As a member of the University of Delaware’s Alfred Lerner College of Business and Economics’ Class of 2022, Thi Pham, an MBA graduate majoring in business analytics from Vietnam, has not had the typical student experience at UD due to the coronavirus pandemic. Pham, and her entire class, have shown incredible resilience, maturity and spirit while adjusting to the many unexpected changes that they have encountered as students. Each installment of this series will profile an outstanding member of this class, showcasing their achievements, experiences at UD and what it means to be a Blue Hen.
Pham was nominated for this series by UD Academic Program Coordinator Andrea Hartman, who said, “She is an excellent student!”
In this profile, Pham shared her favorite UD memories, how she has changed during her time at UD and her plans following graduation.
Lerner: How have you grown from your freshman year at UD to now?
Pham: I was forced to step out of my comfort zone. It was very difficult at first but I think my experience at UD has definitely given me more confidence and shaped me into who I am today. I have learned to take risks to achieve my dream, pick myself back up after failure and never give up until I succeed.
Lerner: What does being a “Lifelong Lerner” mean to you?
Pham: It means there will always be a network of UD alumni for me to reach out to, and it also means I am always willing to help current UD students like so many alumni did for me. There are many people that have helped me a lot to become who I am today and I will always be thankful for that.
Lerner: What was the most memorable course that you took at Lerner?
Pham: It would be Business Analytics Capstone with Professor Fleischhacker. We were able to gain hands-on experience by developing an analytical solution from start to finish. Professor Fleischhacker let us work on our own but he was also very helpful and supportive whenever we needed. The course was super challenging yet very rewarding. Hard work paid off; the capstone project actually helped me secure a full-time job before I even graduated.
Another memorable course was Managing People, Teams and Organizations, taught by Professor Sleesman. The course was very practical and engaging, especially with the negotiation simulations that he wanted us to participate in. I was pretty nervous at first, then realized how much I actually enjoyed those simulations, and I really learned a lot from them.
Lerner: What was your favorite UD experience?
Pham: I started my MBA program in Spring 2020 and, just about a month later, I had the opportunity to participate in the 2020 Carol A. Ammon Case competition. I had never participated in any case competition before and, due to lack of experience, I failed the first round, of course. But the feedback from the judges really gave me the motivation to participate again in the following year. In 2021, my team never won first place, but I guess winning second place and third place in two different case competitions within only a month was good enough.
Lerner: What are your plans following graduation?
Pham: I have started working full-time as a Fraud Strategy Analyst at Sallie Mae since January and I will be continuing my role here.