Correction: In the article titled “Job security in Vietnam,” printed on Aug. 4, it should have been reported that the second cohort of Intel scholars is required to attend Portland State, according to Marcia Fischer, director of the Vietnam Intel Scholars program and assistant dean of the Maseeh College of Engineering. In addition, the scholars will return to Vietnam to work for Intel in the summer of 2011, after graduating.
The Vanguard regrets its error.
Portland State University is currently conducting a summer program for the second cohort of Intel Vietnam scholars. Recipients of the competitive scholarship are required to work in the Intel factory in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam for at least three years after graduation.
After rigorous rounds of competition, only 22 scholars were selected from a pool of over 300 students from six technical universities across Vietnam. During the process, the contestants were only allowed to speak English, according to Marcia Fischer, director of the Vietnam Intel Scholars program and assistant dean of the Maseeh College of Engineering and Computer Science at PSU.
Although Intel Vietnam scholar Tan T. Thoi practiced his English skills intensely for about a month to prepare for the scholarship competition, he was still a little nervous when he was asked questions during the final round in a behavioral and technical interview.
Thoi said the Intel Vietnam Scholars program is one of the most prestigious in his country.
“I was extremely happy when I got this amazing scholarship,” he said.
Another scholar, Duc Nguyen, 21, felt challenged when the technical tests required sketching out real engineering problems on the board. The test also required him to display his cumulative knowledge of three years of college in Vietnam and the Test Of English as a Foreign Language [TOEFL] for English proficiency, Nguyen said.
The scholars attend PSU’s summer term for a concentrated program to get them ready for their junior year at PSU. According to Fischer, the style is much different at PSU; unlike PSU’s more hands-on curriculum, many Vietnam-based universities are exam-driven.
After completing their summer program at PSU, the students will then return to Vietnam to intern for the rest of the summer. In the fall, they will come back to PSU to finish their final three terms before graduation, Fischer said.
Commenting on her impression of Portland, scholar Khoa A. Nguyen said, “There are two words I think everyone would say about Portland: nice and green.”
Fischer and other PSU faculty and staff have learned a lot about working with international students and Vietnamese culture through the program, she said.
Fischer indicated that PSU has a history of activity and partnerships with six universities in Vietnam, including the University of Natural Sciences in Ho Chi Minh City and the University of Danang. PSU began discussions with Intel in Vietnam in 2007 concerning the plan to build an assembly and test manufacturing location there and the need to educate engineers.
At that point, open request for proposal went out to a number of universities to find the program that would best meet challenges for the Intel Vietnam workforce. After a long series of discussions, PSU was chosen for the first cohort of students who began here in summer 2009, according to Fischer.
Fischer added that it was not required that the second cohort of students attend PSU. However, PSU continues working with Intel in Vietnam to hone the effectiveness of the program.
Currently, recommendations for senior electives are being worked on through weekly meetings with Intel, visits to Vietnam and ongoing discussions.
In addition, Intel Oregon provides mentors for the Vietnam Intel scholars, Fischer said.
“We are happy about the contributions to engineering classes and student life on campus that these students have made,” she said.