Celebrating Asian American, Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islander Month: A Q&A with Trang Gulian

In honor of Asian American, Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islander Heritage Month, DHR is recognizing and celebrating the achievements and contributions of Asian American, Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islander champions who have inspired others to achieve success.

We sat down with Trang Gulian, Partner, Jobplex to learn about her professional and personal insights as an Asian American.

May 30, 2023

Q: The Federal Asian Pacific American Council declared this year’s AAPI theme as Advancing Leaders Through Opportunity. In your opinion, how can organizations support better inclusion and advancement for Asian Americans, Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islanders at work?

Gulian: I don’t think there needs to be anything specifically focused on Asian Americans, but organizations should encourage and support advancement for all employees. They should perhaps assess where there are opportunities to develop, coach, and promote diversity in roles within the company. I think there could be more encouragement and support of a diverse and collaborative culture, perhaps by providing more opportunities for those who are interested in starting an Asian American employee resource group.

Q: Why is representation in the workforce and community important to you?

Gulian: I think the representation of being an Asian American is important in the workplace and community because it provides an opportunity for diversity in thoughts, actions, and experience that brings a richness of innovation, culture, and experience.

Q: What does Asian American, Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islander Heritage Month mean to you?

Gulian: In recognition of Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month, I want to recognize my parents and their impact on my life. Our family is the first generation from Vietnam. My parents fled their home to start a life in a country where they had to find a new career, learn a different language, and culture, and support my brothers and me to have a better life.

What my parents have taught me has made me into the woman that I am today. Here are the three virtues that stand out.

Hard work: My parents worked two jobs when we arrived in the US to make ends meet. I learned the value of hard work and relentless pursuit of doing the best I can in everything that I pursue.

Gratitude: When my family and I arrived in the US, we only had the things we carried with us. Our family was able to save to buy a home and a car, go on vacation, and experience new adventures. To this day, I am grateful for everything that I have earned and received.

Grit: My parents exemplify the meaning of grit by working two jobs, starting life over in a new country, and never giving up on finding ways to provide opportunities for my brothers and me. The grit that they have instilled in me is the foundation for my relentless focus on learning, growing, giving back, and being my best in everything that I do.

Trang with her parents and three brothers in 1978

Q: What advice would you give to young Asian American, Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islander professionals?

Gulian: I would advise young Asian Americans to be proud and share their heritage with others, so they get to know their culture, background, and traditions whenever there is an opportunity.

Q: What is something you love about your culture/heritage?

Gulian: As a first-generation Asian American, I love that I can include both Eastern and Western cultures in our family life, which provides a diversity of how we celebrate traditions, how we communicate with multiple languages, and cuisines.

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