SHRM Emerging Professional Champions: Chi Nguyen

Andrew Deichler By Andrew Deichler April 21, 2021
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SHRM Emerging Professional Champions: Chi Nguyen

As part of an effort to recognize the next generation of human resource leaders, the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) is naming students, alumni and others who work on behalf of emerging professionals as SHRM Emerging Professional Champions. This week, we're looking at Chi Nguyen, a human resources management major at Boise State University in Boise, Idaho.

For HR students, a great way to stand out among your peers is taking on an internship. But one internship might provide you with only a limited amount of experience. That's why Chi Nguyen is currently on her third and will soon be on her fourth.

Originally from Vietnam, Nguyen said she has always been a compassionate person with an interest in psychology. Her mother persuaded her to pursue human resources, because it would give her the opportunity to explore that interest in psychology while being an advocate for people.

A family member had previously attended Boise State and had a positive experience, which put the school on Nguyen's radar. After meeting with faculty members in the business department and witnessing their enthusiasm for the college and their students, she knew Boise State was the right fit. "I loved it since my first day, and I'm still loving it," Nguyen said.

During her freshmen year, she got involved early, joining SHRM as a student chapter member. Meeting current and aspiring HR professionals has helped Nguyen realize that she chose the right profession; she said everyone has been incredibly helpful and friendly. "I know that if I enter this profession, I'll be surrounded by people who make me feel included," she said. "We share the same interest of helping and uplifting others."

Now in her junior year, Nguyen is the co-vice president and treasurer for the Boise State Human Resource Association, her school's SHRM student chapter. She has recently been elected president of the chapter, a position she will assume next semester.

She has also taken on three internships so far. Each one has allowed her to explore a different area of HR, giving her a well-rounded perspective. The first one, at electronics manufacturer GAO Tek, provided her with recruiting and supervisory experience. Her second—at The Borgen Project, a nonprofit that works to reduce global poverty—allowed her to gain recruiting and fundraising experience. Her current internship is with The Arc Inc., a nonprofit health care provider that helps people with learning disabilities. She is exploring generalist duties, including compliance and training. Her next one, to take place this summer, is with insurance brokerage Silverstone Group, a HUB International company.

After graduating in 2022, Nguyen plans to earn her SHRM Certified Professional (SHRM-CP) designation. She also intends to enroll in an organizational psychology Ph.D. program, because she loves performing research on organizational development, as well as on diversity, equity and inclusion. The combination of her experiences with SHRM, her internships, undergraduate education and this Ph.D. program will provide her with the tools she needs to take the next step in her HR career.

"I have some real-world experience in HR, and I want to get into more research in the scientific area of the profession," she said. "With my interest in psychology, I hope that I can help create a positive culture that enhances employees' well-being, as well as provide them with the resources that they need to grow in their professions."

Do you know an outstanding SHRM student leader? How about a former SHRM student member who is achieving great success professionally? Or maybe a SHRM professional member, student chapter advisor or professional chapter that is advancing student membership and emerging professional programming? Nominate them as a SHRM Emerging Professional Champion today.

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