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Eagle of AUPP, Hangkun Chea

Introducing our newest Eagle of AUPP, Hangkun Chea.

Hangkun is currently a senior at AUPP, pursuing a major in Business Administration through the University of Arizona, Eller College of Management. Throughout his undergraduate tenure, Hangkun has distinguished himself through a series of noteworthy achievements and leadership roles.

His contributions include serving as a Multimedia Coordinator at the AUPP Marketing Department, providing guidance and mentorship to members of the AUPP Business Club, representing the Student Government during its 8th Mandate, and serving as a Liaison Officer during the SEA Games 2023. Additionally, Hangkun has gained valuable experience as a Press and Social Media Intern at the U.S. Embassy and as the Club Manager of the AUPP Dance Club.

Hangkun’s academic journey is characterized by his proactive approach to seizing diverse opportunities, fostering personal growth, cultivating interrelational skills, and achieving excellence in his academic pursuits. His commitment to multifaceted development reflects his dedication to making a positive impact both within the academic realm and the broader community.

Read more about his extraordinary adventuress here:

My name is Hangkun Chea, and I am currently a senior majoring in Business Administration at the American University of Phnom Penh and the University of Arizona, Eller College of Management. My academic journey at AUPP has been instrumental in shaping who I am today. In my freshman year, I actively participated in the AUPP Business Club, and later mentored new members. During the 8th Mandate, I served as a Junior Representative in the Student Government, advocating for the interests and concerns of the student body at AUPP.

My journey in the business field had a somewhat unconventional start, initially lacking a specific interest until my sophomore year when I took on a part-time role at the AUPP Marketing and Communications Department as a Marketing Assistant. This experience not only deepened my understanding of the field but also sparked a genuine liking for it. Presently, I serve as the Multimedia Coordinator in the department. As I am near the completion of my senior year, I am humbled by the experiences gained at AUPP and eager to apply these learnings in a meaningful way in the professional realm

The achievement I am most proud of was the recent work at the United States Embassy as a Press and Social Media Intern. Throughout my internship program, I had the privilege of working alongside highly skilled professionals who generously shared their knowledge and expertise. The guidance provided by my supervisors was instrumental in enhancing my understanding of content plans and analytics, as well as press guidance. In addition, I had the opportunity to participate in the diplomatic mission to Siem Reap Province as part of AmCam Friendship Week, where I extend my assistance in deepening the relationship between the two nations. While my primary responsibility involved providing media coverage for the embassy’s social media page, I was genuinely honored to engage with news media professionals and cultural program officers during my time there. This experience allowed me to broaden my understanding of diplomatic initiatives and build meaningful connections within the context of media relations and cultural exchange.

There have been quite a few game-changers in my life, and while I have previously discussed my academic pursuits and achievements, it is imperative to acknowledge the profound influence of the individuals I encountered along the way. One particular turning point was when I joined the AUPP Dance Club. At the time, the club was small, with fewer than ten members, but that tight-knit group became a cornerstone for me. Getting to know each member on a personal level and grooving to K-pop dances together created some of the happiest moments of my life. It also gave me the confidence to step out of my comfort zone, participating in external competitions and volunteering initiatives.

One other notable experience was being a Liaison Officer during the SEA Games 2023, where I acted as a cultural guide for athletes from Thailand, representing Cambodia’s rich culture and sports. This opportunity not only allowed me to connect with students beyond Cambodia but also exposed me to diverse fields of study. The relationships I built during this time have been instrumental in my personal development, shaping who I am today. The AUPP Dance Club journey and subsequent experiences have been more than just hobbies—they’ve been a catalyst for growth and meaningful connections that continue to shape my present self.

