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Thao Chu
More Than I Imagined Seniors reflect on accomplishments and look ahead

Thao Chu

Graduation year: 2019

Hometown: Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam

Majors: Accounting, international business

Activities: Vietnamese Students Association, Admissions Leadership Team

Internships: (1) tax internship at O’Malley & Kwit in Chicago and (2) accounting internship with Augustana’s Fresh Films

Post-grad plans: I will be joining Deloitte in Davenport, Iowa, as an audit assistant.

Why Augustana?

Augustana creates a personal connection with prospective students, which made me feel like I belonged to the community and assured me that this was a place I could thrive in. The school is also very flexible in meeting students’ financial needs, which encouraged me to make the decision.

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

Not at all. My previous plan was simply to study hard and graduate. Little did I think I’d develop such a passion for traveling and writing.

Who helped you get to where you are now?

I owe my achievements to so many people: family for giving me the opportunity to study abroad, professors and advisors for guiding me through academic challenges, friends for always supporting my decisions, and loved ones for simply being there for me. Without them, I would never have had enough strength to confront and overcome obstacles in the last four years.

Peak experience?

Probably the tax internship during my senior year. It was my first experience with the busy season in the public accounting world. Two months there presented me with a lot of different tax scenarios in real life and significantly improved my technical knowledge.

What surprised you?

I was surprised by how much these years have inspired me to live life to the fullest. Past failures have taught me to turn stress into positive energy, challenges into excitement, and disappointment into motivation.

How did you use Augie Choice?

I used Augie Choice to fund my cultural trip to Madrid, Spain, where I interned at a local startup and explored the country.

What will you miss the most?

The close-knit community at Augie for sure! This allowed me to get to know many peers and professors personally. It is amazing how the professors’ office doors are always open for students to share both good and bad news, which plays a key role in our success.

Advice for the Class of 2023?

College is the best time to explore who you are, so don’t be put off by a hard class, a bad grade or a tiring job. Appreciate both the ups and downs you encounter, as they will all be very rewarding in the end!

“Thao was a delight to work with on her independent research project while at the same time providing me valuable assistance on mine. What a great experience we had in San Diego presenting our projects at the annual ASIANetwork Conference. International students find it especially challenging to find job opportunities in the United States. It does not surprise me that Deloitte’s Davenport office has hired Thao. Inside and outside of the classroom, I found her to have a sharp mind, a strong work ethic and an excellent attitude. Best wishes as you continue your life journey!”

– Dr. Ann Ericson, professor, business administration

More Than I Imagined

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