Socheat’s Story: From School Guard to Scholar Guide

DDD is home for Socheat Thin, and for him, there is no place like it. Once a security guard at a school, Socheat joined DDD, earned a college degree and built the work skills to advance himself and his family. Now, eleven years later, Socheat finds himself in a role that helps new DDD employees find their own path to success.

In 2001, Socheat Thin, a young man from Cambodia, was working double shifts as a security guard for a private school in Phnom Penh. It was painful, he recalls, to watch students able to go to school, the fees paid for by their parents. That opportunity seemed to Socheat like an incredible luxury. But then, a friend happened to tell him about this company called DDD. Socheat investigated and discovered that he could receive training in a new field, hold down a job and receive help as he pursued higher learning. He applied to the rigorous program and was soon accepted.

Socheat worked as an operator at DDD while studying Business Administration at college. He found it very challenging to manage his time, especially balancing homework with achieving at his job. Nonetheless, he was grateful for the opportunities that came his way. “I sometimes got tired but I was happy because I always dreamed of going to university. DDD enabled me to support and develop myself.” Thanks to his hard work at DDD, Socheat was also able to help sustain his family and provide money toward his younger brother’s schooling.

From then on, Socheat began to thrive. After two years as an operator, he found himself more and more drawn to work in Human Resources. Eventually, he found employment as an HR and Compliance Manager at TCE-International, a pioneer in bringing socially responsible investment to Cambodia. A couple of years later, he returned to DDD to lead its alumni affairs group. As alumni coordinator, he organized social gatherings, held trainings for alumni, and created other events to tighten the network of staff and alumni and provide support for former DDD staff as they developed their careers.

On October 1st, he was promoted to his most responsible position yet at DDD: Manager of the Scholarship Program in Cambodia. His role is to coordinate with local universities, forge connections with educational institutions to help students secure manageable fee rates and ensure that DDD operators attend their classes and perform well. Socheat’s program is part of DDD’s tripod approach for employee development along with the English Language Skills Development and Career Guidance programs. With these measures in place, DDD can see to it that young staff will apply themselves fully to the incredible opportunity before them: to secure work, training, and education that will impact their personal and professional lives in deeply positive ways.

“These options are simply not available to many young Cambodians,”Socheat notes. ”Many Cambodian children stop attending school after 9th grade simply because they are too poor to continue. In my case, for instance, without DDD, I would not have been able to go to university. DDD’s commitment to offering scholarships has a positive impact on society.”

And without that university degree, Socheat wouldn’t be where he is now, returning that enormous benefit by making sure others can also take full advantage of it too.