Wichita native and 2018 graduate Jenny Nguyen had a busy four years at Wichita State University.
She dived into college life her freshman year, becoming involved in 10 student groups and continuing her campus involvement throughout her college career. She is also an Emory Linguist Honors Scholar.
Before her senior year, Jenny decided to study abroad in France for a summer, immersing herself in a new culture and falling in love with the idea of traveling the world.
“I wished I had another chance to do something like that,” says Jenny. “I decided I would be spontaneous and apply for an internship outside of Kansas, even though I was preparing for my last semester of college.”
At the end of the fall 2017 semester, Jenny received an email from Catholic Relief Services, a nonprofit organization in Baltimore, Maryland, wanting to schedule a skype interview the week before finals. She considered focusing on her studies, but she couldn't bring herself to ignore such a big opportunity.
She juggled finals and the internship application process, which consisted of several interviews, two essay questions, and writing and design samples.
All of Jenny's hard work paid off when she was selected for the internship.
She headed off to Baltimore in spring 2018, prepared to complete her degree online while gaining valuable experience at her new internship.
Jenny now works hard editing and preparing invitations for events, making event website updates, responding to emails, preparing budgets, making travel arrangements for event attendees and much more. Her main responsibilities include event planning, marketing and communication, material development, invitation database management and follow-up.
The majority of Jenny's work is in preparation for the Third Vatican Conference on Impact Investing, which will take her overseas again. This time the destination is Italy.
She felt well prepared to accept a position with such a variety of responsibilities through taking a class on nonprofits through Wichita State's Honors College. The class gave her a better understanding of nonprofits and how they function. Her involvement on and off-campus, especially as a student assistant for special events at the WSU Foundation also bolstered her confidence.
She has accepted an offer to work with Catholic Relief Services full-time until her internship ends in the fall.
In the fall, Jenny will begin traveling along the east coast exploring and volunteering.
“Get out of your comfort zone,” says Jenny. “Seek out all the opportunities college has to offer you and make the most of your time there. If there is something that you have always wanted to do, do it.”
She has dreams of becoming a travel event planner, living in other countries doing humanitarian and international relief work, and perhaps one day making her way to becoming the United States Secretary of Education. However, her ultimate dream is to start her own nonprofit that focuses on poverty, education and youth; three areas that are close to her heart.
Jenny looks back on her time at Wichita State and feels thankful for her experiences that have led her to where she is today.
“Everyone I have met through my time at WSU has truly made an impact on my life,” says Jenny. “I am honestly blessed to be a Shocker, because I know the Shocker community will always stand right beside me in everything I do, and I can't wait to give back to my alma mater.”