Jill Tran Executive Director
My name is Jillian Tran and I am one of the Executive Directors for the 15th Annual Vietnamese Interacting as one Conference. I am currently a senior at the University of Minnesota majoring in Chemistry. I got involved with the Vietnamese community at the University of Minnesota five years ago. Through VSAM and UVSA-Midwest I got the opportunity to develop my leadership skills as well as meet some of my closest friends today.
To this day, I can still remember the feeling that I was left with leaving my first Vietnamese Interacting as One Conference. In three days, I was able to find out things about myself that I didn’t know before, build friendships with other leaders from different parts of the Midwest, and deepen my knowledge about the Vietnamese American community around me. I left my first VIA-1 conference wanting to get involved with the UVSA-Midwest community in any way that I could. That was the beginning of my passion for the Union of Vietnamese Student Associations of the Midwest. Through VIA-1 I hope you all are able to find your home, away from home. I’m so thankful to have Tommy Nguyen as my co-executive director, my other half, on this journey in planning VIA-1. We are honored to have such an incredible team of directors and staff members to work with.
Name/Year/ Position. Is this your first-time being a VIA-1 director and/or attending the conference?
Jillian Tran, Senior, Executive Director. This is actually my first time being a director but this will be my fifth VIA-1.
Why did you choose to take part in the planning process? Why this committee versus the other committees?
I chose to be part of the planning process because the UVSA-Midwest community has given me so much and I wanted to give back. I went to my first VIA-1 when I was only 17 years old and a high school senior. I was nervous and scared because I didn’t really know anyone but everyone was so welcoming. I left my first VIA-1 conference so motivated and inspired. VIA-1 really made a big impact on my life. I want to be able to give that motivation and inspiration to all the attendees so that we can change the world together. <3
Who inspires you the most?
Within UVSA-Midwest, I think my CoSR family inspires me the most. A lot of us were family leaders together before we become the 15′-17′ CoSRs so it just made our bond that much stronger. They inspire me because they all put in countless hours to help make each UVSA-Midwest event great without a lot of recognition. Not only do we all work together professionally, we have plenty of fun together. There have been countless inside jokes, cuddle puddles, and late night talks throughout our term together. They are my role models to be the best CoSR I can be and they are the ones that push me to reach for my goals! SACKS. <3
Most memorable experience or favorite memory of VIA-1 so far?
My favorite memory of VIA-1 so far was at MSU VIA-1 when I first met my family in person. Even though it was the first time meeting a lot of them, we created memories that weekend that I will always cherish.I still call my phoenix family my little kiddos because I care for each and every one of them. It’s always great to see someone from my family do great things with their VSAs and in UVSA-Midwest. PHOENIX FAM! <3
ED Question: Who is the better half?
I would say Tommy is my better half. He definitely keeps me on track! I tend to be the more chill ED. He’s also the better half because he always asks the questions that I forget to ask.