Alumni Voice


“In the Bleak Mid-Pandemic”

Chhun Sen Neang

University student (BA in Accounting and Finance)

Covid-19 has interfered with many aspects of our daily lives. Ever since the first reported case back in December, 2019, we could no longer proceed with our routines the way we know how. Soon enough we found ourselves trying our best to adapt to the abrupt changes that were brought about by this pandemic. However, along with the distraught and hardships, there exists a new found determination and resilience that are clearly demonstrated in the way we continue to find new purposes to keep us moving forward. This essay illustrates how my daily life, my new found purposes and my vision for the future of our society have been influenced by this unprecedented virus outbreak. 

My country has been fortunate, not having to face the full brunt of the pandemic, which would explain why although certain aspects of my routines have definitely changed, they have not been too drastic. For those who are not financially-burdened, like myself, this pandemic has somehow turned out into what felt like an extended holiday at first. As a typical college student, my first few months of 2020 were spent acquainting myself with online class platforms and adjusting my routines to fit with what would become the new normal. With all the precautions in place which entails not being able to see my friends, not being able to go cafe hopping and being caged at home all day, the extended holiday soon turned into an extended isolation. Before I knew it, my mental state took on a huge toll. In order to find a renewed sense of purpose, I started taking on new hobbies that I could do at home, like learning to play an instrument and gardening. Speaking from a place of privilege, the consequences of this pandemic still caught on to me, so it is not hard to imagine how others, especially those who had to change their lives 180 degrees, are faring financially, physically and mentally.

Surprisingly, this pandemic has provided me with a lot of opportunities to engage in events and competitions and has enabled me to explore all of the future career paths I could venture into as an accounting and finance major.During my freshman year in college, apart from taking my courses, I was not too involved in extracurricular activities. Thus, I decided to get some actions in year 2, mainly for self-development purposes. I was able to demonstrate my leadership potential as the co-president of my university’s public speaking and debate club through organizing one of the university’s internal competitions. Customarily, the competition is to be held physically, but due to the Covid-19 outbreak, my team had to work around the clock, in order to host the competition online, diverging from our original plan. Thanks to the encouragement from our school as well as our flexibility in overcoming the challenges, the competition was held successfully. In addition to organizing competitions, I also joined my first business pitch competition, namely the ALIBABA Global GET Challenge, where I was able to apply the theories I have learned in class into practical use. To gain more insight on what it would be like to work in the investment field, I decided to join the CFA Research Challenge. All of these experiences bring me one step closer to discovering what I would like to become.

There is no doubt that Covid-19 has decelerated the world’s economy. As a matter of fact, according to the World Bank, this pandemic has posed a great threat to Cambodia’s development efforts in its 30 years of modern history with the economy at the slowest growth since 1994. But the economic aspects aside, I would like the society after Covid-19 to become one that exists with more compassion and understanding. In the beginning of the pandemic, we have seen a lot of discrimination towards Chinese people and foreigners in general due to fear and panic. Before all else, people focused on the fact that this virus is contagious. However, after being more educated about the virus, people started to show more compassion instead of being ruled by their fear in times of adversities, resulting in a society in which people are helping each other in times of need. My generation is a generation that is connected globally through the intricate social media platforms, and we are people who have taken initiatives to fight for causes despite not being directly affected. I have faith that we will continue to do so, for a society that is slow to judge and quick to help, pertaining to the idea that it is not just ‘your problem’ but ‘our problem’ and everyone can do their part to help.

During this bleak period, everything that we were used to has changed significantly, but these changes have also given rise to a stronger will to turn the situation around and find new drives to keep lives going. Like everyone else that has been affected by this pandemic, I had wished this pandemic had not happened at all, but I also cannot deny that the struggles that were posed to me during this hard time have made me tougher mentally. They have also opened my eyes to other people’s struggles and how I can help. The future has always been uncertain, however, what is certain is that our experiences during this period will help us in dealing with whatever will be thrown to us hereafter. Let us remain optimistic and fight through this together.



驚くべきことに、このパンデミックは私にイベントやコンテストに参加する機会を多く与えてくれました。また、会計学と財政学を専攻している私にとっては、将来のキャリアパスのすべてを模索することができました。大学1年生の時は、授業を受けることは別にして、課外活動にはあまり参加していませんでした。そのため、2年次には、主に自己啓発のための活動をすることにしました。大学のスピーチ・ディベート部の共同代表として、大学内でのコンテストを主催することで、自分のリーダーシップの可能性を発揮することができました。本来、コンテストは対面でに開催するものですが、Covid-19の発生により、オンラインでの開催を余儀なくされ、当初の予定からはずれてしまったので、ぶっ通しで作業をしなければなりませんでした。学校からの励ましと私たちの柔軟な対応が功を奏し、無事にコンテストを開催することができました。学内コンテストの開催だけでなく、初めてのビジネスピッチコンテスト(ビジネスプランを短くプレゼンするコンペ)であるALIBABA Global GET Challengeにも参加し、授業で学んだ理論を実践に生かすことができました。また、投資分野で働くことがどのようなものかをより深く理解するために、CFAリサーチ・チャレンジに参加することを決めました。これらの経験は、自分が何になりたいのかを発見するために、大きく前進させてくれました。



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