How Tan Vo Went From Being a Medical Doctor to Software Engineer

Know how Tan Vo successfully made a career switch from medicine to software engineering with persistence and mentor-led preparation.



Meet Tan Vo, a software engineer with a unique and fascinating background that will captivate your interest. 

Here, we’ll see his journey from being a medical doctor in Vietnam to transitioning into the world of software development in Ireland.

All thanks to his persistent approach and his mentor’s invaluable guidance.

Let's dive right in and hear it from him.

Can you tell us a bit about yourself and your background?

I'm a recent graduate from a university in Ireland, where I pursued the HIGO Diploma in Software and Development. 

But before that, I used to be a medical doctor in Vietnam for 20 years. 

I switched careers to software engineering about two and a half years ago.

What motivated you to switch from being a medical doctor to a software engineer?

It's a long story.

I spent six years in medical school and worked in a hospital for over two decades. 

While working in the hospital, I stumbled upon the opportunity to manage the website for my department. 

It was based on WordPress, and I found changing and improving it intriguing.

During this time, I also took a part-time web course, which exposed me to patient management systems and web development. 

This sparked my interest in software engineering

However, I wasn't sure about leaving my medical career behind or what I wanted to do next.

After much contemplation, I took the plunge and joined an intensive boot camp in Vietnam to learn software development. 

That was my first step into the software engineering world.

What happened next? What were your goals and challenges?

I realised I had some practical skills, but lacked a deeper understanding of underlying theories. 

So, I focused on being a teaching assistant to solidify my knowledge.

In time, I became more confident and started teaching the class. 

This allowed me to grow as a developer and instructor.✨

I also contributed to building in-house applications and courses while being the only engineer on those projects.

Eventually, I took the leap and moved to Ireland to pursue further education in software engineering. 

I mainly worked with Java during the course and got my Associate Java certificate. 

How did you come across Preplaced?

I followed a YouTuber who worked at Microsoft, and he mentioned a free mentorship program!

This intrigued me, and I explored mentorship to enhance my learning and career prospects.

How did you choose Drishti as your mentor?

Choosing Drishti Mamtani as my mentor was serendipitous.

She was the first person on the list when I entered the mentorship platform. 

I quickly glanced at her profile and saw that she had a background in Google and had interned at Oracle. It felt like a good fit.

Though there were other mentors available, I went with Drishti.

How did Drishti help you during your mentorship sessions?

Drishti was an amazing mentor who provided invaluable guidance throughout our sessions.

When we started, she took the time to understand my goals and what I wanted to achieve. 

In our first trial session, she emphasised the importance of fixing my CV, LinkedIn profile, and Angular skills.

During the sessions, she went through my CV line by line and showed me how to rephrase sentences and include relevant keywords to make them stand out. 

She also helped me optimise my LinkedIn profile, ensuring that I added all relevant skills, even broader ones like "software engineering" and "software development."

The mock interviews she conducted were extremely helpful.⭐

Drishti provided me with interview questions and offered detailed feedback on my responses. 

She pointed out areas where I could improve, like not giving up during a problem-solving process.

She encouraged me to think critically and develop creative solutions!

How did the interviews go after one month of mentorship and preparation?

The interviews went well! 

Before the interviews, I asked my mentor for advice on what to expect in the HR and technical rounds. 

She helped me prepare by providing theoretical questions, company-specific research, and even some puzzles to solve.

This made me feel confident and well-prepared for each round.

Despite the challenging interview, I answered them confidently, thanks to my mentor's guidance.😊

When did you receive the final offer?

I received the job offer about a week after the final interview. 

Knowing my efforts had paid off was a moment of excitement and relief.😊

However, there's still some waiting ahead as I await the visa to start my new job.

How did you celebrate your success after receiving the job offer?

Honestly, I'm still cautious about celebrating until I have the visa!

The visa process can take time, and I want to ensure everything is in place before fully celebrating. 

However, I shared the good news with my friends and treated myself to some tea. 

What one piece of advice would you like to give to someone who might be in a similar situation?

If there's one piece of advice I'd like to share, it's the importance of persistence

Success is not just about intelligence or being naturally talented. 

It's about consistently working towards your goals, even in the face of challenges and setbacks.✨

Stay dedicated to your passion and never give up, no matter how tough the journey might seem.

You can achieve your dreams with determination and persistence, just like I did in my journey to becoming a software engineer.


As we wrap up this inspiring interview, we've witnessed a remarkable journey of perseverance and determination. 

Tan Vo’s transition from being a medical doctor to becoming a successful software engineer in a foreign country highlights the power of following one's passion and seeking guidance.

Through mentorship, dedication, and hard work, Tan Vo triumphed over challenges and achieved his dream career.⭐

Their story serves as a reminder that success depends not only on innate talent but also on the consistent effort and tenacity to pursue one's goals!

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Read further:

From Navy Veteran to Senior Scrum Master: Sainki's Journey

How Mentorship Helped Rolly Succeed in a Job Shift After 12 Years