Student Spotlight: Neath Suon

Neath Suon

Cambodian-born PSEO scholar heading for Carlson School of Management

Neangcolmonynea “Neath” Suon, 20, attended Inver Hills Community College as an Eastview High School senior and full-time Postsecondary Enrollment Options (PSEO) student. After graduating from Eastview in 2019, Neath continued her education at Inver Hills with the goal to earn her Associate of Arts (A.A.).

Neath is most interested in studying accounting and preparing to become an accountant and auditor. She is on track to graduate from Inver Hills in spring 2021. She has been accepted to the Carlson School of Management at the University of Minnesota and will start her studies at Carlson, one of the top business schools in the U.S., in fall 2021.

“I will be majoring in accounting at Carlson,” Neath said. “My career plan is to work as an auditor at a Big Four accounting firm.”¹

Neath participates in Phi Theta Kappa at Inver Hills. She is also works while going to college. “I have been working as a guest advocate at Target for almost two years now,” she said. “Besides school, a good chunk of my time is spent working.”

Milissa Troen
“I am so thrilled for Neath’s most recent academic accomplishment! It has been wonderful to work with Neath, and I appreciated her thoughtfulness and dedication to her goals.
“Neath worked very hard and also would connect on a regular basis to ensure that her academic and transfer decisions were planned well.
“Neath’s admission to the U of M’s Carlson School of Management is another tremendous success, and I am excited for her very bright future!”
Milissa Troen
Inver Hills Community College

Neath Suon Cambodia Q & A

Royal Palace in Phnom Penh

Originally from Phnom Penh, the capital and most populous city in Cambodia, Neath moved to the U.S. in 2017 when she was 16 years old.

What is your favorite memory from your life in Cambodia?

Most of my favorite memories from my life in Cambodia were all just me spending time with my friends. I went to private school since first grade, so I’ve known most of my friends for at least six to seven years.

Contrary to the United States, in Cambodia we stay in one class throughout the day—thus we have the same classmates every single year. That is why we are so close to each other, and that’s why it was one of the hardest things for me to adjust to when moving to the United States.

What do you miss most about Cambodia?

Definitely food! I miss the cheap, delicious Cambodian foods. I also miss the regular home-cooked meals from my mom and my grandma. Right now, my mom does cook sometimes, but not as often as before since she is busy working.

Psar Thmei (central market) in Phnom Penh, Cambodia
“My parents abandoned their lives and skills in Cambodia to move to the United States with barely any English just so my brother and I could have a better future.
“I’m inspired by all the hard work my parents did while I was growing up. I’m also grateful to them for always believing in me and pushing me to do well in life.”
Neath Suon
Inver Hills Community College Student
Future Carlson School of Management Student
What is your favorite place in Cambodia?

Now that I think about it, my most favorite place has to be my mom’s convenience store. I got to eat whatever snacks I wanted and hang out there most of the time after school.

What are the major ways the culture in Minnesota is different from Cambodia?

One of my biggest culture shocks in Minnesota is the way people here address someone older than them. In Cambodia, we always address people who are older than us with a title in front of their name. If my friend is older than me, I called them Bong (big brother or big sister) and then their name. Calling the elderly by their first name is quite normal here, however, in Cambodia it is considered to be very inappropriate.

More about Neath…

PTK Induction Ceremony with parents

Neath’s dad, Channeang Suon, was a marketing supervisor back in Cambodia. Neath’s mom, Arunnycol Tong, owned a small convenience shop in front of the family home. Right now, both of Neath’s parents are assembly-line workers in the same company. Neath has one younger brother, Rek, who is 16 years old.

In her free time, Neath enjoys trying out new restaurants and food places with her boyfriend, Sergio, who is a security officer at Mystic Lake Casino Hotel.

“I like Asian foods especially,” Neath said, “Drunken Noodles and Boba teas.”

When she’s not dining out with Sergio, she likes watching Netflix and YouTube. She also enjoys creating digital art.

“I always like to create art,” she said. “It’s just something I do for fun when I’m bored. Sometimes, I draw without even thinking and just see how it led me. Sometimes, I have a vision of something, and I just enjoy seeing it come to life. I haven’t drawn much since I started working and going to college. I started doing art again last year when I got my iPad. Since then, I just love digital art because it is more convenient, and it gives me more freedom in what I can create.”

Neath resides with her family in Hastings, Minnesota.

Neath family and friends gallery

Neath digital art gallery

More about PSEO at Inver Hills…

Program information

The Postsecondary Enrollment Options (PSEO) program allows high school 10th, 11th and 12th grade students to earn credits that can meet high school graduation requirements while simultaneously earning transferable college credits. Dual credit courses offer high school students the opportunity to enroll in rigorous courses that further prepare them for postsecondary education.

Inver Hills allows PSEO students to take courses that are held on our beautiful Inver Grove Heights campus or online either full-time or part-time. PSEO offers students a wide variety of class offerings as well as the opportunity to pursue more challenging coursework than may be available at the high school.

The PSEO program covers the cost of tuition, fees, and required textbooks and materials for college level courses taken for high school credit. Students who continue their education beyond high school can transfer their PSEO coursework as college credits, saving both time and money to complete a college degree.

PSEO students are responsible for providing their own transportation to campus. Parking is available on campus and you do not need a special permit. Inver Hills is on the Metro Transit bus route and offers the College Pass discount. Reimbursement for transportation expenses may be available through the school district if the family’s income level is at or below the federal poverty guidelines.


