Hometown: Waterbury, Conn.
WCSU Degree: B.B.A. in Accounting
Activities: WCSU Accounting Society, pledge member of Connecticut Society of Certified Public Accountants, Seasonal tax preparer for Eagle Tax Services Group in Waterbury
Honors and Awards: President-to-President Scholarship, Dean’s List, 3.70 GPA
Like many schoolchildren in the Vietnamese countryside, Nhung Nguyen walked an hour and swam across a river to go to school every day. But unlike many children, Nguyen didn’t drop out after middle school to work in the fields. Instead she moved away from home so that she could attend high school.
When Nguyen came to the United States in 2001, she spoke no English. She took an ESL class through the Literacy Volunteers of Greater Waterbury, and became proficient enough to enroll at Naugatuck Valley Community College, where she earned an associate degree in accounting. She also received a President-to-President Scholarship to attend WestConn.
Nguyen says she decided to pursue a degree in accounting because "I love working with numbers. I also have an accounting background from Vietnam. And WestConn’s accounting program has a great reputation."
She says she got the help and encouragement she needed from Associate Professors of Accounting Dr. Michele Ganon and Dr. James Donegan "and all other professors with whom I was taking classes." Nguyen also credits Director of Cooperative Education Dr. Anthony Ciarleglio, WCSU Careeer Center Director Maureen Gernert and Assistant Director Lisa Temkin Carrozza for their advice and assistance in her job search.
Asked what she will remember most about her WestConn experience, Nguyen says, "I appreciate the President-to-President scholarship that I received from WestConn. It is a milestone that will help me to assure my career goal.”
After graduation, Nguyen plans to look for an accounting job. "I also plan to take the CPA exam by the end of this year," she says.
Nguyen’s advice to new students entering WCSU is: “Keep in touch with your professors, take part in school and community activities, strengthen your communication and leadership skills, and get an internship. I missed many chances to participate in school activities and I could not get an internship, both of which would be an asset in finding a job. I had to work very hard for my five classes each semester, balancing my family responsibilities with two young children, while trying to overcome the language barrier."