Ngoc Anh – Helene (27) was on her way to a promising career in the Czech Republic, but her adventurous soul and goals in life led her to move to Dubai in the United Arab Emirates. She now works in a field that didn’t even exist only a few short years ago: influencer marketing. I’ve been watching the path she has blazed for some time, and we were finally able to meet at the beginning of November over a weekend in Dubai. We spoke about her life as a Vietnamese woman in an Arab country, marketing, and a hard-won career.
Tell us something about yourself; how you got started…
I was born in Hanoi, Vietnam. I moved to the northern part of the Czech Republic when I was about seven years old and then at the age of 13, I moved to Prague on my own. My parents were against it at first, but I had a cousin there, so in the end they allowed it.
I went to a Czech-English secondary school to learn to speak English. I always knew I wanted to leave. I was planning my “escape.” I knew I had to go to Prague first and then move on. I had artistic ambitions and started with photography at the age of 15. I taught myself how to edit images and I made collages.
I occasionally shot commercials when I was in high school. I used the money I made to buy my first SLR camera to push my ambition further. I started to shoot commercial stuff, editorial fashion. My hobby became a paying job. I started as an airbrusher during secondary school and made pretty good money.