Solisa May has been a constant source of inspiration for me since my early days at AUPP. As an alumna and the valedictorian of the Class of 2022, she has left a lasting impression on me. Her academic achievements and exceptional performance have been widely acknowledged, and it is evident that she possesses a deep understanding of her pursuits. As I navigate my academic journey, I am motivated by the goal of maintaining a high GPA much like hers. Her achievements serve as a constant reminder of the possibilities that hard work, dedication, and a passion for learning can bring. Witnessing her diligence and commitment during her term as the president of SGA’s 7th mandate played a pivotal role in my decision to join the 8th mandate of the Student Government. While there are instances when I find it challenging to meet the high standards set by her, I consistently

strive to give my best effort in maintaining a similar level of dedication, academic excellence, and leadership within my own capabilities.

In full honesty, I didn’t have everything figured out from the get-go. Back in high school, I was more into the idea of studying culinary arts than business. I’m more of a “go with the flow” kind of person. Opportunities come knocking, and I tend to seize them, giving my best shot every time. During my freshman year, I unexpectedly found myself joining the AUPP Business Club, not because it was part of some grand plan, but because I clicked with the people from orientation who also wanted to join. As I moved into Sophomore year, I didn’t envision being a part of the AUPP Marketing Department, but my classmates were doing it, so why not? Even during Junior year, my decision to apply for the United States Embassy Internship was driven more by the need to fulfill my Internship Course than a premeditated plan.

Yet, one aspect I did intentionally planned was to delve deeper into marketing. I kicked off as a marketing assistant, later taking on an internship role as a Press and Social Media Intern. Now, I find myself in the position of Multimedia Coordinator, planning out content and scheduling them day by day. These steps unfolded as soon as I sparked an interest in marketing, and I see them as the core of my current semi-success. Long story short, none of these decisions were carefully thought through; I simply took the initiative when opportunities arose and had only intervened after realizing my true aspiration in the subject of marketing. Looking back, I appreciate every little step, whether big or small, as they collectively shaped the person I am today.

The happiest moment of my life would be when I joined SmartEdu University Student Development Program (USDP) Bootcamp. As a participant in the Program, I had the privilege to actively participate in theoretical, experiential, personal, and relational development. The program facilitated a well-rounded learning experience, enabling me to attain a thorough grasp of essential business skills and tools. This was accomplished through a blend of meticulously planned workshops, simulations, group dynamics, coaching sessions, and comprehensive case studies. One of the highlights that rendered it the happiest moment of my life was the opportunity to forge enduring friendships with fellow participants in the program. Beyond the bootcamp, we even came together to celebrate birthdays and attend concerts as a close-knit group. The joyous moment for me at the bootcamp was when our team was securing a monetary prize, highlighting our distinction as one of the top-performing teams in our cohort.

I genuinely don’t see myself as a role model because I feel like giving solid advice can be tricky since everyone’s journey is so unique. However, if I were to offer some

suggestions, especially to the new freshmen at AUPP, in the field of Business Administration, it would be this:

In our dynamic field, staying on a path of continuous learning is crucial. We’ve got to stay curious, always look for new knowledge, and be ready to adapt to changes in the industry. My academic journey has been marked by a progression in my interests within the business realm. Initially drawn to economics during my first year, my fascination evolved toward logistics in my second year. Ultimately, my enthusiasm settled on marketing during my third and fourth years. Embracing the diverse subjects that the field of business has to offer has proven to be the most rewarding approach.

Additionally, don’t shy away from diverse experiences. My journey involves diverse experiences, from my current role as a multimedia coordinator to my past internship at the United States Embassy. We must embrace various opportunities as they arise as each experience contributes uniquely to our skill set and perspective. Personally, I credit a lot of my varied experiences to competitions and volunteer work. They not only expand your professional network but also open doors to new insights.

Lastly, success often comes from working well with others. So, foster a collaborative spirit, appreciate teamwork, and understand the strengths each team member brings. Together, you can achieve way more than going solo. Embracing collaborations was the sole reason my team was chosen as one of the top-performing teams back in the USDP Bootcamp.

Remember, each journey is unique, and there’s always room for growth and improvement. Stay focused on your goals, be resilient in the face of challenges, and enjoy the learning process along the way.

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