Lunchtime Chat with… Pham Nguyen Anh Thư (Senior Executive, Advertiser Engagement)


We sit down for a Lunchtime Chat in Vietnam today with recent MVP winner Thư, Senior Executive in the Advertiser Engagement team in Ho Chi Minh City. Having started out as someone almost completely new to the industry, she tells us the secret to her success.

Pham Nguyen Anh Thu AdAsia Holdings 4

Tell us about your prior work experience.

I actually started my career in an unrelated field – I worked in the England International Children Foundation, handling administrative work and organizing events. It was very meaningful work, helping underprivileged children, and I had the chance to work with many inspiring people and organizations.

In my search for a new challenge, I entered the marketing and advertising world with TBWA as a trainee. It was pretty tough, and I had so much to learn about the world of advertising. I worked closely with the digital and creative teams to make sure every campaign had the ‘wow’ factor to it, and that was actually where my curiosity and passion in the digital world was triggered. I wanted to find out more.

I decided to follow my passion and… here I am in AdAsia Holdings!

Tell us more about your role at AdAsia Holdings.

I’m constantly going around meeting people, new and old. This is a role that’s all about communication and getting in touch with people, making sure that everyone’s goals and targets are met. It’s a balancing act and there’s an interesting art to it.

What attracted you to join this industry and AdAsia Holdings?

Advertising has given me the chance to explore this wide world of ours in the most impressive and interesting ways. It’s also given me a challenge that I relish every day. The decision to take a chance and join AdAsia Holdings has proven itself to be absolutely worth it. I get to learn and develop my skills every day.

When I think back to a year ago, I’m amazed at how much I’ve grown professionally. This path I’m on has certainly been very meaningful to me.

Before joining AdAsia Holdings, what did you know about the industry?

My experience prior to joining AdAsia Holdings was almost entirely in BTL (below the line) advertising, so I didn’t know much about programmatic before joining. Of course, I’ve learned a lot since joining!

The internal training for all staff, dubbed AdAsia University, has played a big part in this learning, growing my knowledge of programmatic. There are even training sessions for productivity, finance and many others! Everyone is encouraged to join and learn, and it’s essential for the company to keep growing.

How has it been so far and what do you enjoy the most about your role?

It’s just as well I get to meet lots of people in my everyday work, because that is definitely what I enjoy the most about my role! Some of my clients have even become very good friends.

Amazing things happen when you open yourself up to good people. It’s helped me realize how strong I am as a person and how determined I can be.

How has the company evolved over the time you’ve been with AdAsia Holdings?

When I first joined, the Vietnam team had just 10 people. It was a typical startup environment then, where everyone did everything, regardless of role, to help with the business. The team in Ho Chi Minh City has now grown to around 50 people, with specialized support from account, operations, tech and creative teams. We’re much more efficient now! Our engineering team is also based in Ho Chi Minh City, and having that technical support just around the corner is also great!

As for the company, the fact that we’re always innovating and working to develop better and more intelligent solutions is a great motivator. It gives me great confidence in my work as well, as I am always able to provide useful advice and consultation to my clients.

On a personal level: the beginning was tough for me. To be very frank, I wasn’t sure how to approach clients, and I failed my fair share of times. I persevered, and, leaning on the ‘never say die’ attitude, I found myself getting more and more involved with campaigns. I don’t just liaise with the client, I take an active role in the planning and execution, all to deliver success to my clients.

In that sense, I view myself as my own greatest asset. If you work hard and apply yourself beyond your comfort zone, good things happen!

Pham Nguyen Anh Thu AdAsia Holdings

Tell us more about your personality.

I’m an explorer! I love making my way around Saigon, checking out new places and meeting new friends. I’m always searching for that next new and interesting thing.

I also love coffee, and can’t resist a nice day out at the beach.

What tips or advice do you have for your co-workers?

Stop doubting yourself, work hard and make it happen! Like I said before, if you push beyond your boundaries, you’ll be surprised how much you can accomplish.

What is the one thing you can’t live without?

This is easy. I can’t live without my family and friends, for sure. I’m lucky to have parents who love me unconditionally, and close friends who are not only incredibly fun, but who also have given me some very valuable advice and experiences. I simply can’t do without them!

Pham Nguyen Anh Thu AdAsia Holdings 2