Part 1: Football Story
Hi, I'm Lucy from Passion FC and welcome to the career series. Today I have with me Khue, who is a football player and is also working on Apple. And thanks for joining us in our career series. And to give a little bit more context to career series, we'll cover various players who are either playing professionally and/or able to find time outside their careers to pursue football, or those who have followed their passion in football to join the industry itself. We hope to show women footballers that having passion in football can provide you with opportunities in your career as well. So without further ado, let's start with the first segment where we find out more about how Khue start playing football. So Khue tell us a little bit more about yourself first, like why are you doing it now?
Okay, sure. Hi, Lucy. Thanks for the opportunity to be here today to share more about my passions. Right now I'm based in Singapore. I'm working for Apple in a role related to logistics supply chain. I actually, I don't play soccer or football professionally. But I do play in the weekend with my friends, usually, once or twice a week. Football has always been my, I would say number one passion since I was a kid. So I started out watching and playing with my cousins, and neighbors and then also with my father as well. And then only when I went to high school in Singapore, that's when I started to train with the school team. And then I continued to play in university as well. Right now it's just recreational football that I played during the weekend. But I'm glad that I still find time to continue the passions.
Yes, okay. That's quite similar to my football journey. I only started playing, I guess training in team setting when I was in high school. Okay, so what do you love about football?
I think when I first loved the game, what I love about it is, it's very unpredictable, in the sense that, you know, you can have a game where one team score three-nils. And in the end, you know, they still end up losing the game. So it has a lot of unpredictability, and at the same time, it's a combination of team work. That's something I really like about it because you can have very good players, but successful teams are not just about any single player, but it's a team effort together.
Yes, absolutely. I agree with you. And what are some, is there any like challenges you faced in your footballing journey, like in general?
Okay, so I started out playing with my cousins and neighbors. Back then where I come from what I mean in general in Asia, I think I come from Vietnam, by the way, so when I then I think, my my mum, as well as my grandma, they thought that they didn't quite like the idea of me playing football in the neighborhood. Because most of the time I was probably the only girl running around with all the guys. Got really tan because sometime even at noon time I still play football. So I think the stereotype is you know, it's not a game for girls. It's rough it's a contact sport, you may get injured at the same time it's outdoor, you get tan, it is something that's undesirable for the Asians, kind of like, thinking? So I would say my mum and my grandma was quite against the idea of me playing but in general it's not like they banned me they still allow me to play probably because they do see that I really have a lot of passion for the game. So when I joined the high school team, I think my mom still didn't really quite like it. Yeah, so I guess that's that's the only thing. And also in Vietnam, back in those day when I was growing up, there were not a lot of facilities. It was really a bunch of kids just running around in the park nearby. We don't have goalpost. The bar is roughly very old as well. So it's really- and we don't even wear boots or shoes even. Just play barefoot. Sometimes it's really hot and (we) get a blister from running on the hot floor. So I wish that during those day when I was growing up, there were more support in terms of like facilities or like even from the school or like from the local authority to support the developments of the sport as well as for those who are keen on playing.
Stay tuned for our second segment: Career in Football
Part 2: Career & Football
Lucy Guan 0:00
Now it's the second part of this interview, which is juggling between career and football. So can you maybe tell us a little bit more about what you do at work? Like how much time you spend on work? What's the situation like right now? What do you do for Apple?
Tran Thai Khue 0:15
I just recently joined Apple about six months ago, slightly more than six months now. In the role that I'm doing, the job is from Monday to Friday. The standard working hours are from nine to five, but from time to time, I do have to work overtime. So, yeah, so let's say if there is a friendly game after work, I can't really guarantee that I can come.
The work is actually, I would say, I'm quite thankful. The role I'm working at, I do have to do overtime, but during the weekend, I do have the complete weekend for myself. I normally have to work over the weekend, so that gives me the freedom to play football. For me, it's really a passion. I always, you know, try to give it the priority that I will go for football for one of the days during the weekend.
In terms of juggling between my work and football, I think it's more of like, during the weekdays, I'm so busy, I don't think I have the time to like really train myself to be fit. Because even if you play recreationally, football can be quite physically demanding. Yeah. So and that's also a reason why I think I can only play as like, you know, for just for fun. It's not like serious playing where you really to invest at least three times or more than that, to train yourself to be fit.
Lucy Guan 2:08
Okay, so can you maybe tell us a little bit about like your career journey so far.
Tran Thai Khue 2:15
So I graduated from Singapore Management University in 2016, end of 2016. In 2017, I started my first job. So in my first job I was management training. It's a program where I was rotated to different departments overseas. So it's given me the chance to get the exposure to various teams and also different living environments. I was in Hong Kong, and then I moved to I came back to Singapore. And then after that was Shanghai and Bangkok. So the first two years of my career, I really didn't get to play football because I move every six months, and, you know, football is something that you need a team. And yeah, I didn't really quite have the time to explore, you know, whether in these cities there were other teams, other girls teams as well. So I actually missed football really a lot during these two years, and after my first job, last year, surprisingly, amidst COVID I managed to find the current role with Apple. I just saw the job online and gave it a try.
