T. Van Nguyen is from South Riding, VA and will be graduating on Friday, May 14, 2021 with a degree in Management, Human Resources Management (HRM) option.

After graduation, T. Van will be working in Reston, VA as a Recruiting Coordinator for Leidos on the Corporate & Leidos Innovation Center Team.

We recently asked her to share both her Virginia Tech and Pamplin journeys with us.

Why did you choose Virginia Tech? When and why did you choose MGT?

I chose Virginia Tech for the community. Hokies help Hokies. Before I came, I remember asking current students and alumni for advice regarding class recommendations, organization suggestions, activities, and places to eat, and every single person gave me so much guidance and lit up while talking about how much they loved Virginia Tech. Their passion made me fall in love with the school before I even arrived.

I chose Management because growing up with both my mom and my grandma working in Human Resources, I was surrounded by their conversations with their coworkers and shared in their passion and purpose of making a difference in and changing people’s lives. My mom’s career experiences in addition to her being the President of her SHRM chapter inspired me to dig deeper into my major and to become the President of Virginia Tech’s SHRM chapter, where I could share my passion with others.

Were there any specific classes that you remember as validating your major choice to date?

In Careers in Management, Professor Bluey talked about the different areas of Management in an effort to help his students decide on the best career path for them. When it came time to discuss Human Resources, it was so exciting for me to hear about all of the different options and opportunities offered within the industry.

Additionally, I never found my HR Staffing class to be boring. Hearing all of the different details associated with recruiting, I thoroughly enjoyed learning the basics because I wanted to be as prepared as possible for a career in a field that I knew was the best fit for me.

Has there been a faculty or staff member within Pamplin and/or the MGT department that has served as a mentor or source of inspiration for you during your journey?

I am blessed not only to have had Professor Ron Poff as our faculty advisor for SHRM, but also to have had him as a mentor and a source of inspiration. With his leadership, positivity, and passion, he not only helped grow our chapter, but, more importantly, he helped me grow as an individual as well. He re-sparked my passion for HR in order to help me lead our team and organization to spread that knowledge and passion to other like-minded people. Professor Poff has so many different backgrounds and experiences, which has given him many strengths and words of wisdom since he has gone through many ups and downs himself. In my times of need, he was able to lift me up and continued to push me to work harder and come out stronger. Without his mentorship, guidance, and overall presence, SHRM and I would not be where we are today.

What advice would you provide to an incoming Pamplin freshman?

Though it’s cliché, it’s true: NETWORK! Networking carries a lot of meaning, as not only does it mean talking to whoever you can, but it also means joining any organization and taking advantage of every opportunity that you can. Try everything and talk to everyone to find the place where you have the potential to challenge yourself and grow beyond where you started.

What/who is your inspiration for leadership?

Growing up, my mom has always been my inspiration for leadership. From working an internship while going to school full-time to taking care of her family at home while her dad was working two jobs and her mom was sick to creating a legacy everywhere she worked to being the President of the NOVA SHRM chapter, she truly is the epitome of a hardworking mom. Because I’m going into her same industry, I have huge shoes to fill, but that will only challenge me to work harder and strive to be just half as good as her.

Name some of the internships, if any, that you had during your Virginia Tech and/or Pamplin journey.

I had the honor of working for Leidos as a Talent Acquisition Intern. In this position, I supported different programs like managing job boards and usage for more than 100 recruiters, implementing the new chatbot that is now on the careers page of their website, and transitioning to a new applicant tracking system (ATS). I also worked on fun projects like creating a fun space for the team to connect virtually, where I organized monthly happy hours complete with games and bonding.

Additionally, I had the privilege of working as a Compensation Analyst Intern for Virginia Tech’s Division of Human Resources through its partnership with the Department of Management. Here, I worked with my manager to respond to compensation requests made throughout the organization to provide research, feedback, and analysis.

If you could give a testimonial about Pamplin and/or the Management Department curriculum, what would you say?

Pamplin and the Management Department work tirelessly to create the best experiences for their Hokies. They offer leadership, learning, job, internship, scholarship, and networking opportunities to give everyone a chance to maximize their journey as a Pamplin student. I would not have had the opportunities I did without everything that the Management Department offered. Also, even though we are a large group of students, they care for each and every one of us as individuals.

Do you have any other words of wisdom or insights about Virginia Tech, Pamplin, Management, or your broader college journey?

Transferring to Virginia Tech from community college will forever be the best decision I made. I tried my best to work hard and to take advantage of any opportunities at NOVA, but becoming a Hokie opened an infinite number of doors. I didn’t know what to take on when I got here, so I tried to get as involved as I could. I became a transfer peer mentor, and events coordinator for the Vietnamese Student Association, a Compensation Analyst Intern, a Talent Acquisition Intern, a Multicultural Academic Opportunities Program Undergraduate Scholar, and the President of the Society for Human Resource Management all while enjoying my time as a student and having fun as a Hokie. The opportunities are endless; you just have to step outside your comfort zone to take advantage of them.