Alumni Profile - Thai Huynh Bachelor of Commerce (Liberal Studies)
Degree(s) and Year(s) of Graduation from the University of Sydney: Bachelor of Commerce (Liberal Studies) - Graduation Year 2012
Majors at the University of Sydney: Accounting (CPA) and Finance (Extended)
Current Position, Organisation: Founder/CEO - Kapcher
Nationality/cultural identity: Vietnamese/Australian
Countries lived/worked in: Vietnam, Poland, Japan, Egypt and Australia
Languages spoken: English, Vietnamese, Mandarin and Spanish
Linkedin Profile: Thai Huynh
Why did you choose to study at the University of Sydney Business School?
I wanted to be surrounded by talented, ambitious and high-calibre students in a world-class education environment. I was also intrigued by the University's rich culture and history in nurturing students' extra-curricular aspirations by encouraging the blooming and presence of numerous clubs and societies on campus
What is your most favourite memory from your time at the University?
Having water poured on me in front of the main quadrangle as part of the President election tradition of AIESEC Sydney, a global student-run organisation that develop responsible young leaders and culturally-minded world citizens through global internship programs in over 110 countries. I led and managed an executive team of six talented individuals to deliver leadership development opportunities to a local committee of more than 50 volunteers. By the end of our term, we also sent out 30+ students to take part in a wide range of global internship programs around the world. I've learnt to develop my leadership capacity through many valuable mistakes I've made and failures I've overcome.
What does being a University of Sydney Business School alumnus/na mean to you?
Being part of a strong global network of excellent, extraordinary and influential individuals and leaders.
How did your time at the Business School change you both professionally and personally?
Professionally, the most valuable lesson that the University has taught me is the ability to think, especially in this overwhelmingly evolving information/data and technology driven society. Personally, through taking part in a wide range of extracurricular activities especially with AIESEC, I've learnt many fundamental and valuable lessons in leadership, cross-cultural communication and personal effectiveness. These interpersonal (or so-called soft) skills were the key foundations to prepare me for the challenges of getting involved in the start-up scene.
What did you do in the year immediately after graduating?
I was selected to be on the Board of Directors of the National Headquarter of AIESEC in Australia for the 2012-2013 session. During my term, I delivered three national youth leadership conferences to 200+ delegates, mentored and coached many executive teams of local committees in states such as South Australia, Victoria and Queensland. As a national director, I worked with five other talented individuals to devise and implement strategies across 15 universities in five different states/territories across Australia. The purpose was to deliver leadership and personal development to 600+ young tertiary students through the global internship and local membership programs. At the end of my term, I was also selected to be part of the International Conference Congress Committee team to organise the largest youth leadership conference for more than 800 young leaders from 110+ countries in Egypt. The highlight was that it was during the political turmoil that occurred there last year.
What has been the greatest accomplishment of your career to date?
Transforming an idea to a startup (Kapcher) that has won the runner-up by judges prize during Sydney Startup Weekend. It was the most voted Aussie startup in the Global Startup Battle and also ranked 13th under E-commerce category against many other brilliant global startups.
What business person inspired you most?
My mum, who has taught me the importance of integrity in any facet of life, especially in business.
What are some of your favourite things about Sydney?
The beaches, the all-year-round festivals and the diversity in cultures, arts, cuisines and lifestyles.
What would you say to a prospective student who is considering study at the Business School?
Learn coding. The ability to understand, communicate and execute some basic coding would be one of the most highly useful and desirable quality in the future business landscape.
Collect experiences. Your learning does not stop when you walk out of the lecture room. It barely starts there. So go on an academic exchange, take part in a global internship program, volunteer overseas or just simply pack your bags and go discover the world and yourself.
Execute ideas. Don't wait until the day you complete your degree or after you have a few years of corporate working experience. If you have an idea that you are passionate about, then validate your idea, rally a group of like-minded fellow students and acquire your first few paid customers. All can be done from day one of Orientation week.
Any other comments
Take a proactive stance in joining University clubs and societies that tickle your interest; and try to make at least some contributions to improve a fellow's student life.