Yeah, so initially, when I applied, I didn't really think that, you know, I would get the job. Yeah, but after like a few rounds of interviews, somehow I made it. So the role is, how can I explain it? It's like, we manage the resellers of Apple. Yeah. So the resellers that buy from Apple in bulk, and they sell to the end customers. Yeah. So that's my career journey so far.
Lucy Guan 4:18
Okay. So the last question of this segment is would you say playing football has influenced or impacted your work? Like, have you learned any lessons from football that you can apply to your work life?
Tran Thai Khue 4:34
I think definitely. As I said earlier, one thing that I love about football is teamwork. So it's basically the same as a setting in your workplace. You don't do things alone, right? Everything is collaborations, and the deliverable is usually a team effort. So coming from football, I think it kind of like teaches you and prepares you throughout those years that you play in school that you try to think from other players' perspectives as well. Try to be inclusive, try to credit when your teammates are doing a good job, and also try to learn from others. So teamwork is definitely a thing that football has taught me, and I've brought it with me throughout my career. Another thing is, I guess the perseverance that, you know, when you play the sport, you don't give up. And it comes to, like, you know, on the on the pitch is really, you know, that ball that you chase, that challenge that you do with your opponent, basically at any moment, you don't give up, and your mentality that you know, you play to win. Even if you feel nervous, downright, you cannot give up the game. So when it comes to work, I guess there's a lot of issues on a daily basis you have to try to resolve. So far at the companies that I work, they are quite large organizations, to solve an issue sometimes you have to navigate in the organization itself, and it's pretty time consuming. To solve an issue on top of what you have to do on a daily basis, it's really, I would say it takes a lot of time and could be quite troublesome. So I think that perseverance, that tenacity that you want to get something resolved, is also something that I think I've learned from soccer, or football. Yeah, so that's also another thing.
And yeah, so maybe I'll share a bit more about my journey back in high school. My team back then right was a team of novices I think maybe with the exception of myself. When we started in the first year of high school, right? If somebody asked, "Do you think you can win the tournament, the inter-school tournament?" I think nobody would have believed that we could make it. But somehow we had a miracle. We actually won the tournament, we won the championship, and it's really like a miracle. They always make me believe that, you know, if you we have three words that my teammates and I always kind of like recall and just, you know, it's like: believe, hard work, and desire. So hard work, you know, is something that, you know, it's not just in football, it's really in life, not just in work. You have to work hard to earn something you want to win and to resolve something is the same that I can bring it over. And believe is, you know, it sounds like it's a fit, but I really believe that if in the first place if you don't believe that you can do something you'll never get it done. So these are the things that I really learned back in those high school days. Yeah, and I always keep it throughout my life journey, as well as in my career.
Lucy Guan 8:52
Yes, I completely agree that it's the same for me. So from football what I learned is really working in a team setting and also being more resilient. If there are difficulties just manage to overcome, and it definitely makes me a stronger person and also putting into hard work, and it will pay off.
Stay tuned for our final segment where we talk about career advice.
Part 3: Career Advice
Now as the last segment for this interview which is, do you have any advice for people like you just somebody interested in, you know, playing football, maybe recreationally, but also have a serious career to manage? Like, how do they balance? How do they- Is there any advice that you want to give to them?
I think personally, for me, it's really coming from the passion. So as long as you keep the passions, you will find reason to sustain the hobby. But think of it this way, for working adult, we actually don't have much time for our hobbies, much of the weekdays already for your work, right. So it's, it's actually healthy to have football, if you already are into the sport, it gives you the chance to exercise literally for me, I would sit at my chair, throughout the eight hours at work. And football, it's not just football itself, it also gives me more motivations to exercise, I go for a run to keep fit, so that you know I can play football. So I think it's good to think of it that, you know, you keep this passions, and you keep this healthy passion because it's actually mutually benefit to, you know, to your own passion as well as to your career because at the same time you're working, but you need to be healthy as well. Because the work can be really demanding. If you know you're not in good health, sometime, you know, you take a day off, you have to pay off, you have to work even more. So I guess that's the mentality that I would advise people to have. To balance I- I think, to play recreationally it's- I don't, personally, I don't think it's that tough to travel between the two. It's a matter of how recreationally you want to play, like once a week or twice a week or thrice a week. So I think it really depends, it just depends on the nature of your work as well, and the capacity that you have. Because outside work outside of football, you also have you know, other activities in your social life. So it's really to know yourself well, to prioritize and you know, the frequency of how many times you want to play football is really up to the capacity that you can. So understanding yourself is also important.
I completely agree with you. I feel like keeping that passion so you can always like find time to play football. I think it's a healthy thing because sometimes doing sports help you relieve that kind of pressure
Stress as well, yeah
It's just, it's healthy really. You just kind of have to balance it out and find the right relationship with football. Okay, on that note, then that's the end for our interview. Thank you so much Khue for sharing your experiences and advice for others who are also interested in football and having a serious career. And also at the end thank you everyone for tuning in to our career series, brought to you by Soccer Girl Goals and Passion FC as mentioned at the start of the interview, we hope that this series can show people that playing football or having a passion for football can provide opportunities for you both within and also beyond football and thank you everyone for tuning in.