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Trang Le
More Than I Imagined Seniors reflect on accomplishments and look ahead

Trang (Katie) Le

Graduation year: 2018

Majors: Accounting, business administration-finance, business administration-management

Activities: Augustana Concert Chorale, Global Engagement Team, Vietnamese Student Association, Voluntary Income Tax Assistance Program, Learning Commons tutor

Internships: Audit intern at Deloitte Vietnam; marketing and resources development intern at the Boys and Girls Clubs of the Mississippi Valley; accounting and finance intern at The Fundraising People in Sydney, Australia

Post-grad plans: I’m looking for job opportunities in the United States and to pursue an advanced accounting/finance degree. I also plan to enroll in an MBA program in the near future.

Why Augustana?

When applying to colleges, I wanted an institution with a liberal arts focus and small class sizes. Augustana offers both. It was the liberal arts education that pushed me to question and interpret life through different lenses. It was the small class sizes that gave me the attention needed from professors, advisors and career counselors to get me where I wanted to be.

Are you where you thought you’d be when you first came to campus?

I came to campus from Vietnam with only two suitcases and one interest: pursue marketing and communication studies. Never would I have thought I’d be where I am now academically (studying accounting, finance and economics). Prior to studying in the United States, I hardly pictured myself singing in a choir or co-leading a student organization. So Augie has definitely helped me define my purpose, fuel my power and discover all the possibilities!

Who helped you get to where you are now?

It is hard to compile a list of people while everyone I ever interacted with has made an impact on me in a certain way. However, I wouldn’t have reached this destination without help from these people:

Thanks to my brother, who gives me the meaning to why I do what I do.

Thanks to my father and mother, who never cease to remind me that I am able and capable.

Thanks to my friends, who have been there through the brightest moments and darkest days.

Thanks to Dr. Ann Ericson (business), who has been a listener, a supporter and a role model that I’ll always look up to.

Thanks to Dr. John Delaney (accounting), who opened my eyes to many career paths in accounting.

Thanks to Dr. Sheila Goins (business), who showed me the beauty of doing research.

Thanks to Mamata Marmé (business), who believed in me sometimes more than I did myself.

I really could have been a student anywhere, but there is only one place I could be the best version of myself. Thank you so very much.

Peak experience?

My first peak experience was during junior year when I presented two research projects at two conferences: the 2017 ASIANetwork Conference with Dr. Ann Ericson and Leo Nguyen ’18 and the 2017 National Conference on Undergraduate Research with Dr. Sheila Goins. Both experiences gave me the opportunity to network and engage with student researchers, scholars and professors from various backgrounds. 

My second peak experience was winning second place in the 2017 Rogers Business Plan Competition where students present their business ideas to a panel of business professionals for cash prizes. With the continuous support from Dr. David Thornblad (business), my teammates and I worked really hard to put together a plan for a smartphone app that helps roommates split bills, buy household supplies and divide chores.

What surprised you?

I learned that with great passion and determination, everything is possible! And that today, like any day, I can step more fully into my potential if I just go out there and start trying.

How did you use Augie Choice?

I used my Augie Choice to study abroad in Australia where I worked at a leading fundraising agency in Sydney for three months. I also had a chance to dive in the Great Barrier Reef, watch a show at the Sydney Opera House, and explore the fascinating Australian Aboriginal stories and art.

What will you miss the most?

I will miss my friends, professors, supervisors and co-workers who all have been the most important piece of my college journey. I’m thankful for each and every relationship because they all helped shape both my professional and personal development.

Advice for the Class of 2022?

You’re never going to have as much free time as you will in college to do the things you love. So take a study abroad trip, meet new people, take a challenging class, join a club and volunteer!

“Katie’s impressive work ethic and extensive skill set were on display in our multi-faceted project on Vietnam’s coffee culture. She capably handled all that I asked of her, and she moved with ease between research in Vietnam and research in the United States. One project piece was her own research on the use of social media in coffee shop marketing in Vietnam, which she captured in a poster presented at the annual ASIANetwork conference, a national organization promoting Asian studies. Her intelligence along with her great interpersonal skills will serve her well in her finance/accounting career.”

– Dr. Ann Ericson, professor, business administration