||Name: Autumn Nguyen
Major: Business Management with an Accounting Minor
Graduation Date: Fall 2021
Advice to someone considering an online class: “I would say, plan ahead. You’ve got the whole class schedule laid out for you at the beginning of the semester, so you could just designate certain days to do certain assignments. Once you plan, you know what to expect and there are no surprises. And once you start, if there is any issue, you still have some cushion time to talk to the instructor—ask and see if you’re on the right path or not.”
Autumn spent years doing her best to avoid becoming an accountant—the same career her parents pursued. After earning a BA in International Relations in her home country of Vietnam, Autumn realized she couldn’t see herself in that field for life. She expanded her career hunt by completing a year-long hotel management internship at Ruby’s Inn in Bryce Canyon, where she discovered her interest in business. Autumn considered business schools in both Europe and America, but ultimately landed at Utah Tech University, thanks in part to her familiarity with the area. Even then, her original goal of business shifted when Autumn realized that marketing and communication classes didn’t really engage her, but a required accounting class “blew her mind”. Finding numbers to be both easy and enjoyable, Autumn finally gave in and began her journey to becoming an accountant.
“It did take me a while to realize what I really wanted to do. And I think, just, with time and with all the experience, I kind of sorted things out. When I first went to college in Vietnam, I didn’t really know what I wanted to do. I just went with whatever sounded ‘big’.”
Autumn jumped right in at UT, getting involved and participating in student life—but it was in a class that she met her future husband, a web design and development major from Peru. They married and Autumn took a year off to become a mother to their now nearly 2-year-old son. Thanks to an unconventional journey to her chosen degree, Autumn now has a brother—twelve years her junior—pursuing a degree at Utah Tech as well.
In the midst of studying, nurturing a family, working a job, and raising a child, Autumn still finds time to work on her Etsy shop—open since 2017. It’s “more of a hobby right now”, she admits, but the ultimate goal is to expand her bridal accessory shop and add some event planning merchandise as well. Her hope is to graduate in fall of 2021, get some solid work experience, and achieve financial stability before expanding her own business.
It will come as no surprise that Autumn’s motivation for taking her first online class was time management. Financial courses are heavy, but her online classes give Autumn the time and flexibility to be in control of her own schedule.
“It actually gave me a lot more flexibility because … I’m obsessed by planning and organizing, so I managed my schedule very well. Once you register, you can see the whole class and the modules, so you can plan out your semester. It’s consistent, and it makes it a lot easier for me.”
In fact, Autumn feels strongly that “planning is a soft skill that … online classes give students.” She goes on to note differences between COVID-caused hybrid classes and true online classes—in a hybrid class, “you have interaction with the teacher. The professor can remind you of assignments and due dates or answer questions. But in online classes, you have to manage your own schedule and remind yourself of homework and there’s nobody really pushing you.”
Despite a long and often stressful university career, Autumn is pleased with her choice of Utah Tech and the time she has spent here. She notes the growth of UT and how “they improve every year.” Still, Autumn is looking forward to finishing school this fall.
“With all the things going on, it has been very stressful. But I figured, I started it so I just have to finish it. It definitely is harder than I thought it would be … I have almost no time for myself, but I know it will get better!”