New College Alumna Anhlan Nguyen ('89)Describe yourself in 50 words or less.

I am an IT Portfolio Manager at the University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center and a community leader who is very active in youth leadership development and education for the Vietnamese American/Canadian communities. I am also currently appointed by U.S. President Obama to serve on the Vietnam Education Foundation board.

Is there anything that left a particularly strong impression on you from your time at New College?

New College provided me with bursaries, financial assistance and scholarships, and they also hired me through the work study program to help me pay tuition. I greatly appreciated their support and now I want to give back.

How did your academic and social experience at the University/College prepare you for life and your career?

I felt very welcome at New College and I appreciate the student internship/work study program they offered back then. That helped me financially and also allowed me to gain some experience in computer science, which is now my field of study.

Tell us about some of the lessons you learned and how valuable they are today?

I learned that team work is truly needed to accomplish any big goal through the Computer Science Student Union and that still proves to be true until today.

What are your major accomplishments and who had the most influence on your career?

My biggest accomplishment was the appointment from the president of United States of America to serve on the board of directors of the national Vietnam Education Foundation.  It was a tremendous honor to be recognized by him and to have the privilege to serve on the same board with Secretary of States Hillary Rodham Clinton, Secretary of Education Arne Duncan, and Secretary of Treasury Timothy Geithner.

The most influential person in my Career as an IT Portfolio Manager is Mr. Rocky Forshey, my mentor and former boss who took me into his consulting firm when I first immigrated to the U.S.  He has brought out the best leader in me and helped me to grow both professionally and personally. I am thankful to have a great mentor like him.

In your personal or professional life, what are you most looking forward to?

I look forward to finishing my Doctorate degree in Business Administration with a specialization in Project Management. I have been enrolled in this program for the past four years and I just passed the Doctoral Comprehensive Exam last September (2012).  I expect to finish my thesis by the end of 2013 and receive my Doctorate Degree by early 2014. I learned so much and have grown so much throughout this journey. Juggling my time between working full-time at MD Anderson, studying part-time, and active involvement in the community has truly been a challenge for me and helped me to grow so much in these past few years.

I am also so excited for our institutional new initiative called “Moon Shots,” which is a program to target 5 major cancer diseases and make a commitment to cure these cancers in a very aggressive timeline. More information can be found at

Anything else you’d like to add?

I still treasure those great days studying at University of Toronto, New College. I am so very thankful for the great college that helped shape me to become who I am today and I am committed to give back to the New College so that you can continue to help other younger generations to achieve their educational goals.