Hung, an international student from Vietnam at the University of Utah, is pursuing a degree in entrepreneurship and also working as a Utah Global student ambassador. He is passionate about new experiences, especially in and around Salt Lake City, and he shared how keeping an open mind while studying in the US can enhance international students’ learning.
Read on to learn more about Hung’s time at the University of Utah!
Studying Entrepreneurship at Utah Global
Ranked #48 in Top Public Schools by U.S. News & World Report, the University of Utah has outstanding opportunities for creative students interested in entrepreneurship and innovation. The university’s David Eccles School of Business offers majors in accounting, business, entrepreneurship, marketing, quantitative analysis of markets and organizations, and more, giving students the choice to specialize in different fields.
The school was also ranked #5 for Entrepreneurship and #39 (in a tie) for Undergraduate Business by U.S. News & World Report in recognition of its world-class campus facilities, faculty support, and resources that encourage students to explore entrepreneurial ventures.
The entrepreneurship major is student-centric and flexible, and does not have a required curriculum. “Some people like entrepreneur[ship], but they also want to do more in computer science, [so] they can do that. Some people want to go into entrepreneurial, but on the finance side, they can also do that, or logistics,” explained Hung.
“There are many ways to go into entrepreneurship,” he continued. “Entrepreneurship is pretty broad, but really worthwhile. Of course, [it] depends on which direction and sub-direction you go into.”
He appreciated Utah’s resources that gave diverse groups of business students the chance to network and learn from each other. “I was lucky enough to join [a] class and saw how the MBA students worked, how the older students worked, and I actually learned a lot from them,” he said.
“When I came to Utah I really appreciated the amount of work the faculty spent on the entrepreneurship major,” Hung said. “Specifically, I feel like [the] activities of entrepreneurship here really [offer a] real-life resemblance.” For example, the hands-on learning environment at Utah’s Lassonde Institute provides opportunities for students to turn their ideas into reality.
The Lassonde Entrepreneur Institute
Lassonde Studios at the University of Utah is a nationally ranked hub for student entrepreneurs, with a dedicated 20,000-square-foot innovation space on the main floor for students to test ideas, build prototypes, work in teams, and launch products. (Architectural Digest named the five-story building one of the nine best new university buildings in the world.) Here, students have access to all the tools, resources, and investments to take their ideas to the next level.
“At Lassonde, we have competitions where students make up their companies and go up to pitch to professors,” Hung said. “There are small prizes [and] huge prizes, depend[ing] on the competition that you pick. It can shoot up to $60,000 a competition — that is a lot of money, and a lot of opportunities for sure.”
Career Development at Utah
From career fairs and alumni networks to faculty recommendations, Hung says there are many opportunities for students to work on real-life projects and interact with industry-leading professionals at the University of Utah.
“The chances to meet companies is like too many! There are career fairs, there are Lassonde fairs, entrepreneurial clubs, sometimes they invite companies to talk [and] give feedback to the students’ ideation,” Hung said.
He also mentioned the potential for industry growth and employment in Salt Lake City. As one of the fastest-growing cities in the US, Salt Lake City is nicknamed Silicon Slopes for the California-esque abundance of tech opportunities.
“We have Adobe, Neven, and many other tech companies that [are] eager to hire, and they hire a lot of University of Utah students because we are the best school in the state,” he said.
In his role as a Utah Global student ambassador, Hung also advises prospective international students to choose their university wisely as it has an impact on their future career prospects.
“Think about ‘can the school aid me in finding a job, can the school aid me in finding internships, [and] gaining real-life experience?’” he said. He also encourages international students to come to the US, as they will learn among different people from diverse cultures and improve their skills in communicating, negotiating, and teamwork.
Hung’s Advice for International Students
If you come here, try it. If you come here, experience it. Don‘t have any expectations, but the experience is what matters the most.” — Hung, entrepreneurship major, University of Utah
Hung shares that it’s very common for international students to be concerned about adapting to US culture. To support students, Utah Global advisors offer many services and tools, such as orientation programs, campus events, and more, for students to make friends and settle in with ease. He also says students can overcome the challenges of studying abroad and adapt well by keeping an open mind and a positive attitude. Embrace the unfamiliar and try something new.
“Try it for yourself, that’s all I would say!” he recommended.
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