Sothun Song participates in Study Melbourne Live Projects
- Australia Awards
The Live Projects program connects students with Victoria’s industries and priority sectors through work-based projects.
Study Melbourne Live Projects is a program under the Lead. Intern. Volunteer. Experience (LIVE) initiative and offers international students the opportunity to take part in a business consulting project designed and supported by industry partners. Cambodian awardee Sothun Song decided to apply for Live Projects after hearing how previous participants had enjoyed developing skills in critical thinking, communication and problem-solving. He was keen to be involved in a practical consulting exercise and to find solutions for real-world challenges.
During the three-week project, Sothun worked in a team of five students from different institutions and was assigned a mentor, the Portfolio Development Manager at technology company IRESS. The team’s client was CEO of the Indigenous Education Foundation (IEF) and their project was to develop a social media strategy in order to build awareness of the foundation and secure partnerships and potential donors.
One of Sothun’s highlights was expanding his professional network and learning from other participants, industry partners and the Victorian government. The main challenge for the project was that his team had no prior experience in social media strategy development. Nevertheless, he enjoyed working with his team members and hearing their perspectives, since everyone came from varied academic backgrounds.
“Our team committed to supporting and motivating each other. We learnt from each other and discussed ideas respectfully. With a strong team spirit, we achieved our goal and went beyond our expectations,” Sothun shares. “I worked with my teammates to assess IEF’s existing social media platforms such as their website, Facebook and Instagram. Our team then developed improvements for each platform. We produced a report and gave a presentation to the client and our mentor.”
Sothun completed the Master of Urban Planning at the University of Melbourne in July 2019 and has returned to Cambodia to resume his work at the Office of the Council of Ministers, Royal Government of Cambodia. He looks forward to sharing his study experience with colleagues and hopes to impart his knowledge to students at the Royal University of Agriculture.
Sothun calls Melbourne his second home after Phnom Penh. While living in Melbourne, he enjoyed commuting on his bike, having the convenience of nearby food markets for local produce, and meeting new people. “Meeting new friends and building professional networks was the most enjoyable part of my life in Melbourne,” he says. “The people I met both on and off campus were very friendly, helpful and respectful of each other. Furthermore, travelling to iconic places in Melbourne not only gave me chances to communicate with others but also further exposed me to Australian culture, which enriched my life in Melbourne.”