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Viet Nguyen was born in Hue, Vietnam; lived in Union City, California, until he was 8; and then moved with his family to Alabama where he since has lived in the Madison/Huntsville area. The Auburn University senior, a first-generation college student in his family, is working to complete his degree in Business Administration/Supply Chain Management at the Harbert College of Business.
And although he already has pre-graduation work experience from internships with such reputable entities as NASA, General Electric and Amazon, he has personal goals in mind as well as professional.
Supply chain management senior Viet Nguyen enjoys exploring a variety of international
interests. He is shown here on the highest mountain in Slovenia.
“I plan on moving out West in the United States solely because I enjoy hiking as a hobby and I think there are a lot of opportunities as well,” Nguyen said. “I hope to possibly land an entry-level logistics data analyst position or a position that deals heavily with enterprise resource planning.”
Several positive factors about Auburn lured Nguyen to Harbert.
“I thought this was the best college in the state of Alabama from national recognition when I was doing my research in high school,” he said. “Initially, I had plans to enroll in the Samuel Ginn College of Engineering as an industrial engineer.
“However, during my engineering internship with the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, rather than being under a principal engineer, I was under the tutelage of a project manager who showed me the importance of business,” Nguyen said. “This experience, coupled with a great reputation for producing very solid graduates, made me naturally lean toward the Harbert College of Business in the end.”
His decision already has provided confidence in establishing a career, he said.
“Auburn's supply chain management program was recently ranked No. 4 (by Gartner Inc., a research and consulting firm) this year, which I thought was deserving, as I personally think we have some of the best professors and career service experts,” he said. “Additionally, being in the Supply Chain Management program, I found finding a job was almost effortless with the career fair and the conferences offered.”
Although raised in the United States, Nguyen says he enjoys the opportunities at Auburn to maintain his cultural ties to his native Vietnam.
“I wouldn't say that I am an international student as I have grown up here in the states for most of my life, but regardless, as someone who is culturally curious and has international friends, I would tell people from abroad that Auburn in general is a very safe place to be and creates a ton of job opportunities, especially global supply chain-related,” Nguyen said.
He also enjoys the fun and fellowship he has discovered in being an Auburn student.
“I have been in the Vietnamese Student Association since my freshman year and often we do a little bit of traveling for events, as we are a part of the Union of Vietnamese Student Associations of the Southeast,” Nguyen said. “And so, some of my favorite memories have stemmed from events like ‘Olympics,’ an event where we compete in certain sports with other southeast schools like the universities of Georgia or Florida.”
Nguyen also is happy about his chosen career path.
“Supply chain management is a field that is definitely hot right now with a ton of companies starting to invest in young professionals,” he said. “I think the field itself has become a lot more important to people with the help of COVID-19.
“COVID-19 made consumer demand skyrocket and people at the time needed the right product at the right time. This is where a company's supply chain resilience would be tested and it eventually ended up with many companies having to either temporarily or permanently close as they could not adapt to the change in environment.”