Upon first hearing about UpTurnships, Ratana Chheng saw a tremendous opportunity to improve her professional skills and gain practical, on-the-job experience. Through the program, she began to feel more confident in her skills and experiences. Furthermore, Ratana says she became more comfortable networking. She also completed a project for Maurices, working on data analysis to help give recommendations as the company increased its digital marketing efforts.
Graduating from Gustavus Adolphus College this spring, Ratana has already secured her first full-time position, which she will begin after completing her undergraduate degree. With the help of UpTurnships, she set up an interview for an internship. However, Ratana informed the company she preferred a full-time position. “After some time, they got back to me, and they offered me a full-time position. So, UpTurnships helped me with that,” Ratana says. In the spring, she will begin working as an associate auditor at Intact Specialty Insurance.
In addition to establishing her own financial independence, she also hopes to support others in her home country. One day, Ratana wants to use her knowledge to create both a business and a program to provide a quality education to the country’s youth.
Additionally, Ratana hopes to create an online registry of businesses in Cambodia that offer high-quality products and services. Ratana believes this would help combat the misconception in the country that domestic products are lower quality than those which are imported.
For current and future UpTurns, Ratana has two pieces of advice. Frist, they should leverage their experiences from classes, projects, and previous internships. “Just because you don’t have full-time experience yet, doesn’t mean you are not a good candidate for a job,” Ratana says. She also recommends seeking out mentorship from experienced professionals and listening to their advice.