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The Project SIMPLE- building alumni centers connecting students and the professional sector

This blog piece highlights the achievements of the Project SIMPLE at the University of Battambang (UBB), Cambodia through an interview between Libuška Valešová, YPARD Europe coordinator and Koemseang Nhuong,  General Coordinator and Lecturer at the Department of Animal Science, Faculty of Agriculture and Food Processing of the University of Battambang (UBB), Cambodia and member of the SIMPLE project management team of the alumni center which is responsible to build networking between students and professional sector for job and internship opportunities.

Enjoy the interview highlighting the Project SIMPLE’s achievements at the University of Battambang (UBB), Cambodia and its role in building alumni centers for networking between students and the professional sector for job and internship opportunities. Through organizing Career Fair, to organize training courses particularly soft skills training and guest lectures, to promote the project activities and find the possible way to collaborate with professional sectors for the project sustainability

Libuška: Could you please describe what activities have your university organized within the SIMPLE project?

Koemseang: Under the supported of the SIMPLE project a new Alumni and Career Center was established at UBB on the 20th February 2018, the equipment was also installed and inventoried at the center and SIMPLE project signboard was also installed at the center. The center has created its own alumni facebook page to disseminate job/internship opportunities and other information. UBB promoted project activities through workshops, meeting, Career fair, and other relevant events. UBB organized a Career Day last year 2018 which have around 650 participants including students, representatives from the professional sector, and UBB lecturers. UBB has been providing soft skill training and guest lectures to students, for example, Tree of the Future and Soft Skill for Youth, How to prepare a CV and Cover letter, Choosing a university degree to succeed in career, Learning for future jobs, Young Professionals for Agricultural Development, How Graduate Student integrate into the workforce, Ready to enter the job market, and Life without Risks of Chemicals & Germs and others. UBB has been searching for possibilities for cooperation and networking with public and private sectors in order to sustain the project activities.

Libuška: How students and Young Professionals benefit from these activities and which of these have had the most significant impact on supporting their future career?

Koemseang: Many students don't see the value in attending college career fairs, but they are now getting to know more regarding the benefit of joining the Career Fair and through center activities by seeing numerous opportunity such as meeting recruiters, networking with potential employers, easy to access to free training course, workshops, and seminars not only from the center but also other companies/organizations, getting the chance to practice their interviewing skills, getting their CV checked and they also could expand their knowledge regarding jobs in their industry particularly, in the agricultural sector and others. Moreover, they could also improve their soft skills, for example, self-confidence to meet different kinds of people, communication skills, time management, leadership, etc.

Libuška: The SIMPLE project is going to be finished in 2019, what are the main lessons learned for you as the young project coordinators?

Koemseang: As a young project coordinator, I have learned a lot from the project such as leading the teamwork, organizing the Career fair, soft skill training, time management, communication skills with professional sectors to create networking for cooperation, encouraging students to know more regarding the importance of Career fair, finding the possibilities for job and practical training opportunities for students and young professionals. Running the project activities will face issues, so problem-solving is the best way to learn and it gave me a lot of experience. Additionally, the SIMPLE project teams have brought a different set of experiences and views during their career to share to mutual partners.

Libuška: Does your university intend to follow-up with other projects with CULS and YPARD in 2019?

Koemseang: Yes, we do!
Picture credit: Libuška Valešová