Where did you grow up?
I grew up in the city of Yangon in Myanmar, also known as Burma. It is actually the biggest city in Myanmar. Imagine New York City! Big, crowded, urban — that’s what Yangon’s like.
I hadn’t heard of the state of Oregon until I applied to OSU. I came across an OSU flyer from a study-abroad agency. The flyer stood out to me because on it was a picture of the Memorial Union Quad and the building, which I thought was extremely gorgeous. Then I came home, did my research, found out that OSU is a great engineering school, and immediately I said, “Okay. I’m going here. Done!”
How close are you to graduating, and what’s next after that?
This is my senior year but I’ll be going for a fifth year, so I’ll graduate in 2019. I’ve always had dreams about being a CEO, and I’m a civil engineering major, so my ultimate goal is to have my own company one day. Life will unfold eventually. For the near future, it’s very likely that I will go to graduate school after my graduation.
What has been your favorite class at OSU?
My favorite class at OSU has been Comm 111, public speaking. The teaching assistant was a speech communication graduate student at OSU and he was an amazing instructor. He inspired me to improve my public speaking skills. Moreover, he made the class fun and engaging with his humor. I learned from this amazing instructor that in order to make students (or teammates, co-workers, group members, etc.) contribute and engage, they need to feel safe and comfortable, and they need to have fun. Because of this class, I now actually love public speaking and I now have a dream to give a TED talk one day.
What’s the most important thing you’ve learned outside the classroom?
Getting involved with so many different extracurricular opportunities such as Omega Delta Phi fraternity, Student Alumni Ambassadors, being a resident advisor and now working with the Student Leadership & Involvement team, I learned that success in college, or even in life, is not just about how much hard work you put into academics. It is about how well we can balance our lives with academics, work, being social and at the same time taking care of ourselves (mental health, working out and eating healthy) and how we can make the best out of every moment that we have, and how we can learn from those moments to become the better version of ourselves. I believe that every opportunity that OSU has to offer (involvement activities, speaker meetings, campus-wide social events, etc.) helps make this possible.
What’s your favorite place to hang out on campus?
Without a doubt, the MU Quad. I love it because it is very beautiful (especially in spring with all those pink trees) and I love the fact that it’s very lively during the school times, with a lot of people.
What’s your favorite place to hang out in Corvallis?
My favorite place to hang out in Corvallis is the Willamette riverfront in downtown. I love walking around that area. I think it’s very beautiful during the evenings.
Of all the things you could choose to get involved in on campus, why the Student Alumni Ambassadors?
The opportunity to meet incredible alumni and network with them, which I view as a very valuable learning experience that I could not gain with any other involvements on campus.
Is there anything else you’d like to say to a potential readership of 210,000 Beaver alumni and friends?
During my three years here, OSU has been 100% responsible for who I have become. I have learned a lot, I’ve taken on challenges I never thought I would have, I’ve gained leadership skills and other skills necessary for life. ... Beaver Nation influenced and inspired me! I love OSU, and I’ll always be a Beaver no matter how many football games we lose!
All OSU students can apply to join the Student Alumni Ambassadors. Associated with the OSU Alumni Association, the group works to enhance connections among students — past, present and future. SAA members coordinate a variety of events and initiatives that integrate students and alumni across Beaver Nation. For more info, visit osualum.com/saainterest.