Bich Vu wasn’t sure what she wanted to study when she arrived as a freshman at the University at Buffalo. But her classwork introduced her to potential areas of study. She soon became interested in computer engineering, electrical engineering, mathematics and Japanese language studies. In the end, she chose them all.
Vu recently completed her Japanese minor and will have a BS in computer engineering, a BS in electrical engineering and a BA in mathematics when she graduates in 2013.
“UB has a lot of opportunities,” says Vu. “I think you can find something here to help develop any interest and work toward any goal.”
And that reality is found not just in the classroom, but in campus events, programs and clubs.
“My classwork is the foundation,” says Vu. “But the other half of my experience here came from interacting with professors and taking part in everything that’s happening on campus.”
In fact, Vu was involved in ROTC her first two years at UB. She says the experience taught her a great deal about the military, its structure and tactics, but like the university itself, there was another component to the experience.
“ROTC taught me a lot about leadership,” she says. “It helped my confidence, taught me about group dynamics and the value of working collaboratively.”
With graduation in sight, Vu has no plans for slowing down. She will begin graduate work and go for her master’s degree in computer science and engineering once her undergraduate studies are complete.
She will also be working with an agency of the federal government. Vu is a recipient of one of the National Science Foundation’s Scholarship for Service (SFS) grants. Started about 10 years ago as a means to increase the number of qualified students in the areas of information assurance and computer security, scholarship recipients are required to work for a government agency after graduation for each year they received funding.
“I wanted to work for a federal agency anyway,” says Vu. “For me, I don’t really see the obligation as a commitment but an extension of my goals.”