I AM PSE: Conquering Beyond Borders
I AM PSE: Conquering Beyond Borders
By: Milo Lam & Julia Tran
Growing up, I got really used to moving. Since the age of twelve, I have been studying and living abroad in three different countries: Vietnam, China, and the United States. As a child, I was always rebellious, but a genuinely good kid. At least that's what I think.
My first big trip, one that was over 8000 miles away, was in fifth grade, all by myself, and the accompaniment of airline staff at every customs check by the under-minor passenger program.
My parents often claimed to their peers that it's great for me - the tough love. It was to build a certain sense of independence and perseverance that they had wished would flourish completely even before my adulthood. Among the loneliness, fear, and language barriers after another, I perhaps did live up to their expectations, but only to be hooked on wanting more and more from here on out. I found that passion here.
The community we embrace here at Pi Sigma Epsilon at Miami University consists of not one but dozens of people like myself, and yourself - that's right, I'm talking to you. Diversity is constantly celebrated and empathy is mutually shared, for, despite the paths that each member lead are unlikely similar, the passion we embody is.
The difference PSE makes for my life was that I was never just the kid from Vietnam. I am a friend, a leader, and a professional. I am Milo, and I am PSE, but most importantly, I take pride as a brother at our National Top Gold Chapter, Gamma Gamma. This is why I started the exclusive “I am PSE” blog editions: to recognize and honor stories from members and alumni across the world with unique legacies founded here at this chapter. This is a meaningful opportunity that couldn't be found elsewhere but the very special PR committee, along with the many executive leaders of the organization, that I am fortunate enough to be with.
Julia Tran, a New Member from the Fall 2018 PSE class, is also an international student from Ho Chi Minh, Vietnam. She and several teammates from different background, took part in the New Member Project for Procter and Gamble (P&G) and led the forefront strategy for the acclaimed product, Cascade.
They placed among the most successful e-commerce strategies for P&G the drugstore channel with an innovative subscription box model and thorough market research.
M: What are some challenges you have faced during your academic and professional journey overseas and how do you combat them?
Julia: Though I have been abroad for 1.5 years, challenges appear everyday as if I just landed in America. Whether or not I can completely get used to living in a culture so different from mine, I am still figuring things out.
Luckily, I have sought out different communities and resources to help me expand my opportunities around this campus. PSE has an eye-opening experience for me so far. I have done professional work that I never thought I would do during my second year in college. I am glad that through my professional development, I also met some great friends along the way to make the process easier. Being a part of GG is still something I cannot believe actually happened, and I owe that first stepping stone to the people of PSE.
I guess a good advice to give when being abroad is finding a good medium between learning the new culture and keeping your own. It is interesting how the more I reach out to the untouched, the more I come closer to who I am and where I am heading in my life. As an international student, there are times that I am unsure of, well, just about everything. But at the end of the day, living with such uncertainty is definitely the hardest challenge I am willing to take. I wish that this can relate to you somehow, and hopefully it will start some great conversations for later!
-Milo & Julia