He drives through the congested streets of Saigon toward one of his favorite noodle restaurants, Pho Nho, which makes the dish in the northern style he prefers. Trung Duc Tran drifts through the honking traffic in his silver five-series BMW, a luxury he once dreamed of. The road to his dream car and dream life began over a decade ago when his pursuit for a higher education brought him to Cal State Fullerton.
“Vietnam considers education very important,” said Tran “In every family, they think the same way too… (it’s) an investment for children.”
This value for education was instilled in Tran at a young age as well as the desire to make his family proud. He attended school and worked in his free time, including weekends. He never gave himself a break because of his desire to do well in school. His hard work eventually paid off when he passed the mandatory tests that are required to attend a university in Vietnam.
After he received his bachelor’s degree in Vietnam, Tran’s life took various turns that eventually steered him to Cal State Fullerton. He moved through the business school’s MBA program and learned a lot in the process. He gained family, friends and communication skills that he uses to this day, but most importantly his education and his desire to continue growing as a person.
Now at 40-years-old and back in Vietnam he is a regional sales director for Dell. Tran frequently talks to students and encourages them to make the same steps that he did, crediting his experience in business school for much of his success.
His family life, with his 2-year-old son Jeff and wife Anh, and his career with Dell could have been very different had he continued down his original path.