2018 Best & Brightest: Tan Bui, University of Wisconsin

Tan Bui

University of Wisconsin

An energetic, charismatic optimist that thrives on spontaneous adventures, fried food, and binge-watching Netflix.”

Fun fact about yourself: I often put my pet bunny on a leash and walk her around the neighborhood.

Hometown: Annandale, Virginia

High School: J.E.B. Stuart High School

Major: Finance; Accounting

Minor: N/A

Favorite Business Course: Corporate Finance

Extracurricular Activities, Community Work and Leadership Roles During College:

Awards and Honors

  • POSSE Full-Tuition Leadership Scholarship
  • David Sarnoff Accounting Scholarship
  • Wisconsin School of Business Direct Admit
  • Dean’s List, 4 semesters

Extracurricular Activities

  • Wisconsin School of Business, LEAD Course Facilitator
  • Delta Tau Delta, Recruitment Chair
  • Vietnamese Student Association, External Vice President
  • Union of Vietnamese Student Associations of the Midwest, Wisconsin State Representative
  • 16th Annual Vietnamese Interacting as One Conference, Collective Philanthropy Project Director
  • 15th Annual Vietnamese Interacting as One Conference, Family Programming Committee Member
  • 14th Annual Vietnamese Interacting as One Conference, Sponsorship Director
  • 7th Annual MAUVSA Advance Conference, Family Programming Committee Member
  • 6th Annual MAUVSA Advance Conference, Family Programming Committee Member

Where have you interned during your college career?

  • Northern Trust, Washington, DC; Investment Intern
  • Deloitte Transactions and Business Analytics LLP, New York, NY; Winter Associate – Business Valuation
  • Deloitte & Touche LLP, McLean, VA; Discovery Intern – Advisory/Audit
  • Noblis, Falls Church, VA; Accounting and Finance Intern

Where will you be working after graduation? After graduation, I will be returning to Deloitte Transactions and Business Analytics LLP as a Business Valuation Consultant.

What did you enjoy most about your business school? The most enjoyable aspect about business school is the supportive and passionate community of students and professors. Many students describe the school as “Grainger High,” a spinoff of “Grainger Hall,” because you have access to all the resources you need in one location as well as seeing familiar faces in classes year-after-year. While the school is full of competitive, high-achieving individuals – and although many classes are graded based on your performance against your peers – students there like to see others succeed and are always willing to go out of their way to help out a fellow Badger.

What is the biggest lesson you gained from studying business? I have come to realize that every person is at a different point in their life than another – as such, we should not judge ourselves or base our actions on other people’s dreams. When I started college, I had a specific path in mind based on what everyone else around me said I should do. As time went on and my breadth of knowledge grew, I learned that life is more fulfilling when you are carving your own path and following your own passions rather than chasing someone else’s dreams.

“If I didn’t major in business, I would be majoring in or studying…Computer science. I enjoy the freedom of solving complex engineering problems as there is never one correct approach. For instance, two people could come up with two completely different algorithms that solves the same problem and both could be equally correct in their respective approaches.”

What has surprised you most about majoring in business? The most surprising aspect of majoring in business is how applicable it is to the real world. Whenever I watch movies or shop for groceries, product placement is always in my mind because of the marketing class I took. Whenever I buy things online, I think about the distribution process I learned from my operations and technology management class. Topics from business courses constantly appear in my daily life and have changed my perspective on the world.

Who most influenced your decision to pursue business in college? My high school business teacher played a big role in my ultimate decision to pursue business in college. Growing up, I always had a strong interest in business but my knowledge of the field was limited to various books and movies. The high school business course I took covered a wide range of topics and my teacher would periodically explain how different topics related to different careers in business. She eventually became my mentor and talking to her daily about the field not only affirmed my initial interest but also ultimately led to my decision to pursue a business degree in college.

Which academic, extracurricular or personal achievement are you most proud of? I am most proud of becoming an Eagle Scout. Growing up, I was heavily involved in a Vietnamese-American Boy Scout troop. Through the near decade there, I developed many leadership, teamwork, and time management skills as well as a greater understanding of the importance of community service. Becoming an Eagle Scout involved many merit badge classes, outdoor activities, and community events. Although it was a long and arduous journey, the experience I gained from it was invaluable and the day I achieved the rank of Eagle Scout is one that I will never forget.

If you were a dean for a day, what one thing would you change about the business school? I would create a complimentary coffee and snack stand for all students.

Which classmate do you most admire? There is no one classmate I admire most, but what I do admire about many of my classmates is their relentless pursuit to achieve their academic and career goals.

Who would you most want to thank for your success? My parents deserve all the thanks for my continued success. Growing up, they instilled in me the concepts of humility, persistence, and hard work. They have consistently pushed me to go above and beyond the status quo and have supported me from the very beginning. They taught through example that I should always give back and help others whenever possible and have laid down the foundation for the person I am today.

What would your theme song be? “Heroes (We Could Be)” by Alesso. The song is about being different, standing out as an individual, and empowering other people. I see myself as someone who doesn’t settle for ordinary and will push boundaries to make a lasting impact in the world for others.

What are the top two items on your bucket list? Climb to the summit of Mount Everest and scuba dive in the Caribbean.

Favorite book: Outliers: The Story of Success by Malcom Gladwell

Favorite movie: La La Land

Favorite vacation spot: Oahu, Hawaii

What are your hobbies? Photography, hiking, kayaking, camping, and reading

What made Tan such an invaluable addition to the Class of 2017?

“When I think of Tan Bui, the words “charismatic” and “driven” come to mind.  I met Tan Bui during his first day on-campus at UW-Madison’s orientation. From that very first day, Tan demonstrated a thirst for learning and making the most of his college experience. Throughout the next few years, I encountered Tan in a variety of settings – applying to be part of a highly engaged student organization on-campus, considering different internship options for the summer, and even facilitating a course for business students on leadership, ethics, authenticity and personal and professional development. Through this course, Tan took on a unique ad important role of supporting first year students in their transition into UW-Madison and the School of Business. His focused nature, devotion to giving back, and his sense of humor allowed him to easily connect and build meaningful relationships with the students in the course. In addition to his commitment to academics, Tan is a student who has been career-driven since setting foot on-campus. He has been thoughtful and intentional about his career trajectory and has had the opportunity to participate in multiple internships during his time in the BBA Program. These different opportunities and engagements both inside and outside of the classroom highlight Tan’s well-roundedness and zeal to enhance his experience.”

Jackie Murray
Associate Director of BBA Advising



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