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Working and living with my family as a foreigner in Japan. With Girasol, I will have a future that is unique to me. (ver. English)

Dr. Khoa is Girasol's first foreign employee, and also the first employee.

Born in Vietnam, Dr. Khoa graduated from the Ho Chi Minh City University of Technology (HCMUT) Graduate School and worked as a researcher there before coming to Japan to complete his doctoral studies at Waseda University. After joining Girasol, he now serves as Chief Engineer. Also, he is the first applicant for Girasol's patents.

Here is the Story of Dr. Khoa, a kind father of two kids, about his career path to date, satisfaction and future with his current job.

Q: What was your childhood like?

I was born in a rural area of Vietnam. This place is located near Ho Chi Minh city, the biggest city in the south of Vietnam.

Like most children in my country, I would like to be an engineer, a doctor when I was a child. Actually, I was not addicted to a single thing. I liked to play sports, games, and especially some low-tech games because I live in a poor country and lack everything. But I really appreciate my hometown, where many beautiful memories are kept.

Q: You spent your childhood in a country town, but you entered a famous university in the big city, Ho Chi Minh City. What did you emphasize when you decided to go on to higher education?

My criterion for choosing a university is that it must be a famous engineering school. During my studies, I always tried to achieve high results in my chosen field. Practice as much as possible, gather as much knowledge as possible for future work.

Q: What did you major in at university?

My major at university was Power Electronics (PE). I did the research in PE from the last year of undergraduate to the next two years of my Master's course. After completing my master's course, I had worked as a lecturer and researcher at the Department of Electrical and Electronics of Ho Chi Minh City University of Technology (HCMUT). My major was Power Electronics. I researched the power converter for controlling motors and for converting renewable energy.

Q: When and why did you come to Japan to study?

In 2011, I would like to join a Ph.D. course to improve myself. At that time I got a lot of information about the scholarship for a Ph.D. in Japan. I decided to apply for two scholarships in Japan. This is the year that Japan experienced the Great East Japan Earthquake, but I was not at all anxious about studying and living in Japan.

Luckily I got 2 offers. I ended up choosing Waseda University. Because I find myself in line with my professor supervisor’s research direction on renewable energy. At that time I thought renewable energy would develop very strongly in the near future and I have been attached to renewable energy since 2011 until now.

Q: Why did you decide to work in Japan and how did you meet Girasol?

After graduating from Waseda university, I returned to my country to continue as a Lecturer at HCMUT. I got married. My wife was still a Ph.D. student at GRIPS, Tokyo, Japan. I decided to go to Japan to live with my wife. But I kept my position at HCMUT. After 3 years living in Japan, I decided to find a job and live permanently in Japan. Because my Japanese was not good, it was difficult for me to join a big company that always needs N2 JLPT certification. I submitted my CV for a job-hunting service. Then they introduced Girasol to me. After an interview with Mr. Li who is Girasol CEO, I realized the work at Girasol matches my background and interests. In addition, Mr.Li is a friendly person, and I was able to speak frankly with him about my thoughts and ideas. Then I accepted an offer from Girasol.

Q: Since joining our company, what do you find most rewarding about working and how is it to work at Girasol?

Since Girasol is still a small company, the working environment is quite comfortable. The relationship between the members is very friendly. We can communicate freely and frankly. It helps the work progress to be operated as quickly and conveniently as possible.

I am quite satisfied with my current job, it is not boring at all. Every day there are new challenges that require applying new knowledge and methods to solve. This environment helps you hone a lot of professional knowledge and skills.

Q: What do you value in your daily life?

Since I am married and now have two young children, I want to spend time with my family. Sometimes I have to be at home to look after the kids because my wife is also a working person. Girasol allows me to work from home on certain days of the month. This policy helps me feel quite flexible to arrange time for family and work. Currently, I have no hobbies other than work at the company and time for family. So I don't see any problem other than the above two things.

Q: What do you hope to achieve at Girasol in the future?

Right from the early days of working for Girasol, I had the opportunity to meet a proprietor who specializes in supporting startups in the university of Tokyo.

He said that Girasol would be a ten million dollar company and could list shares. I'm always working to help Girasol grow and reach the milestones we talked about in the early days. But it is not the final milestone that I set. There are also higher goals, but according to the Vietnamese tradition,

"nói trước bước không qua-Don’t count your chickens before they hatch-"

(don't say things in the future, because it will often be difficult to achieve

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