Brandeis University

07/20/2017 | News release | Distributed by Public on 07/21/2017 01:43

Wordsmith Dan Truong '15 puts his English degree to work in state government

Photo/courtesy

Dan Truong '15.

By Jarret BencksJuly 20, 2017

After Dan Truong '15 graduated from Brandeis, he hit the ground running.

The English major immediately landed a summer internship in the communications office of Massachusetts Treasurer Deborah Goldberg, where he made such an impression that he was hired on permanently as the assistant director of communications.

His day-to-day includes drafting press releases and media advisories, working with the media and developing social media strategy. These days that means often addressing questions around recreational marijuana regulation, an issue in which the treasurer has a central role.

'Every word really counts,' Truong said. 'Studying English (at Brandeis) made me conscious of word choice and going above and beyond to be precise.'

He isn't only putting his English degree to use on the job. Truong is a member of Boston Chinatown's Asian American Resource Workshop and has led the way in publishing two collections of short stories and personal essays through the workshop. The most recent collection , published in June, features four pieces by Truong.

'As the child of Asian immigrants, staying close to that is very important to me,' he said. 'My writing is one way that I can do that.'

At Brandeis, Truong was a Roosevelt Fellow, a first year advisor, an English tutor to students from China and a member of the ballroom dance team at Brandeis - although that's one skill that never came to him naturally.

'I was terrible at it and I continue to be terrible at it,' he joked.

Truong said he's enjoying his time working in state government, though he might want to cross over to the other side and join the media sometime in the future.

'I think I could see myself in this position for a while, but I'd love to jump into being a journalist,' he said. 'It might be a nice new perspective.'