Van Thanh Dang

Alumni stories

Mrs Thanh Van Dang

How my dream career came true in Sydney

Van is an alumna from Vietnam who has graduated from the University of Sydney with a Bachelor of Computer Science and Technology  in 2003. She can speak English and Vietnamese and is currently based in Vietnam.

Tell us about your experience  

Studying in NSW taught me how to adapt to new curriculums, technologies and timetables. This brought me one step closer to growing into who I am today.  

How has studying in NSW benefitted you? 

Beyond graduating with a Bachelor of Computer Science from the University of Sydney, this experience allowed me to meet and befriend many amazing and supportive people. It’s also the place I got my first part-time job. 

Where are you working now? 

I founder of my own company, Savvycom, in 2009. We’re a team of strategists, innovators and software engineers providing application design and development for customers worldwide. Beyond this, I enjoy mentoring young female entrepreneurs, and advocating new technologies and innovations. 

Why did you choose your career? 

My entrepreneurship journey started with a dream of bringing new technology to life and leveraging Vietnam’s engineering workforce. Through founding Savvycom, I’ve learned the value that entrepreneurs can bring to society, I found that being an entrepreneur is not only my job but my career. Other than that, I have always wanted to be more than just a leader, but someone who can motivate others to reach their potential. 

Can you share any career advice for students or recent graduates? 

It’s natural to be afraid of making mistakes or taking risks with your career. However, it’s sometimes better to make mistakes early on, when you’ll have the courage to face them. My advice is if things don’t work out, don’t be afraid to change your path. Try and find a good company that align with your values and learn as much as possible. Set your goals gradually. Knowledge is essential, but life experience is significant too. It's where you can understand yourself, find your inner peace and bring value to society. 

Do you remain involved in NSW? 

Yes, I am currently a Steering Committee Member for Aus4Innovation program, a partnership program between Vietnam and Australia that will strengthen Vietnam’s innovation system, support the Vietnam-Australia Innovation Partnership, and form part of Australia’s development cooperation program outlined in its Aid Investment Plan since 2015.  The Steering Committee provides strategic decision-making and supports awareness-raising for the #Aus4Innovation Program. 

I am also a Distinguished Fellow at the Asia Society Australia, a position that will bring together my work and personal ties to Australia, and Viet Nam. This role is to strengthen the growing relationship by facilitating strong business connections in tech, innovation, and entrepreneurship, through outreach and people-to-people engagement over the coming months.