An Thai, ‘10


Degree: Computer Science

Home: Vietnam


An Thai is living the American Dream. A decade after immigrating to the United States from Vietnam Thai has earned college degrees, started a family and has a great job.

Thai arrived in Central New York in 2007. Several other family members also came over from Vietnam and all 12 of them shared a single home in Eastwood. “It was difficult. There wasn’t money for even basic groceries like milk. We lived off instant noodles we brought with us from Vietnam.”

Thai with his family at his son’s baptism.

He started working at a Vietnamese restaurant and began taking classes at Onondaga Community College. He chose the Computer Science major and credits two professors with guiding him. “Tim Scheemaker and Pam McCarthy were instrumental in my success through their tough, yet simple to understand teaching styles which allowed us solve problems rather easily.” During his time on campus, Thai was inducted into international honor society Phi Theta Kappa, became a STEM Scholar and tutored students in math and computer science. He left OCC with a nearly perfect 3.98 grade point average and earned a bachelor’s degree from Syracuse University in 2012 with a 3.94 GPA.

After working as an application developer for a few years, he was hired by Saab Defense and Security USA LLC as a software engineer.  Thai recently transferred to Saab Sensis in January 2017. Even though it’s been seven years since he left OCC, lessons learned here have proved to be invaluable. “At work, I need strong fundamental knowledge of learning and absorbing hard topics and developing methodologies to understand them quickly. OCC provided me with those skills.”

Thai lives in Mattydale with his wife, son and newborn daughter.

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