Bo Xiong's amazing story - How she achieved success, one step at a time

Bo XiongFull Name: Bounnhong (Bo) Xiong
Degree: A.A.S. Computer Information & Office Systems ’12; currently pursuing a B.S. in Technology
Hometown: Anchorage, Alaska and Strasbourg, France
Fun Fact: Bo speaks four languages – English, French, Thai and Hmong.

For Bounnhong (Bo) Xiong, the adage that change is the only thing constant in life rings true. She has already experienced more substantial transitions in her young life than most people experience in a lifetime. Originally from Thailand, she and her family relocated to France when Xiong was five years old. She spent the next 15 years there where she completed her high school education.

But another significant change was on the horizon when Xiong met her now-husband, married, and relocated to Anchorage, Alaska, in 2008. She started her first job in the United States at Alaska Legal Copy, a small-business and office setting where she quickly advanced.

“I grew into the role of a production supervisor, a position I earned through hard work and commitment,” said Xiong.

While she was working, she also took steps to pursue a college education. She began by enrolling in courses directly relevant to her job that were offered by the Computer Networking & Office Technologies (CNOT) Department. She obtained three occupational endorsement certificates in bookkeeping, office support, and office foundations as well as a certificate in customer service.

“My parents had not finished high school in our country,” said Xiong. “They had wished for their children to accomplish what they hadn’t been able to do – wear a cap and gown. They believed that higher education would facilitate success personally and professionally. I wanted to make their wish come true.”

Her experiences in her coursework helped Xiong determine how she wanted to shape her career. She began questioning what type of work she enjoyed doing and soon identified her love of software applications.

After researching the qualifications required for the field, she discovered that CNOT’s computer information & office systems program would be a good fit for her. The program prepares students for careers in a variety of office settings by teaching technical, administrative, and interpersonal skills. It also offered a flexible course schedule that made it possible for her to continue working. With each class she took, her confidence grew that this career path was the right one for her.

“The encouragement and support I received from family and faculty encouraged me to keep moving forward,” said Xiong.

In December 2012, she completed her associate degree in computer information and office systems with honors. Her graduation was also marked by the offer of a new job as an administrative clerk at First National Bank of Alaska, which she accepted.

She credits UAA for helping her to achieve success.

“I learned to lay out small steps, manageable and attainable goals to help me stay motivated and committed to the things I am trying to accomplish,” she said.

In January, her next “small step” became palpable when she returned to the Community & Technical College to pursue her bachelor’s degree in technology through the Career & Technical Education Department.

“The more I learn, the more I enjoy being part of UAA,” said Xiong.

The UAA Community & Technical College congratulates you, Bo. We wish you the best as you continue to pursue your dreams!
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Bo Xiong's amazing story - How she achieved success, one step at a time
Bo Xiong's amazing story - How she achieved success, one step at a time
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