In Career Services, we are committed to providing meaningful career development experiences for Illinois Tech students. For this reason, we are always looking for new staff members who can help us to achieve this mission with their strengths and talents. Enter: our new Associate Vice President for Career Development Thy Nguyen. Get to know a little more about Thy below!
Q: How did you end up in your current role?
THY: I’ve been in the field of Career Services for almost 19 years. Following my graduate studies, I started my higher education career at Northwestern University in the central career office as an Internship Advisor. After that, I became a coordinator and eventually an assistant director. Following a brief one-year stint and leave from Northwestern to live and work in Honduras, I returned and landed a position at the McCormick School of Engineering and Applied Sciences as the Associate Director for their Career Center. At McCormick, I helped expand the number of co-op and internship opportunities for engineering students.
After 11 years at Northwestern, I became the Director for Career Services at the University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC). Eventually, that role led me to become the Center’s first Executive Director. It was a great 7-year run at UIC and that experience helped me land the position of Associate Vice Provost at Illinois Tech. I’d like to think my progression is due to a number of factors including supportive supervisors, mentorship, collaboration, innovative thinking, good timing, and a little bit of luck!
Q: What is your favorite thing about working on a college campus?
THY: The students are definitely my favorite thing about working on a college campus. The energy, thoughtfulness, and diversity that students bring to a college campus is amazing. It keeps me motivated.
Q: Outside of work, what do you like to do for fun?
THY: I have three younger kids and try to spend as much time with them as possible. It’s wonderful and sometimes exhausting, but I wouldn’t have it any other way. Outside of spending time with my kids, I like to play the occasional round of golf and I have recently had success with container gardening for the first time.
Q: What is the best piece of career advice you’ve ever received?
THY: During my undergraduate years, I had an internship at an Art Gallery mainly writing news releases. After my junior year, I was trying to figure out what to do that summer. I had a part-time job lined up and shared this news with my internship supervisor. She immediately told me that I can do better and we were able to work out a position for me to archive various documents. This was my first experience with database management as well as working independently. The notion of always trying improve one’s skill sets through experience has stuck with me to this very day.
Q: What are some of the things you are most excited about implementing in your new role?
THY: I’m most excited about increasing opportunities for Illinois Tech students to be successful in their careers. My immediate goals are to increase access to services through technology and related resources and both diversify and increase the number of employers who are seeking to hire students and alumni. It’s an exciting time to be at Illinois Tech!