Name: Trang Than

Parents: Thanh Pham (Mother)

High school: Friendswood High School

College you plan to attend: University of Houston

Major: Accounting

What are your career plans?

The business world has always fascinated my mind and stirred the passion within me. I choose to major in accounting and pursue a degree in international business because I love to explore the business environment in different countries of the world while practicing the skills as an accountant. Beyond earning my bachelor’s degree in accounting, my plan is to pass the CPA exam and acquire a master of science in accounting. My professional goal is to become an auditor in Deloitte US, one of the biggest accounting firms in the nation. Through Deloitte Network, I wish to have a chance to transfer to Deloitte Southeast Asia so I can expand my education about Asian business culture.

What’s the most important lesson you learned in high school?

Is that I can do anything I set my mind do and to never doubt myself. The sky’s the limit when it comes to my ambition and goals. As an immigrant, I was afraid of challenging myself due to the language barrier. I hesitated to try new things and didn't open myself to other people. Teachers and friends encouraged me to get out of my comfort zone and do things that I would not normally do. As I go through high school, I realize that I'm capable of doing anything if I put in my best effort. High school has helped me realize the untapped potential that is within me, and I challenge myself to do something that is out of my comfort zone every day.

What’s more important — a job that makes you happy or rich?

I believe that a job that allows me to be happy is more important because I can work any job to get money, but I can’t buy happiness. If I do something that I’m passionate about, I will have the motivation to better my skills in the workplace.

Where do you spend most of your leisure time?

At home babysitting my cousins and helping my grandparents with housework. Playing with my cousins really entertains me because I can teach them so much about the world and read them stories that will hopefully inspire them to achieve their dreams. They are really fun to be around with, and they make me feel carefree when I’m with them.

What stresses you out?

Despite being a hardworking student, I still feel a need to improve on my school work as deadlines come closer. Especially being a senior, a deadline is something really important and cannot be missed. I strive to finish everything before deadlines, but the thought of a one always stresses me out.

What makes you happy?

Being surrounded by my family, friends, and positive people makes me really happy. I love spending time with my friends and family because it strengthens the bond we have with each other. I also love to be around positive people because I can learn a lot from them and they inspire me to be a better version of myself.

What’s your favorite way to get in touch with a friend? To get in touch with a friend, I often call or FaceTime them. My friends and I enjoy talking to each other on FaceTime because we can see each other and it’s also easy to show what we are up to.

Text, email or voice? Personally, I prefer text because it seems like the easiest way to contact someone. Teenagers nowadays rarely check their email and some people don't even have their voicemail set up, so texting is the most convenient way to reach someone.

Favorite TV show? My favorite TV show is "A Love so Beautiful," which is a Chinese drama show about a group of high schoolers learning to deal with the outside world and developing their friendship through their life experiences. This show reminds me of my home and culture back in Vietnam. I really enjoy watching TV shows that allow me to reminisce on my previous life in a country across the world.

Favorite clothes? My favorite clothes would be a comfy hoodie with leggings because they make me feel really comfortable.

What are you reading for fun? When I have free time, I like to read books that educate about soft skills, lifestyle, and communication in the business world. My favorite book is “Modern Manner: Tools to Take You to the Top” by Dorothea Johnson and Liv Tyler. I have read this book so many times and I am still applying the skills presented in the book in my life. Along with that, I also read fictional books for entertainment. One of the fictional books that I like the most is “Snow Bound” by Harry Mazer. This book tells an amazing story about friendship and survival of two teenagers. I love to read books that talk about family and friendship because that is what I value the most in my life.

Android or iPhone? Favorite music in iPod, phone or mp3 player? I’m currently using an iPhone. I like to listen to pop music such as American pop and Korean pop. Pop music makes me feel happy and energetic.

Do you have a profile on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Snapchat or any other social network? I have Facebook, Instagram, and Snapchat. I use social media to keep in touch with my friends around the world and also see what my friends are up to.

How do you get news? I often get news from friends, social media, or the internet.

What is the most pressing issue of your generation? To me, the most pressing issue of my generation is the environmental collapse. People neglect the environment, such as deforestation which results in floods and collapse of the ecosystem. I am passionate about nature and protecting the world that I live in, and that is why I am a part of Recycling Club at my school. Recycling Club allows me to contribute to my local community while promoting environmental awareness to other people of my generation.

Your most embarrassing moment?

My most embarrassing moment would be when I spilled pen ink all over myself. I was sitting in the classroom and my pen just stopped working. I thought something was stuck in my pen so I shook it really hard and the ink splash on my face, my white sweatshirt, and my homework. My friend and I had to get up to grab the hand sanitizer and cleaned up the mess. The whole class was looking and laughing because of how weird I looked with black ink on my face. I had to wear that sweatshirt for the rest of the day, and a lot of people in the hallway turned to look at me. Even though this was my most embarrassing moment, I thought it was funny and everyone laughed when I told them the story. I will keep this moment as a memory to look back to and value it as an experience.

Your happiest moment?

During sophomore year, I joined a club called Business Professionals of America and I competed in an event called Fundamental Word Processing. When I competed at the Regional level, I got third place and was able to move on to State. The moment I realized I could compete at State was my happiest moment because it was the first medal I have received in my life. That medal had motivated me to work harder, and my hard work was awarded with the third place at the National level. The first medal I received opened my mind to how far I could go despite my background as an immigrant.

If you could change one thing about the world, what would it be?

If I could change one thing about the world, I would change the way people use technology nowadays. Technology plays a huge role in everyone’s life, and it has a significant impact on each of us. People rely so much on technology, that it constantly affects their health physically and mentally. Technology can be helpful to society, but it also strains relationships due to the large amount of time that people spend on their electronic devices. I dream of a world where everyone would use technology wisely and not depend on it; a place where people devote their time doing more valuable things; such as reading books, spending time with your family, or hanging out with friends.

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