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International student discovers MSU a good fit

For a soft-spoken, shy person like Giang Thuy Nguyen, family support and the love of learning helped her find success at Minot State University.

Nguyen was born and raised in Hanoi, Vietnam. Prior to coming to MSU to pursue a masterís degree in management, she worked in the corporate affairs department at Unilever. For many young women in Vietnam, breaking with Old World traditions is a difficult choice, but one that women are more frequently making in favor of higher education and careers. For Nguyen, leaving home was difficult, but attending MSU was an easy choice. Her cousin, Dr. Long Pham, is a business administration professor in the College of Business.

"MSU is also a good fit with my personal goals, thanks to the affordable tuition and cost of living, as well as the one-year program for my graduate degree," she said.

Nguyen said attending school in another country can be intimidating, but she met the challenge through the encouragement of Pham and Gary Ross, her MSU advisor and chair of the business administration department.

"Dr. Ross always takes time to help me understand course information, or just the everyday challenges of being an international student," Nguyen said. "I also credit him for recommending the graduate assistantship position to me. This opportunity has really allowed me to explore my education at MSU, while living more comfortably while going to school."

To help overcome her shyness and get to know new people, Nguyen developed a passion for international cuisine and cooking.

"Out of everything that I could miss, I miss the food back home the most. Luckily, I live in the dorms, and with so many different people, there is never a shortage of new foods to try or learn to make," she admits.

Upon completing her degree, Nguyen plans to return to Vietnam, where she hopes to resume a role with Unileverís corporate affairs department.

"Coming to MSU has been a great experience," she said. "Yes, it takes a lot to get used to being in a new place, but Iíve made some really great friends who have been very inspirational and have given me a great deal of courage to face the unknown."