Sam Ly: The Adventurous Accountant
Sam from ASW Vietnam is an assistant manager for Allan Hall Business Advisors, one of our client partners. An avid traveller, an experienced accountant, and an ASW Client Spotlight awardee, Sam continues to explore opportunities for career growth and personal development. She shares her insights on the best part of travelling, her techniques for managing a big team, and what you should know about Vietnam.
1. Hi Sam, could you tell us a bit about yourself? Outside of work, what do you enjoy doing? What are your hobbies and interests?
My name is Anh Thu Ly but my nickname is Sam. I’ve been working at ASW for more than 18 months now. Outside of work, I’m an active and sporty girl. I also love reading books, watching movies, and playing sports — especially badminton and table tennis. I also enjoy travelling and exploring. I like to set up a travel plan with my friends to explore stunning landscapes by joining the local tours to immerse in indigenous cultures, and understand more about the local people and their culture and customs.
2. What’s a regular day like for you at ASW?
My current position at Allan Hall is assistant manager. My primary duty is to manage my team members, train new members about workflow and technical skills, and listen to their concerns about their daily work with our client. I also meet with clients to report on the team’s performance and plan around their KPIs. I often start the day with a busy schedule for working and meeting then finish up with plenty of emails.
3. What do you enjoy most about your work?
When I became an assistant manager, I had a chance to learn more about communication and team management skills. Now I know about setting time aside to get to know team members on both a personal and professional level, through social activities or team-building events while still maintaining professional boundaries. This will go a long way to earning their respect.
4. What are the challenges that you usually encounter in your line of work and how do you handle them?
I think the biggest challenge in my team is to meet their KPIs with our clients while ensuring their work-life balance. My team now has more than 20 members and they have different and very strong personalities, so it can be tough when connecting with all of them. Besides that, I need to demonstrate my managerial qualities and authority, while still playing my part as a member of a team.
5. How do you inspire and foster teamwork?
An open, positive attitude goes a long way to creating a healthy work environment and providing inspiration to my team. During the COVID-19 pandemic, all team members had to work from home. I organised some online mini-games at the end of the week such as Pictionary and puzzle games to encourage members to work as a team in the workplace and maintain work-life balance.
6. Congratulations on your Client Spotlight Award last year! Can you share with us the feedback that you received from our client partner regarding your work performance? How did you feel about it?
Thank you. I didn’t even know about the prize until my team had a meeting with the client and they told me that I deserved to get this award. I’m so proud and totally on cloud nine!
7. What are the top 3 achievements in your professional and personal life?
My greatest achievement was being promoted through self-motivation and learning. I stepped out of my comfort zone by taking my new job in ASW. Trekking Hang En Cave and the Tu Lan Cave System.
8. Stepping out of your comfort zone can be intimidating. What has helped you get past your comfort zone?
The motivation of learning something new. I used to have a fixed mindset which has made me feel less motivated to look for opportunities to grow and learn new skills. Choose a fear and face it. That’s my goal.
9. Is there a personal or professional goal that you’ve always wanted to accomplish?
My next target is to get promoted at a managerial level and still achieve the Client Spotlight Award.
10. Name one thing/aspect from your country that you’re proud to share with everyone.
Food is an important part of Vietnamese culture. Vietnam’s rivers, paddies, mountains, and seas are deeply ingrained in the culture. Because of this, it’s rude to leave food uneaten, especially when you’re in someone’s home and they’ve cooked for you. It’s an insult to the land and the workers who made the meal possible. Try not to take more than you can eat and be sure to give out many compliments.