After one semester as a pre-med major, Denny Nguyen had seen enough to know he was not headed down the right career path.
"It wasn't for me," he said. "I wasn't interested in those types of classes. I took the time to get to know myself and explore what I was interested in doing.
"I'm a gamer and I love playing business management games where I get my own company and reach my goal of becoming a successful businessman. I also love strategy games because I believe they can help with my decision-making and leadership abilities."
Four years later, Nguyen graduated from the Bachelor of Science in Business Technology hybrid program at Northwest Missouri State University in May 2020.
"I have been working on computers since I got my first one in middle school," he said. "I told my pre-med adviser that I didn't think that major was for me. She told me about the technology major. I gave it a go, and here I am. It worked out well."
No kidding. Fewer than three months after graduating, Nguyen landed two part-time managerial positions. He is assistant manager at Famous Footwear and an operations manager at FedEx in the Kansas City area, where he grew up.
"Before the coronavirus [pandemic hit], I applied for all online classes," he said. "I wanted to get ready for the real world, get back to Kansas City and work at my former job.
"I prefer online classes because I have more time to do things outside of school. It's my own schedule, which is great."
No Slowing Down
Nguyen has been gaining real-world experience since he was a student at North Kansas City High School. In addition to working in the food service industry, he has a previous stint at Famous Footwear as a sales associate, along with two semesters as a teaching assistant at Northwest.
"I had offers from a couple of other universities out of high school," he said. "I liked Northwest because it wasn't too far away, but it was far enough that I could have some independence. It was perfect."
Before Nguyen switched to all-online courses in the B.S. in Business Technology program, he was a benefit coordinator for Aflac and then a ramp agent for Worldwide Flight Services out of Kansas City International Airport.
"I used a lot of the information that I learned in the program in my job as a lead ramp agent," he said. "I managed people and used Microsoft Excel a lot."
CSIS 44320: Advanced Word Processing, one of the eight core business technology courses in the program's curriculum, was Nguyen's favorite.
"That was a good one, but I liked all of my classes because they mix computer science with business," he said. "It was all interesting to me. The last semester of my senior year was all online."
Extra Easter Eggs
The accomplishment of earning a bachelor's degree from Northwest was extra significant for Nguyen and his family and friends who supported him for the last four years.
"They were excited for me," he said. "I was the first person to ever graduate from a university in my family. I walked in the commencement ceremony."
When he's not gaming, Nguyen enjoys dabbling in photography, working on computers and repairing iPhone screens. He is eager to dive into his first two managerial roles and build on those experiences as he launches his career.
"I am mostly in the business side right now," he said, having received job offers from a number of companies, including Amazon, CVS and Geico. To improve his chances of finding a job on the technology side, Nguyen plans to do some research on how to secure an IT or analyst position.
He is happy he switched majors and believes that having a bachelor's degree in business technology will lead to more career opportunities for him.
"I received solid value out of the bachelor's degree program at Northwest," he said. "If I didn't major in business technology, I wouldn't know more about myself or have these two new jobs. They hired me on the spot for both."
Learn more about Northwest's online B.S. in Business Technology program.
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