The story of studying and working in Europe by FPT University alumni

While 99er are wondering not so lightly when choosing which subject to study, what job to do, Coc Doc has a chance to talk with a person who has also experienced all those emotions, Ho Vinh Thinh, the name belongs to the "top list" of famous Coc with remarkable achievements in IT student tournaments, who is currently succeeding on the career path abroad.


Hi Thinh, it's been a long time getting to talk to you. I wonder where Thinh is currently studying or working?


Hello, I am Year 2011 student of FPT University in Software Engineering. I have graduated from school for 2 years, now I am living and working in France.


So you've been out of school for more than 2 years, after graduating, how did you continue to study and develop your career?


During and after graduation, I had a short time working at FPT IS for about 8 months, and 2 years working for Coc Coc Search Engine. Because I went to work as the same time as I went to school, I stayed awake almost every night to make a project.


My plan to study at graduate school abroad was intended for a long time ago so soon after graduating from FPT University I spent some time to prepare the necessary documents for studying abroad. Waiting for scholarship results made me feel really nervous, anxious and pressured. Luckily, everything went smoothly and I received a graduate scholarship in computer science at Germany's Saarland University. I also received a scholarship and was a member of the Max Planck School of International Studies in Computer Science under the Max Planck Association of Germany.

And from here I started the journey to discover Europe, until I stopped in France. Currently, in addition to studying at school, I am working at Google in the YouTube Trending team.


What makes you decide to try yourself at Google?

My future plan is to study a PhD in computer science, which takes a long time. Coming from software engineering industry, as an instinct, I always like to do software. So before I started my PhD, I decided to apply to Google to work for a period of time to learn from the experience, see how big companies they work

Of course there are a few other reasons why I choose to apply to Google like as a "big name" in the CV, it will bring many great advantages later and the second thing that is equally attractive is Google's treatment policy which is very good.

So what has Thinh experienced in the Google working environment?

Before I officially worked at Google, I also learned about the active and comfortable working style of this company. Indeed, Google's working environment is not too stressful and always inspires creative ideas for employees.

Working time is quite comfortable, almost every employee is not controlled in the time aspect. the important thing is to complete the job. The treatment is also quite good, staff will be served main meals during the day. There are also micro kitchens so employees can eat snacks such as confectionery, soft drinks, etc. there is also a music room, games room, massage room, bedroom, so I feel staying at the company is even better than at home.


"Play without forgetting the task", all work and reports still have to be completed on time but working with high-level colleagues makes the job always got done smoothly, without any problem too difficult and pressuring. This is also one of my favorite points at Google.

I'm currently working in the YouTube team, being able to meet and work with more talented people helps me have more motivation to continue trying harder. In addition, they come from many different countries, so not only I get to learn a lot from them, I also have the opportunity to interact with many cultures around the world and discover many interesting things.


It seems that Thinh is quite adaptable to the life and working environment abroad. Don’t you encounter any difficulties?

Yes, I find it difficult to integrate with French culture. In Germany everything is easier. People here are mostly friendly, polite and affectionate.

I like to explore everything I go through but I have a bit of difficulty communicating because in France and Germany almost everyone does not speak English, but for me, everything has a solution. I will learn everything online carefully before I want to do anything, besides, I am also learning a little French besides fluent English.


Thinh's colleague at Google


With your experience, what is the advantage of FPT University students when they want to "work abroad" to conquer leading companies like Google?

The method of learning without too much theory and focusing on practice at FPT University has made it easier for me to acquire new knowledge. Moreover, the English study program at FPT is a premise to help me not be surprised when studying and working in the international environment today.

In addition to knowledge and skills, the period of college has left me with many beautiful memories. They are studies, exchanges, debates with friends in the library, they are suffocating competitions, they are times when Mr. Phan Duy Hung guides the project, they are the lovely afternoons in Hoa Lac which even touch someone who is as mundane as me.


A particularly impressive point in FPT University's environment is that teachers and students can interact very closely. It is the friendly harmony between teachers and students that makes learning more effective. Moreover, what I find most valuable is probably the friends that I can only find in FPT. Those are the people who have spent the most difficult time with me, who I can be "most crazy" when with them. For me, they seem to be both competitors to push me to try harder, and also brothers. Up to now, even when we have been out of school for 2 years, we still have a close relationship.


As an FPT alumnus and moreover, being successful on the career path, what experience do you have to “tip” for current students?

In my opinion, all industries need 2 main factors, specialized skills and soft skills. Whichever major you pursue, you will better understand other aspects of that major. Here I have advice for IT students: For IT students, the skills that need to be cultivated are:

Specialized skills, which is the ability to design software architectures, write software source code, algorithmic capabilities, the ability to quickly acquire new technologies, ... Of course these are common skills, the first foundation for your career development. After that, depending on the direction you choose in the narrow specialization to cultivate corresponding skills such as graphic design skills, document writing skills, analytical skills requirement ...

Soft skills, which are presentation ability, team work ability, ability to manage time, ability to bear pressure, solve stress, ... Besides, foreign languages is indispensable, you cannot succeed with this. And thankfully, I have been fully trained with these skills through the subjects and activities of the clubs at FPT University.


Thinh shared that FPT University students have many advantages when they want to "work abroad".


In the coming time, what is Thinh's intention for himself and his career?

Within the next 1 year I will study PhD in Computer Science. At the end of this 1-year study program, I will return to Vietnam. I always think that life is a series of new discoveries and experiences, but my family and my homeland are still my final destination in my journey. I always wanted to be close to my family and settle down after having experienced enough and matured enough.

Thank you for this interesting conversation. We wish Thinh to achieve his plans and succeed on his career path!

Golden board of Ho Vinh Thinh's achievements:

ACM / ICPC awards:

World finalist 2014 (Yekaterinburg, Russia)

2nd place 2013 (Asia Danang Regional)

3rd place 2013 (Asia Jakarta Regional)

First prize 4 times 2011 - 2014 (Vietnam National)

3rd place 2016 (Germany National)

Student Super Cup:

Gold Cup 2014

Bronze Cup 2013

Silver Cup 2012

Silver Cup 2011

2010: Second prize in National Olympiad in Informatics



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