Anh Nguyen '26, originally from Waukesha, is a first-generation college student with a double major in computer science and marketing. Her journey is not only about personal achievement but also about inspiring others and bringing pride to her family. On this National First-Generation College Celebration Day, let’s applaud the resilience and determination of all individuals like Anh who are breaking barriers and forging their own paths. Discover more about her experience in this exclusive Q&A.
What inspired you to pursue higher education?
Since I was young, I knew I wanted to go to college. Looking back at my life, I wanted to be able to say that I did go to and completed college, so for me, it was more so the factor of how to get there. I also wanted to make my parents proud. They have always placed a high emphasis on education, and while I knew they would have been proud of me no matter what I chose, I wanted to honor them by furthering my education in a way that they didn’t have the opportunity to.
Why did you choose Carroll?
I fell in love with Carroll the first time I toured it. Not only was it such a beautiful campus, I knew that it would be the perfect size for me to achieve my full potential. I knew that Carroll was the perfect fit for me once I realized how much everyone was willing to help me, truly with anything that I could need help with. If I had a question on financial aid or choosing the right class or switching majors, I knew that help was just a step away.
What are your career goals?
As a current sophomore, I am still figuring out what exactly I want to do. My dream is to become a Product Manager or a Product Marketing Manager or somewhere in the tech world. Technology is here and it is not going anywhere, and I hope to be a part of it, in whatever capacity.
What challenges, if any, have you faced as a first-gen student? What resources have you used to overcome these challenges?
One of the greatest challenges that I have faced as a first-gen student is filling out the FASFA. I’m sure all students, first-gen or not, can relate to the stress and anxiety that the form can bring forth. However, there are so many resources out there that can help you. If I have any questions, I know that the staff in the Voorhees building are always glad to help, and I can always ask my academic advisors. Just know that there are so many people in your corner and more than willing to help.
What advice would you give other first-gen students who may be considering higher education?
My advice would be to never feel like you are asking too many questions. I think that many times, first-gen students feel that they are inconveniencing others by asking questions that they perceive as “dumb” or “stupid” questions. There are no “dumb” or “stupid” questions regarding your education, and you should never be afraid to ask them.
Are there specific role models or experiences that have influenced your path?
I am very fortunate in that I have the two best older brothers to help be a sounding board as I make decisions regarding my future. Without them sharing their advice and opinions, I wouldn’t be where I am today.