Our next “Diverse Voices” spotlight is on Blacksburg native Don Chen!  Don’s parents are from a southern province in China known as Fujian Province and immigrated to Blacksburg in 1990 to attend university.  Growing up, Don was immersed in Chinese culture and while he was born and raised in America, his upbringing was rather traditionally Chinese.  Don states, “Growing up in a small town where you mostly knew everybody in your grade was something I will never forget because it highlighted how different everybody was. There were not many people who looked like me in any of the schools I went to, but that is what taught me to understand different perspectives and forged me into who I am today.” 

Being a Blacksburg native, attending Virginia Tech for undergrad was an easy decision for Don.  He graduated in May 2020 with a B.S. in Business Information Technology and decided pursuing the MSBA-BA program and obtaining a master’s degree would be a better investment for his future than going directly into the workplace.  Don states that business analytics is a continually evolving, heavily important skill in the workplace today, and he chose the MSBA-BA program to focus on acquiring these skills. 

He says, “Business analytics is a field that is only growing due to the influx of data and the growing number of uses for data.  Being able to develop skills to combat and utilize this growing amount of data will provide invaluable services to whoever may need it.”

After graduation, Don will be working for Ernst & Young (EY) with the same team he was able to intern with in 2019.  He will be doing advisory work, particularly looking into cybersecurity risks, and finding ways of mitigating risks in client’s IT infrastructure.  He’s excited to rejoin a team he loved working with and to utilize the skills he’s been able to learn throughout the course of this program and the capstone project. 

Don states, “The most exciting thing about the MSBA-BA program has been the ability to connect with new people. I love meeting new people and getting to know as many people as possible, and this program has been able to provide that.”  To Don, diversity is a way for everyone to learn.  He believes that when people stop learning, they become stagnant.  “Nobody in this world thinks the same way, was raised the same way, looks the same way, or even acts the same way as anybody else.  This means there will always be something to learn from somebody else, no matter who they are.”  In regard to the current climate surrounding racism in the U.S., Don states, “The hate we are currently seeing against the Asian community around the world is truly detestable. Racism has always been deeply rooted in our country and the world’s history, but I am hoping that going forward, we can turn a new page and look past the hatred and begin to understand each other.  This, however, is not possible unless everybody groups together and begins to understand our differences, rather than oppose them. Once this happens, I truly believe the world will see unprecedented development and peace.”