Here at The Missing Link, our people are the engine of our company. We’re immensely proud of their knowledge and expertise, which helps our clients achieve incredible things through IT transformation – but they’re so much more than their job description! In this series, we take a moment to sit down and discuss the weird, wacky, and wonderful parts of our team’s lives that make them who they are.   

Kenneth Nguyen has been with us since 2020, working as a Assistant Accountant on our finance team. As a finance professional, he is intrigued by numbers and spreadsheets – but he’s also passionate about connecting with other human beings to reach a deeper level of understanding, and our team is no exception! So, let’s take 5 minutes to get to know Ken a little better. 

So, tell us, what inspired you to go by the name "Ken"?  

Well, it's a nod to the great saxophonist Kenny G. My given name is actually "Dang Khoa," which means "Great Success."

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You grew up in Haiphong, correct? What was it like growing up there? 

Yes, I did! Haiphong is a bustling port city. I like to refer to it as the "Wollongong of Vietnam,” but it's known by the locals as "the City of Red Flamboyant" and has a bustling energy that's always in the air. As a child, I remember the streets being filled with motorcycles and cars, and people always thronging the sidewalks. I loved growing up there because of the vibrant energy and the memories I have of playing on the beaches with my family and friends.

And what about your childhood? How would your parents describe you growing up?  

I would say I was very introverted growing up. Being an only child back then, I spent a lot of time playing by myself. I didn't have any fancy electronics to keep me entertained, so I would look forward to watching an hour of cartoons every day. I also loved reading anything I could get my hands on and spent a lot of time exploring the books on my family's bookshelf.

You mentioned going to the beach with your family. Do you have any special memories from those trips?  

Absolutely! We would go to the beach during the hot summer days and have so much fun wading in the water, flying kites, and building sandcastles. As I got older, my parents even signed me up for swimming lessons. And to this day, I still try to go swimming almost every weekend.

Did you always know you wanted to be an accountant?  

No, definitely not! Actually, my dream growing up was to become a doctor, like my parents. Both sides of my family have a long tradition in medicine that goes back four generations, so it was a natural choice for me. My great-grandfather was a head nurse, my grandfather was a vet, and my parents both studied traditional Eastern medicine before I was born.

So, it must have been a big journey from your medical aspirations to accountant life! Can you tell us a little about your career path?  

I started off working at Subway in Singapore when I was 18, just trying to make ends meet earning SGD $8/hour. While other local kids were making some extra pocket money to buy the latest iPhone 5, I spent my wages on rent and food so that I didn’t have to ask for as much money from my parents. I still remember how I reeked of frozen dough and salami after coming home on Saturday nights, after an eight-hour shift. The best part about it? I got a free foot-long sandwich for dinner – a luxury for a broke kid in his freshman year.

From there, I had a variety of experiences, from working in fine dining restaurants to street fundraising and even a call center. But it wasn't until I landed my first proper accounting job through a referral that I really found my feet. I've since moved up to become an Assistant Accountant reporting to the CFO, and I'm now a CPA-qualified with more than two years of experience under my belt. 

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That’s a lot of work experience, so it’s great to know you’ve had a lot of time to play, as well! You've been able to travel and enjoy your hobbies, right?  

Yes, I'm so grateful for the opportunities I've had to travel. I got third place in the national English competition of Vietnam in year 12 and received a full scholarship to study and live in four different countries in four years. I got to live in Singapore, Dubai, Paris, and finally Sydney. Those experiences helped me make countless new friends, immerse myself in different cultures, and even learn French as my third language.

In my spare time I also love to run, swim, boulder, and ice skate (in any order) on alternating weekends. 

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What do you enjoy most about working at The Missing Link now?  

I feel accomplished every day going to work and helping my colleagues. Finance is the heart of any business that pumps cash flows to different organs of the body. By working in finance and liaising with others from different disciplines I learned the ins and outs of the business and understand how budgets and forecasts come into play in each and every commercial decision.

I also appreciate the culture here and the people that I work with. I consider The Missing Link my second family. 

Speaking of working with technology, could you share your top two favourite apps right now? 

I’m glad you asked! While I’m not a huge technology fanatic, my iPhone 8 Is probably my favourite gadget right now.

Aside from the camera app which helps me take good selfies, my top two would be Strava and Spotify. I go running regularly and I always use Strava to measure my distance and brag with my friends. I listen to podcasts and music on Spotify. Such convenient and helpful apps! 

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