Overcoming adversity to find a home at Web Essentials
Man Math grew up in Kampong Chhnang, a province located right at the heart of Cambodia, on the banks of the Tonle Sap River.
Coming from a poor family, Man did not have the means to go to university. Fortunately, Passerelles Numériques Cambodia (PNC) gave him a scholarship to go to their university in Phnom Penh, as part of their work to help disadvantaged Cambodians access training and find jobs in information technology.
“Every year PNC offers scholarships to poor students in 19 provinces,” Man explains.
Man worked hard at university and is now a Web Developer at Web Essentials. He also remains actively involved with PNC as the Project Coordinator for the PNC Alumni Association.
Man is only one of many bright and hardworking staff Web Essentials has recruited from PNC. Every year, between six and ten interns from PNC complete paid internships at Web Essentials.
SamAth Im, Human Resources and Administration Manager at Web Essentials, explains why Web Essentials chose to work with PNC.
“PNC is good academically and is also a socially responsible school. They recruit students from less-fortunate backgrounds. As a socially responsible business we partner with organizations like PNC to recruit young, talented students, regardless of background.”
Interns spend a month learning about TYPO3 before developing a test project. If they later apply and become staff at Web Essentials, they become members of an Agile Development team. Most interns want to stay with Web Essentials after their internships and their studies are over.
Christoph Lüthy, an Account Executive at Web Essentials, says, “It’s a win-win situation working with PNC. There are potential staff that can come to Web Essentials and we can give them jobs and a career path. These internships help bridge the gap between university and professional life. This transition is often missing in Cambodia and many students miss the opportunity to apply their skills because they are not ready for a corporate environment.”
Christoph also says using Open Source TYPO3 software helps provide opportunities for young developers like Man to hone their skills. “We show them that they can develop high quality websites and web applications without spending a cent on software.”
Man has now worked at Web Essentials for two years, in which time he’s learned a lot about web development, TYPO3 and other web technologies and has grown close to his scrum team.
“It is really nice for me, to distribute my ideas and learn. It’s fun to resolve the issues together,” he says, adding, “It’s a family, we laugh together.”