From Aberdeen to Entrepreneur - Joakim FongJoakim Fong

BSc Erasmus, 2000
From Aberdeen to Entrepreneur

Your Time at Aberdeen

Why did you choose to study at Aberdeen?
Diverse range of subjects, exotic location, age of university and traditions, partnership with Lund University.

Why did you choose your particular course?
I was at Aberdeen with an Erasmus exchange programme from Lund University, Sweden. I was looking for a good combination of practical technical skills as well as skills that would aid me in understanding how people and organisations function and make decisions, the basic idea being that this would give me a good foundation for a business career.

What did you most enjoy about your time at Aberdeen? Did you have any particularly memorable student experiences?
The logic classes with Dr Paul Tomassi were an eye-opener for me and have had a profound impact on how I approach problem solving and general understanding of why people act and reason as they do. Everything related to learning became easier after his classes. I was very sorry to hear that he passed away much too soon.

If you were involved in any clubs and societies as a student, what did you enjoy most about them and what benefit do you think they have for students?
I was involved in the Single Malt Whisky Society. I really enjoyed this as it was a good mix of lecturers and other university staff as well as a whole bunch of Scandinavians.

If talking to a group of prospective students, what advice would you give them to help them make the most of their time at the University of Aberdeen?
Pick a good combination of subjects that will help you in both your future career and life in general. Sometimes a couple of classes in subjects not directly related to your major can be of great benefit and feel very rewarding.

Your Time After Aberdeen

What was the title of your first job after graduating from Aberdeen?
Freelance Web Developer.

What is your current job title?
CEO and Co-Founder of Protetiko AB.

What is your current role?
I am an entrepreneur with a wide range of responsibilities.

Please briefly describe the journey from your first job after graduating to where you are now.
Graduating in 2001 was not easy after the dot com bubble had burst. I had a few different positions before landing my first proper role for a company developing ERP and supply chain solutions for large international corporates. This gave me valuable experience that eventually led to ten years with IKEA, where I was responsible for delivering payment solutions worldwide for stores and e-commerce. These days I am leading a fast growing startup in the dental industry with global ambitions.

Was your degree at Aberdeen essential for getting to where you are now? If so, in what way?
Studying at Aberdeen gave me a huge boost in confidence and I am sure that the skills, friends and experience I got from my studies there were essential in getting me to where I am now. In fact I got my first job in Sweden due to a friend I made at Aberdeen. He himself met his wife there.

One Top Tip

Don't turn down opportunities when they present themselves, even if they are not on your planned path.