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

Trang Jenny Ho

Graduation year: 2017

Majors: Accounting and business administration (finance)

Minors: Economics and communication studies

Activities: Learning Commons tutor leader, Office of Student Life peer mentor, Student Advisory Council, Student Alumni Council, Omicron Delta Kappa Honor Society

Internships: I had audit internships at Ernst & Young and Deloitte Vietnam during the past two summers. 

Post-grad plans: Pursue a master’s in accounting at the University of Southern California

Why Augustana?

Although I could simply attend college in Vietnam, I decided to step out of my comfort zone to study abroad. I really like the liberal arts education in the U.S. This kind of education is special in the way that it gives students a wider perspective on different aspects of life and invaluable skill sets, including the skills to communicate effectively and the capacity for lifelong learning. I chose Augustana because of its strong emphasis on the liberal arts and its focus on students’ views and interests. 

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

Absolutely not. I was nervous when I began the next path of my life at a totally new place like Augustana. Living far away from home, I felt that I was unprepared. Everything was exciting yet overwhelming for me. However, with the help of many people here, I was able to grow and appreciate what I had. The academic environment and extracurricular activities at Augustana have fostered me to become an accomplished, passionate and independent woman.

Who helped you get to where you are now?

I owe many people for what they have done to help me become who I am today. They include my family who always support my decisions; my advisors and professors who never hesitate to pull me forward with opportunities; and my friends who listen and stay by my side during difficult times. I especially would like to thank all of my accounting professors who have tremendous enthusiasm for the accounting industry and their students. That’s what finally drew me into this field.

A peak experience?

My peak experience at Augustana was to receive a full grant from the ASIANetwork organization to visit Japan and conduct research on the changing dynamics of Hitachi Construction Machinery (HCM) amidst globalization. We spent three weeks in various cities, interviewing managers and employees at HCM headquarters and its subsidiaries.

Through the research, I was able to go deeper into the study of Japanese business practices and see the human resource management strategies in HCM. The empirical observations of how HCM utilized their human resources helped me understand that coming up with good decisions and innovative ideas are necessary to do well in business. Our group presented our research at Celebration of Learning last year, and it was very memorable. For an accounting student who mostly works with numbers like me, this research opportunity was definitely a one-of-a-kind experience.

What surprised you?

I have learned that every accomplishment begins with the decision to try. Unless you try, you never know how far you can reach. I believe that’s how I have gained many achievements, wonderful experiences and unforgettable moments at Augustana. 

How did you use Augie Choice?

I used Augie Choice for my internship at Deloitte last summer.

What will you miss the most?

I will miss my professors who have inspired and supported me on both my academic development and personal growth. I wouldn’t have made it this far if it were not for them. I will also miss the people who I have been lucky to meet during my four years at Augustana. I will always cherish each and every memory of our time together.

Advice for the Class of 2021?

Be open-minded. Take everything Augustana has to offer you, from classes to activities on campus. Challenge yourself. You will be surprised how far you could go. And never be afraid to fall; the people here will help you get up. Here’s my favorite quote: “Everything will be OK in the end. If it’s not, it’s not the end.”

“Jenny is a quiet force of nature. Her calm demeanor belies an intensity of purpose that I've admired since I first met her as a sophomore. She has taken every classroom assignment as an opportunity for intellectual challenge, pushing the boundaries in nearly every case to fulfill course goals and then some. But what I will miss most about Jenny is her shy laugh, her deep and generous spirit, and a humility that few would have were they to possess her gifts. I will miss her, but I will be happy to see her launch to the next adventure.”

– Dr. Sharon Varallo, Violet M. Jaeke Chair of Family Life, communication studies