Nguyen Thi Thanh ’19 speaks during graduation ceremonies for Keuka College's Vietnam Program at Duy Tan University in June. (Photo courtesy of Gary Giss)
Nguyen Thi Thanh, whose nickname is Xiu, walked the stage last month as part of Keuka College’s first graduating class at Duy Tan University. But before collecting her diploma, like many students, she wrestled with a potential career path.
“At the beginning, my dream was to study to be a policewoman,” recalls Xiu. “When I was young, I really admired the police for their combat skills and apprehension of criminals and wanted people to admire me as a hero. As I matured, I found out that I am energetic, fond of travel, and drawn into interaction with others as I learn and explore the world.”
The conflict between childhood dreams and new interests challenged Xiu. Then, Dr. Nguyen Tan Thang, Vice-Provost at Duy Tan University, introduced Xiu to DTU. Friends and family advised her to study there, citing its quality of education and prestige.
“With my qualifications, I could begin police studies but was hesitating over Business Administration,” says Xiu, referring to her eventual major. “Meanwhile, I became convinced that DTU would fit my personality and dreams as an adult.”
Le Thi Bich Ha Ngoc, Xiu’s mother, offed a word of advice.
“If you don’t try it, how can you know whether it’ll suit you or not?” she told her daughter. “Follow your heart and take a chance.”
Xiu did just that, studying Business Administration as a member of the On-Site Study-Abroad program as part of Keuka College’s Vietnam Program. She studied mostly with American lecturers but also had instructors from Taiwan, Russia, and South Korea. She and her friends called this studying “the American way.”
“It was exciting to study with Professor Gary Giss, the Keuka College Dean of International Programs in Asia, who is based at DTU,” Xiu says. “I was highly impressed by his teaching methods. He divided us up into project groups and sat down to give us each guidance. As a result, our English ability improved, as well as our self-confidence. Most importantly, thanks to him, I was able to enter major competitions, such as the Asia–Pacific regional finals of Go Green in the City, and win awards because of the presentation skills that he taught me.”
Xiu has competed in several “Go Green” global student competitions focusing on sustainable cities, winning the National Go Green in the City championship in both 2017 and 2018, and coming in second in the 2018 Asia-Pacific regional finals. She also received one of three international Women in Business awards at the 2018 finals in Atlanta
Xiu’s presentation skills were also on full display last month, when she spoke during Keuka College’s first graduation ceremony at Duy Tan University.
“Another amazing Vietnamese student in our Vietnam program,” exclaims Dean Giss.
EDITOR’S NOTE: This article was excerpted from a story on the Duy Tan University website.