Graduation year: 2021
High school: HNUE High School for Gifted Students
Hometown: Hanoi, Vietnam
Major: Business administration (finance and marketing)
Minors: Accounting, Japanese
Activities: CFA Institute case competition team, Vietnamese Student Association, Phi Beta Kappa academic honor society
Internship: Marketing and graphic design intern at Augustana's EDGE Center
Post-grad plans: Sit for the CFA Level 1 exam in May, then move to California for work
I wanted to attend a small college where I would be able to fit in and feel included. Also, as I didn't really know what I wanted to study back then, Augie's liberal arts education gave me the freedom to explore myself and my interests.
Are you where you thought you'd be when you first came to campus?
No! Back then I didn't know what and where I would be. But now, after four years at Augie, I know exactly what I want to do and how to achieve it. I knew that I would have a good time here, but I never imagined how fulfilling and enjoyable this experience would be.
Who helped you get to where you are now?
I can't say thank you enough to my parents who gave me this amazing opportunity to study in the U.S. I'd been wanting to study abroad since I was a little kid, and my parents made that dream come true. I wouldn't be here without their support, financially and mentally.
I am also thankful for my friends and partner, who have been by my side through ups and downs. They made my four years at Augustana fulfilling and memorable.
Last but not least, I am grateful to have met so many inspiring and caring professors, who gave me guidance and genuinely cared about my success. Dr. Trang Phan has been there to make sure I had every class I needed. Dr. Lina Zhou sent me every job opportunity and CFA study source that she had, and always assured me of my capability. Komura Sensei and his wife went out of their way to help me practice Japanese when I didn't have time to take the practice class.
My peak experience was participating in the CFA Research Challenge in my junior year. The four-month project taught me lessons and skills that are necessary for my future career and allowed me to discover what I was capable of.
What surprised you?
The raccoons, squirrels and deer surprised me a lot when I first came. As I grew up in a crowded city, I never imagined living with these animals. Also, to this day I am still surprised by how friendly people are. I remember being greeted and welcomed by a Public Safety officer on my first day on campus and just randomly receiving compliments from strangers.
How did you use your Augie Choice?
I used my Augie Choice for my internship with the EDGE Center.
What will you miss the most?
I surely will miss the animals, the beautiful campus and most importantly, the friends I have here.
Advice for the Class of 2025?
Always have a positive attitude. Work hard but don't forget to play hard, too! And remember to take care of your mental health.
“Ha has made the most of her time at Augustana. Her dedication to her work, ability to work effectively as a team member and a team leader, deep campus involvement and pleasant personality made her an outstanding student. While being extremely busy with her academic pursuits, she was still actively involved in campus activities. She contributed to the Vietnamese Student Association and was on the team of students who won 2nd place in the CFA Research Challenge in 2020. This May, she will take the CFA Level I exam, which requires strong commitment and an extensive amount of study time. I have no doubt that Ha will continue to accomplish great things in the future.”