More about Counseling at Inver Hills…

Inver Hills counselors are available to talk with students who are seeking support or assistance. Counselors can connect via email, phone, chat, and Zoom video conference. Please see information below on scheduling appointments:

Counselors at Inver Hills provide professional career, academic, and personal counseling services to enable students to achieve greater success in the academic environment.

Students may meet with a counselor if they want assistance with:

  • Academic planning and support
  • Career counseling and assessment
  • Choosing a major
  • Financial hardship resources and support
  • Health and well-being resources
  • Community resources
  • Personal/mental health-related support
  • Planning for transfer

Students will also see a counselor if:

  • Taking a class taught by a counselor
  • A counselor is their assigned advisor
  • Student is affiliated with the military and utilizing GI benefits

Neath Suon Q & A

Neath Suon
How did your time at Inver Hills help prepare you for transfer to a four-year university?

Coming to the United States at 16, I was not preparing for university at all. My time at Inver Hills allows me to adjust to the education here and also explore my university choices while spending almost nothing for college.

With help from my Inver Hills counselor, Milissa Troen, I made sure all the courses I took are transferable to my intended university. Each semester, I asked for her advice on what course I should take to help maximize my time and money.

I think that is why I was confident to apply to Carlson than any other university. I did a transcript evaluation with the University of St. Thomas and found out that most of my credits will not transfer. So, my advice to all Inver Hills students who plan to transfer is to always make sure the courses you take can be transferred to your intended university.

What does it mean to you to get accepted to the Carlson School of Management?

Getting into the Carlson School of Management proves to me that if you put your heart into it, you will achieve it. I was struggling with English and school just four years ago. Never have I ever thought in my life that I would ever get into a competitive school like Carlson.

What do you like best about studying accounting?

I plan to take most of my accounting classes at Carlson so I can’t say for sure what I like most about accounting. So far, I have taken managerial and financial accounting at Inver Hills. From those courses, I learned how to manage money while gaining insights into what financial statements look like within and outside an organization.

Why did you choose accounting as your career field?

That is an interesting story actually. I was contemplating between psychology and accounting, but everyone in my family pushed me to take accounting. The accounting field is more flexible in terms of finding jobs as I’m not sure where I would settle to live in the future. I also heard from one of my Target coworkers that an auditor would allow me to travel the world—so that why I’m choosing accounting.

Three words that describe you as a college student:

What is the most challenging aspect of going to college as a PSEO student?

In my opinion, there is not much of a challenge as a PSEO student. I feel like the only challenging thing would be the difficulty of the courses, but other than that PSEO is an amazing opportunity for any high school students who want to get a head start and also saving money while doing so.

What advice would you give students thinking about participating in PSEO?

If you are thinking about attending PSEO, then that is your sign to go for it. However, there are a lot of things to consider while participating in PSEO. My advice is to always check with your intended university about which courses transfer and which do not.

If it hard for you to do, check with your counselor or a free website call Transferology. Rules of transferring credits also differ by the university so make sure to check those, too.

As a PSEO student, you will attend a class like you are in college, which means you don’t attend classes every day or turn in homework every day. Time management is key. If you plan your time well and stay on top of things, PSEO could be easier than your high school.

Who has influenced you the most in life and how?

My parents have influenced me the most in life and still do today. When I was growing up, my mom showed me nothing but love and discipline. She taught me what is morally right or wrong. My dad helps me with my career and life choices.

My parents abandoned their lives and skills in Cambodia to move to the United States with barely any English just so my brother and I could have a better future. I’m inspired by all the hard work my parents did while I was growing up. I’m also grateful to them for always believing in me and pushing me to do well in life.

Where do you see yourself in 20 years?

Twenty years is a long time. I would be 40 by then. I think I would already be a CPA living somewhere that is warmer than Minnesota. I would also be married and have two beautiful children. I would have multiple real estate ventures and restaurants up and running.

What one word best describes your experience at Inver Hills:


Neath Suon 12 Answers

  1. Favorite sport or physical activity: Dancing
  2. Place you would most like to visit: Japan
  3. The most exciting thing you’ve ever done: I once auditioned for a singing competition and pass the first round.
  4. Three things you would do if you won a $1 billion lottery: 1) Invest in real estate 2) Donate to organizations that help orphanages in Cambodia—especially the one where my grandma works 3) Open a business for my parents so they can stop working hard
  5. Favorite TV show you’re watching now: Sweet Home
  6. Best movie you’ve seen lately: Raya and the Last Dragon
  7. One thing you most want to accomplish in life: Working at a Big Four accounting firm
  8. Your national bird if you were your own country: Phoenix
  9. Dream occupation: Certified public accountant (CPA)
  10. Person you would most like to meet: Jennie from a K-pop group called Blackpink
  11. Skill you would most like to learn and master: I would love to learn how to invest in stock and real estate.
  12. Most important issue or problem facing humankind: Climate change and hate crimes
Learn more about PSEO at Inver Hills by contacting:

Mary Kadrlik
PSEO Admissions Advisor

Learn more about Counseling at Inver Hills by contacting:

College Center

Learn more about earning an Associate of Arts (A.A.), the #1 transfer degree at Inver Hills, by contacting:

Admissions Team
College Center

¹ The Big Four is the nickname used to refer collectively to the four largest professional services networks in the world, consisting of the global accounting networks Deloitte, Ernst & Young, KPMG and PwC.
Source: Wikipedia

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