Class of 2023: Eric Truong found his footing as a first-generation student
Name: Eric Truong
Hometown: Midlothian, Virginia
What are your plans after graduation?
My plan after graduation is to take a gap year before applying to medical school. In my gap year, I hope to become an emergency medical technician, work as an assistant to a radiologist, and work as a swim instructor at my local YMCA. I will also engage with the Vietnamese and deaf community in Richmond, Virginia.
What was your favorite class at Virginia Tech?
General biochemistry was the most intriguing and conceptual class I have ever taken here. It challenged me to think, as the course drew from every single class I took up until that point. I have always wanted to learn more about the metabolism and chemistry of living organisms, but there is so much you can cram into one semester, that I still am learning biochemistry on my own time! The class was also taught by one of my all-time favorite professors, Dr. Kylie Allen, who eventually also became my P.I. for undergraduate research.
What was your experience like as a first-generation student?
As a first-generation student, I am very fortunate to have the opportunity to receive higher education in the United States, and I am proud to have paved the way for my family. For someone whose parents have never attended college, navigating my next steps after high school was frightening, but as college progressed, I was able to piece it together with the help of my faculty and friends. I am grateful that my family supported me financially and emotionally these past four years, and I am most certainly in debt to their sacrifices.
What research did you participate in as a student?
Research has been one of the most rewarding experiences I have had at Virginia Tech. My lab, which was a biochemistry wet lab essentially was a culmination of everything that I have ever learned as a biochemistry major. My lab put my skills and knowledge to the test, as well as paired what I learned in the classroom with real-world applications. I am grateful for all of the skills I gained from thinking independently, using biochemical techniques, and time management, as well as learning how to present research to fellow students.