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Phuong Lu
More Than I Imagined Seniors reflect on accomplishments and look ahead

Phuong Lu

Graduation year: 2024

High school: Trung Vuong High school

Hometown: Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam

Major: Business administration — marketing

Minor: Communication studies

Activities:  Vietnamese Student Association

Internship: Marketing and social media intern at Mayne Studios, Vietnam

Post-grad plans: I intend to return to Vietnam and make my entrepreneurial dream come true.

Why Augustana?

I chose Augustana because of its beautiful campus, the small class size and the welcoming community. I also appreciate the diversity at Augustana, where I've made friends from different parts of the world. Augustana is the ideal place for both my academic and personal growth.

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

No, not exactly. When I came here, I didn't have specific expectations for my college experience. However, in looking back, I know my freshman self would be so proud of where I am today. I have embraced every opportunity and challenge that have come my way, and made the most of my time here.

Who helped you get to where you are now?

First and foremost, I am grateful for my family's unwavering support throughout my journey, especially for the opportunity to study abroad. Their belief in me has given me the courage to step out of my comfort zone and embrace new opportunities.

Secondly, I want to give thanks to my professors, who have been invaluable mentors to me. I am grateful to Professor Mamata Marmé for her warmth and compassion, which has been a great source of support for me. I am also thankful to Dr. Ann Ericson for her invaluable guidance with my marketing research project and the opportunity to attend the ASIANetwork Conference under her instruction. 

Additionally, I want to extend my appreciation to Doug Tschopp and Andy Shearouse for their mentorship with my business plan and for the enriching experience of their PR class.

Lastly, I am deeply grateful to my friends for their presence in my life that make my college journey more fulfilling. I really cherish the relationships and every memories we have created.

Peak experience?

My peak experience was winning the Business Plan Competition during my senior year. The journey preparing for the competition offered me invaluable insights and skills in entrepreneurship that I had never explored before. This experience not only enhanced my academic knowledge but also provided me with practical, real-world lessons that I could apply in the future. Most importantly, it fueled my determination to pursue my dream with even greater passion.

What surprised you?

What surprised me the most was my personal growth. I've taken many opportunities that I never imagined I'd have, pushed myself beyond my comfort zone and learned a lot from them. As a freshman, I was uncertain about my post-graduation plans and and who I wanted to become, but I'm pleased to have found my path forward.

How did you use your Augie Choice?

I am planning to use my Augie Choice for my upcoming study abroad program in Spain during my last semester.

What will you miss the most?

What I'll miss the most are the cherished moments spent living with my friends, sharing our lives and supporting each other like family. I'll also miss the guidance and support from my favorite faculty members, who've always been there for a chat, advice and encouragement.

Last but not least, I'll miss the wonderful time working at the Brew with my boss, Jill, and my fellow baristas.

Advice for the Class of 2028?

Don't hesitate to seek help, whether academically or personally. Connect with your professors. Embrace every opportunity that comes your way, and actively seek out new experiences. Most importantly, enjoy every moment of your college life, as these years will pass by very quickly.

"I have enjoyed getting to know Lu and working with her on her project where she studied the impact influencers have on Generation Z consumers in Vietnam. Besides being a fine student, she is very engaging and creative. This shone through in this year’s annual Business Plan Competition, when she presented a plan for her first-place project, 'Fruitful Oasis,' a pitch for an upscale fruit gift business. It will be interesting to see whether she joins the family business and implements the promotional ideas she outlined in her winning plan. Whatever path she follows, I wish her the very best."

– Dr. Ann Ericson, professor, business administration