Dane is JWOC’s Scholarship Program Coordinator. We sat down with her to find out more about her experience at JWOC so far, an update on how our Scholarship student recruitment process is going and the advice she has for other young people.
Can you tell me a little bit about yourself?
My name is Dane. I graduated from Royal University of Law and Economics (RULE) from Phnom Penh and the major that I studied at University was International Relations. Back to the year 2014, was my graduation of High School and I started my University in 2015. I first started volunteer in 2015 and continue till 2018. Before coming to JWOC, I worked at ASEAN Youth Leaders Association-Cambodia.
Why did you want to work for JWOC?
There are several reasons that I would like to work in JWOC. First of all because I would like to move out from my family to come to work in the other province. I saw the opportunity of working in JWOC in Siem Reap Province so I applied for the post of Scholarship Program Coordinator and then I got selected.
The reason why I decided to come to JWOC because I see that the vision and mission of JWOC is similar to my previous working experience and working with young Cambodian people, because I can contribute to the society and the community and at the same time, I can help youth and equip them with skills and knowledge as the new strategic plan has developed.
How has your experience working for JWOC been so far?
It has been 4 months already that I come here to work with JWOC. For the first day for arriving at JWOC I feel so awkward and everything is so different from my previous work place. Even the building, even the people, because I am very new.
I realized after 3 months probation that working here is fun. I love the people because the people here are so funny.When it comes to work, they work hard, and when it’s time to play, they even play harder. I see the strong bond of everyone – the colleagues of JWOC work so closely with each other and understand each other very well. They are very helpful in helping each other in order to success the journey together, not focusing on achieving only their own project themselves.
As my observation, I also see that most of JWOC staff work with their hearts. For example, Nesa, our Student Development Coordinator and Counselor, she works from her heart – I appreciate it so much.
What are the types of things you do on a daily basis?
My role and responsibilities are mostly focused on the scholarship program and students. As I come to JWOC in a period of recruitment process, I mostly focus on recruitment of new scholarship students rather than tracking student performance. I also get a lot of work from our Program Manager, Konthea. It is quite busy at the moment.
Can you give us an update on the scholarship student recruitment process?
Regarding the recruitment process, we started networking with high schools and other institutions and NGOs since June 2019 and then we opened the scholarship applications in July with the support from JWOC staff to support during the recruitment process such as announcements, flyer distribution and also presentations at the high schools in order to spread out the information of our scholarship recruitment.
By the end of July, we closed the scholarship applications and in August it’s the time that the Recruitment Committee started to do skimming and evaluation on the application forms. This year we received 198 scholarship forms from networking at high schools, NGOs, institutions and social media announcements, which is how we reached a lot of people and shared the information about our scholarship.
Our Recruitment Committee started to interview students in September for long-listed applicants – we selected 70 students to come to interview with us. We will select around 40-50 of these 70 to continue to the next stage of our recruitment process. After the interview, we will go to the next stage – training and commitment check, including a trip to some of the Universities in Siem Reap. After this we will do the final stage where we do the home visit. We expect to finish this visit by the third week of November.
What has been exciting and/or challenging?
The exciting moments has been networking. As I came here without knowing anyone or an organization here, the exciting moment when I started my job at JWOC for the first two months, I started to go outside and build networks and get to know other people and organizations that work in Siem Reap province. Another exciting moment is about the strategic planning involvement. It is very exciting because I just arrived but I got involved and I learned how to do the strategic planning for the organization more than I used to do before. The style of planning is so different from what I have done with my previous team before, so this time I could learn more. The opportunity to learn is exciting me a lot. I have a lot of exciting moments because everything is so new to me – learning about working from different people from different perspectives. We work with foreigners and local staff from diverse backgrounds and mostly from the education sector. It’s good that we have a lot of people who come to work with JWOC.
About the challenges I have met so far is about time constraints because the period that I come is the busy period of recruiting new scholarship students. We have a lot of stages to finish so time is so constrained. The Recruitment Committee has a lot of tasks and need to spare their time, so the challenge has been time constraints. We think of the state teacher exam results, so we can recruit the right students who would like to continue to higher degrees at University.
What do you enjoy doing when you’re not at JWOC?
After working during the weekday, I mostly enjoy sleeping at home and I enjoy going out to different places in Siem Reap because there are a lot of places to visit. I always use my motorbike to go to the places that I want and I would like to explore because I used to come to visit, but I don’t really remember the way to go to Angkor Wat, and when I came here I try to go there whenever I have time off. I started to explore things by myself and also enjoy doing something by myself. I also enjoy going out to search for places to eat because eating is part of my favorite activities.
What advice do you have for other youth?
I would advise young people to use all their potential and make mistakes – either in their workplace or in school, because at the same time they will learn. The more mistakes that you make, the more you know yourself, just make sure that you don’t try to repeat the mistakes again and again. During your adulthood, I suggest that you meet with different people and explore things around you, and try to take up challenges.
Please engage yourself in volunteer work, internships and other things because it helps you know what you like and your passion really is, to network and to exchange your perspectives and ideas with different people who are younger or older than you, so learn from every surrounding environment.