who I am today. As well as learning to adapt to new curriculums, new technologies and new timetables.

What opportunities has studying in NSW given to you?

Aside from graduating with a Bachelor of Computer Science from the University of Sydney, studying in NSW allowed me to meet and befriend many amazing people who supported me along the way. It was also the place where I got my first part-time job.

What are you doing now in your career?

I am the founder of my own company, Savvycom, and have run it since 2009. We are a team of strategists, innovators and software engineers providing application design and development for customers worldwide. Besides being the CEO of Savvycom, I enjoy mentoring young women entrepreneurs, speakers/advocates on technologies, entrepreneurship and innovation.

Why did you decide to follow your chosen career path?

My entrepreneurship journey started with a dream of bringing technology into life and leveraging the engineering workforce in Vietnam. After three years of founding and running Savvycom, with life experience and understanding the values that entrepreneurs can bring to society, I found that being an entrepreneur is not only my job but my career. Other than that, I have always wanted to be more than just a leader, someone who can motivate others and enable them to reach their maximum potential.

Can you share any career advice for current students or graduates?

I understand that many of us are afraid of making mistakes or taking risks. However, it is sometimes better to make some mistakes early because you will have the courage to face them when you recognise them at an earlier stage of your life. My advice is if things do not work out, then change your path.Try and find a good company with the mission and vision that align with your values and learn as much as possible. Set your goals step by step. Knowledge is essential, but life experience is significant too. It's where you can understand yourself, find your inner peace and bring value to society.

Do you remain involved in NSW?

I am connected to Australia in my capacity as a Steering Committee Member for Aus4Innovation program and a Distinguished Fellow at the Asia Society Australia.

NSW Alumna Van Dang with colleagues

NSW Alumna Van Dang with colleagues at an event (Savvycom backdrop)