Graduation year: 2019
Hometown: Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam
Majors: Economics, business administration-finance
Minor: Data analytics
Activities: Augie International Club, Student Investment Fund, Model United Nations
Internships: Consulting intern at KPMG; company performance and marketing summer analyst at Real-time Analytics
Post-grad plans: Sit for the CFA exam in June, work for one or two years, then apply to grad school.
Why attend Augustana?
I wanted to go to a small liberal arts school where I could develop strong connections with the people. Also, Augustana was flexible with the financial aid package.
Are you where you thought you’d be when you first came to campus?
Absolutely not. I came in with an interest in economics and international relations. Never did I think that I’d graduate with a little pocket of coding skills that could help leverage data in different fields.
Who helped you get to where you are now?
I am forever indebted to my mom and dad for giving me the opportunities to seek new perspectives and the freedom to discover and develop into my own person.
I owe it to all my professors, especially my advisors Dr. Marmé and Mrs. Marmé, who have been an amazing source of guidance, and whose kindness and presence will be greatly missed.
Last but not least, I am thankful for the mentors I have met and the friends I have made along the way, whose passions and stories have inspired me and humbled me.
My peak experience was probably taking the Urban School Legends class my freshman year with Dr. Egan. There was a community engagement component to the course where we worked closely with the kids at the Spring Forward Learning Center in Rock Island and Epic Academy in Chicago. The kids taught me a lot about grit, courage and kindness. The class also helped me learn more about segregation and diversity, and fueled my curiosity about the refugee community when I later got to travel to different countries.
I was very fortunate to get a chance to work for Dr. Egan my senior year. His professionalism and thoughtfulness have played an important role in shaping my college experience.
What surprised you?
I’ve learned that I could be patient to debug a program when I started learning how to code. I’ve learned that my travel experience has sparked my interest in learning about the intersection of food, arts, history and politics.
How did you use Augie Choice?
I used Augie Choice for my study abroad term in London where I developed a much deeper knowledge and appreciation for art, history and architecture, besides studying economics and finance.
What will you miss the most?
Besides the beautiful dome I see every day on my way to class, I will miss the people that I have gotten to know for the past few years. I’m glad I was able to be on this journey and share it with them.
Advice for the Class of 2023?
Be independent, be open to challenges and, most importantly, be humble!
"From the second term of her first year to this spring, I have been lucky enough to have worked with Mai. She is exceptional in so many ways. In terms of coursework, study abroad, research and campus life, Mai has taken advantage of all that Augustana has to offer. I am grateful to have known her, extremely fortunate to have been her professor, and excited to see what the future has in store for her."