From Viet Nam to Simmons: Meet Cici Nguyen '17

December 09, 2016

Cici Nguyen

We caught up with Cici about life as an international student — and being president of the Multicultural and International Student Organization.

What are you studying at Simmons?

I'm majoring in business with a concentration in marketing and minoring in psychology and studio art.

Where are you from? What made you choose to come to college in the U.S.? 

I’m from Viet Nam. America is known for having one of the best educational systems in the world. I came to America with the hope that I'd bring back what I've learned and make a difference in Viet Nam.

What's your favorite part of your program?

The faculty in the School of Management. Everyone is so passionate about what they teach, which makes me feel inspired and motivated. My current advisor, Professor Sampson, is helping me find an internship, which is very valuable especially for someone not from the U.S. 

I just feel so lucky to be surrounded by these distinguished and dedicated educators every day.

What made you choose Simmons?

I went on a tour and fell in love with the close-knit community. I love that Simmons is a small school in a big city. I get the attention that I need from my professors and get access to the opportunities that Boston has to offer. A women-centered institution that acknowledges and celebrates diverse gender identities is definitely a plus.

What was the biggest surprise you've encountered in the U.S.?

Americans have a very fast-paced lifestyle. People here are independent and work hard to achieve their personal goals. People in Viet Nam spend more time with friends and family. For example, whenever I’m back in Viet Nam I go to a coffee shop in the morning and just stay there for a couple hours, reading, people watching or hanging out with my friends and family. Here, people go to Starbucks and order a coffee to go. If you sit down, it's to do work. I've had to make a little coffee corner on my back porch to drink my coffee in the morning.

How is Simmons helping prepare you for your future?

I got introduced to the concept of sustainability in business my sophomore year. It really inspired me to start my own socially-conscious business. I want to make a positive impact on the environment, humanity and society at large. I’m currently working on this project as my independent study with Professor Kari Day. Professor Day has given me all the support and the freedom for creativity that I need to build a start-up. I’m very grateful to have her as my supervisor.

How did you find your community at Simmons?

It’s easy once you're part of a club or sports team. I work in the Admission Office as the International Ambassador and I'm president of the Multicultural and International Student Organization (MISO) You'll find people who have the same interest or background as you and it’s easier to connect. Many of my closest friends I met through MISO.

Tell us about MISO.

The main purpose of MISO is to share our diverse traditions and promote international diversity and cultural awareness within the college. We seek to encourage understanding and respect of cultures within the student body and promote learning and interaction among students through organizing cultural displays, festivals and collective philanthropy events. 

As an affinity group, we strive to unify students with international and multicultural backgrounds through membership in MISO and assist them with any difficulties they might face while acclimating to American culture and a new lifestyle at college in general.

What's it like being president of MISO?

It's very rewarding to be a part of an amazing and diverse group of young women. I'm very happy because I'm making great friends from all around the globe.

What's your Simmons moment?

I really love being surrounded by strong and independent women who empower and support each other everyday.