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Eagles of AUPP, David Vicheth

The name is David, David Vicheth, soon to be an alumnus from the AUPP ICT department. My interest in the role of technology in society sparked my decision to specialize in Management of Information Systems for my degree.

Throughout my university journey, I’ve had the fortune of participating in various activities and projects that have spurred my growth. I’ve been a member of the winning team in the AUPP Business Club, the YSEALI ASEAN game-changer event in Kuala Lumpur, and challenges like the FWD SpringboardX Student Challenge, Smart USDP, among others. My experience with the Huawei APAC Tour to Shanghai provided me with a valuable global perspective. Professionally, I’ve managed marketing budgets worth over a quarter of a million dollars across multiple campaigns and contributed to a CSR initiative at Axiata Group Berhad in Malaysia, aimed at supporting youth and community development. These experiences have been instrumental in shaping my approach to personal and professional life.

One of my most treasured achievements was winning the YSEALI ASEAN Gamechanger 2023, a prestigious game development hackathon in Kuala Lumpur, sponsored by Xbox. As the youngest participant with no game development background, I was part of a diverse team of three representing Cambodia, mentored by professors from Ivy League universities. Despite the rigorous demands, which meant working overnight to meet tight deadlines, our dedication was unwavering.

The event drew esteemed figures, including former ministers of Malaysia, underscoring the hackathon’s significance. Our team’s mix of races and experiences created a rich tapestry of ideas and perspectives, ultimately leading us to first place. This experience not only affirmed my potential beyond academic confines but also enhanced my understanding of effective collaboration across cultures. It was a definitive moment that greatly broadened my industry outlook and self-belief.

Among all the highs and lows, successes and failures, there was one decision that significantly altered the course of my life path. It was the decision to participate in the AUPP Business Club, Season One. This was the first-ever business-oriented competition I had participated in as a freshman at university. In a sense, I was like a green bean undergoing a transition from childhood to young adulthood. I was introduced to the world of entrepreneurship. I was fortunate to be part of an excellent team with talented members. Moreover, I received guidance from respected mentors and learned numerous lessons from a group of club committee members, each with years of experience in the field, all of whom went on to achieve great things.

There are countless individuals from whom I’ve drawn immense inspiration. However, one person stands out distinctly among them. His name is Chann Borima, now in his 40s, is the CEO and co-founder of Nham24, a venture he embarked upon in 2016 at the age of 42. Nham24 is on its way to becoming a leading Khmer-owned super app, prevalent on most urban Cambodian smartphones. Borima’s journey into entrepreneurship showcases a dedication to innovation and a keen understanding of the Cambodian market.

Mr. Borima’s journey is not your typical tech founder’s tale. As previously mentioned, he was 42, married, and a father of three when he launched Nham24. He epitomizes a high-risk appetite, intelligence, and fortuitous entrepreneurship. Mr. Borima serves as compelling evidence that it’s never too late to achieve monumental success.

Upon graduating from high school and entering university, I set a goal to learn comprehensively about various subjects and to network with as many individuals as possible. Now, as my university years draw to a close, I can confidently say that I’ve made significant strides toward achieving that goal. In my first semester, I joined the AUPP Business Club, which broadened my understanding of business operations, ideation, management styles, communication skills, teamwork, and much more. These skills were further solidified through participation in events like Smartstart, Smart USDP, Huawei Seeds for the Future, FWD SpringboardX, and others.

In addition to this, I enhanced my technical software engineering skills through university courses, freelancing, and hackathons such as the Turing Hackathon, Build On Cambodia, RHB Get Your Hack On, and YSEALI ASEAN Gamechanger. Furthermore, I expanded my knowledge in finance and accounting by enrolling in another institute and gained marketing experience through various freelance and contract roles. These experiences all included elements of soft skills like networking and communication, combined with various technical hard skills.

My aspiration is to be a multifaceted individual capable of generating innovative business ideas, developing or enhancing them with technology I’ve coded or implemented, managing my marketing, overseeing the business’s internal operations, and handling the accounting and bookkeeping. However, I recognize that achieving significant milestones is rarely a solo endeavor, so while I strive to be proficient or at least knowledgeable in many areas, I also understand the value of collaboration and teamwork.

It’s quite challenging to single out one moment as the absolute happiest in my life, as there’s been a blend of both delightful and challenging times. These difficult experiences have a way of making the joyful moments stand out more. The instances that I hold dear are those spent in the company of people I care about, especially a group of dear friends who are very close to my heart. Life has its way of changing friendships, with some friends staying and others leaving, but the joy and richness they’ve added to my life are enduring. When I think about all the achievements in my professional or academic life, none seem to shine quite as brightly as the simple, yet profound happiness I’ve found in the company of these cherished individuals. Their presence has been a constant source of joy, accompanying me through various milestones and achievements.

For people who look up to me, please stop as I’m incredibly shy. As for the advice, the advice that I can give is to care less about other people’s advice. We all have our own lives, so pick your own lane, play your own game of life however you want. Do whatever makes you happy, and yes, being happy means having to go through unhappy moments, or else the happy moments would feel bland. Listen but consider it well. Don’t take advice about playing football from a tennis player. Oh wait, that tennis player might actually be good at football though. Whatever, don’t listen to my advice.

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