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Transfer Spotlight: Daniel Phung

Major: Bioresource Science and Engineering
Hometown: Grew up in Vietnam but calls Tacoma, Wash., home
Previous Institution:
Tacoma Community College
Year Transferred:
 Fall 2016

How did you select BSE as your major?
I had two associate degrees in chemical engineering and electrical engineering, and Mike Roberts from the Washington Pulp and Paper Foundation came to talk about the BSE program at Tacoma Community College. UW is a well-known school, and Mike said BSE is like chemical engineering but you get to explore a lot of other areas—bioconversion and biofuels, pulp and paper, renewable energy. I’ve been here for two quarters now, and I agree with Mike!

What’s your favorite part of the program so far?
I really like the job reps who come to campus to give presentations about their company and internships they’re offering. That’s really special compared to other majors. My first quarter here, I got three internship offers, and I was amazed. I had just gotten here from community college, and I couldn’t believe I’d have so many opportunities to choose from.

So which internship did you end up choosing?
I’m going to Kentucky to work for Domtar ( as a process engineer for 15 months. It’s a fully paid internship, and I’m really excited. I’ve never been to Kentucky or anywhere else in that area, so it will be a very different experience. I move down there right after finals this spring.

What was the hardest part of transferring? 
The hardest part is waiting to get your acceptance letter. For transfer students, you apply around May and then have to wait until August to find out if you get in—and then you start in September!

What advice do you have for future transfer students considering BSE?

I would tell them to finish all of their core classes and prerequisites before coming here, because when you get here you must have them done to get into the BSE classes. Otherwise you’ll have to spend more time to catch up. Also, start your application early and introduce yourself to the people in the department to show interest. Everyone here was really helpful to me, and then they know you before you apply and arrive.

What are your future plans?
Long, long-term, I’d love to have my own start-up company to help developing countries solve their energy or pollution problems.