A Success on Two Continents
Roanoke Valley Campus student Altantugs Sharkhuu, from Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia, is a multi-talented individual whose story may serve as an inspiration to others in the National College community. In her homeland, Altantugs attended Mongolian University of Science and Technology where she earned both a Bachelor of Science and a Master of Science in power engineering . She graduated with high honors at both degree levels, and then joined the faculty of Mongolian University as a professor in the Engineering School.
When the winds of political change swept over Mongolia, as they did in other formerly communist countries, and the country shifted from a socialist economy to a market economy, the economic climate became unsettled. Previously the government had supported most businesses, but now many individuals and companies were left on their own. Altantugs and her husband had started their own business and done well. Then, several years after beginning the business, they made the decision that Altantugs should pursue a degree in business administration.
They made the decision that she should study in a different country to see how foreign markets worked and how foreign economies were organized. They considered a number of foreign countries in Asia and Europe before settling on the United States. In explaining her decision to come to the United States, Altantugs cited two main factors. First, “The American Dream” – Altantugs said that people from all over the world dream about coming to the United States, and she wanted to see what our country was like first-hand. Second, her brother was a researcher at Purdue University in Indiana.
How did Altantugs end up in Roanoke, at National College? Her niece, Uyanga Altantsatsralt, was a student at National. Altantugs said that Uyanga and National’s Director of Admissions Ron Smith helped her to overcome her language barrier, and has had a successful academic career at National. She earned an associate degree in business administration in 2006 and is now working on a bachelor’s degree which she plans to complete in March next year.
What are Altantugs’ goals for the future? She said, “Once my son graduates [from high school], I might go back to Mongolia and work in our family business, or maybe open my own business. Or I might stay here and get my CPA.” Regardless of what path she takes, it is clear based on her many accomplishments to date that she will be a success – whether in North America or in Asia.