Thuong Phan is a Quality Assurance Software Engineer at Wizeline. With three years of experience working at Wizeline, Thuong offers unique insights into the field of Information Technology as a woman in tech. In this interview, she tells her story about her struggles in grasping the concepts surrounding IT to then becoming the confident engineer she is today.
Thuong was born in Tien Giang province, north of the Mekong Delta. Tien Giang is most known as “the kingdom of the fruits” and is home to over 183,000 acres of orchards, the largest in the country, and yields around 1.4 million tonnes of fruits a year.
When speaking about her childhood, Thuong described herself as “quite playful” and leaning more towards the games typically played by boys. “I remember instead of taking naps at noon, I often snuck out of the house and played soccer with my friends,” she recalled. These days, there isn’t much outdoor soccer playing in her life; however, if you’re ever at the Wizeline Vietnam office, you might be able to find Thuong at the foosball table.
Thuong attended high school in My Tho city. While going down memory lane, she recalled some of the struggles during that time of her life. “In 10th grade, I moved into a dorm, and it was a big adjustment being away from home. It was hard, and I was homesick.” Thuong also spoke of her challenges in the classroom and how to this day, she still remembers one assignment in which she scored so low that she cried the rest of the day.
Lessons around information technology were also on the list of challenges during the time. To put it frankly, Thuong struggled during those times they focused on IT, specifically pascal programming, during high school. As she put it, “basically, I had no idea what it was.” Obviously, with where she is in life today, Thuong didn’t back down from the challenges she faced where IT is concerned.
While many of us probably didn’t go into University with a focus on an area we didn’t necessarily succeed in, the same can’t be said for Thuong. “When I decided to apply to University, to be honest, I had no clue. It was actually my dad who suggested that I apply to the University of Information Technology.” Her original plan was to apply to University and then find a job as soon as possible. However, after four years at the university, it became apparent with each lesson that she was on the path she was meant to walk.
After completing university, Thuong gained experience from a few IT companies, including a local Vietnamese company, a Japanese company, and even a global company. However, after hearing about Wizeline from a friend, she decided to put herself out there and pursue a new opportunity. “At that time, people shared that the interview was hard, but I wanted to give it a shot, you know. So, I applied, and here we are today,” she stated. “I joined Wizeline in 2019, and it has been the best working environment of any job I’ve had so far.” At the top of what makes Wizeline stand out amongst the rest for Thuong are the support of her colleagues and the respect they have.
For Thuong, the opportunities she’s been provided at Wizeline have been unmatched, “I have opportunities to develop myself. This new version of me is more confident, and I dare myself to accept challenges.” For her role as a QA software engineer, she spoke about the type of work she does. “We follow the Agile model and work cross-function, which helps me improve a lot in the management process, communication, manual testing, and overall testing process. Since we are applying Performance Accelerator, it helps us follow up and make our goal a reality.”