International graduate shares his career success story

Trent Nguyen

Coming to Australia from Vietnam as an undergraduate student, Trent Nguyen actively looked for opportunities to grow and develop his career from his very first year. 

Upon completing a double degree program in teaching (chemistry) and economics, international graduate Trent became a qualified teacher and moved into a rewarding career as a secondary school teacher. Now working for the Department for Education, Trent has successfully applied for his permanent residency and reflects on how the University of Adelaide has helped set him up for success.  

Why did you choose your degree? 

Having majored in Chemistry back in high school and been a follower of the world of economics since then, I found myself interested in pursuing further studies in these areas prior to choosing my degree. Additionally, I have always enjoyed being helpful to my friends by providing guidance and support. Hence, upon serious consideration, I eventually chose the combined bachelor program of teaching and economics, giving myself clear and direct yet different avenues that I could explore once graduated. 

Why did you choose to study at the University of Adelaide? 

The University of Adelaide has always been a prestigious Go8 educational institution with a nationwide reputation for excellence and achievements. Having attended Eynesbury International College, which had a direct transfer to the university for my bachelor program, I then followed the scheduled pathway and successfully got accepted into the university, starting my incredibly remarkable journey as an undergraduate. 

Did you complete an internship during your studies? If yes, what was the experience like?

Throughout the 4-year span at university, I successfully completed 4 professional placements and 2 professional internships in the space of teaching and economics/finance, respectively. To sum it up, the overall experience was tremendously insightful, enriching my learning with significant and lasting impacts on professional and personal developments, regardless of the primary area of focus.

What is your job role now/ How did you get into this role?

I am currently a contract teacher at the Department for Education of South Australia. Having finished my degrees, I successfully registered as a qualified graduate teacher. By looking for opportunities via relevant social and professional networks, as well as proactively approaching schools in person to obtain contacts, I then managed to get myself employed with the Department, being a casual relief teacher at first and currently a contract teacher.

How do you think The University of Adelaide has assisted you to gain employment?

The University has equipped me with sufficient professional skills and knowledge to ensure I am a qualified and employable graduate. Although it also took proactive efforts to enhance my preparation and employability, upon completing the degrees, I have obtained and been granted access to various professional opportunities in different industries, from which I have learned immensely, partially thanks to numerous connections and networks associated with the university.

What unique attributes from your degree have assisted you in your career?

In the field of education, the degree has allowed me to be mentally and professionally prepared to become a qualified educator by providing insightful professional placement experience in a diverse range of educational settings. Additionally, having been an economics undergraduate, I managed to capture unique opportunities to intern at various reputable companies, learning on the job and applying university knowledge to real meaningful daily tasks in data analysis and documentation.

What advice would you give to students looking to get into your industry?

I believe continuous and proactive learning will always be crucial for students and graduates regardless of your choice of industry. It is also essential for young achievers to set achievable yet progressive goals and standards, whilst remaining disciplined, responsible, and accountable for their choices. Allowing yourself to experience a diverse learning spectrum will also be beneficial in the long run.

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