I hope you are having a good day. My name is Minh Cao. I am currently a Ph.D. Candidate in Organization and Management at the Paul Merage School of Business, University of California, Irvine. Prior to the Ph.D. program, I earned a bachelor’s degree in International Business from the State University of New York and worked part-time as a research assistant in the field of Anthropology. I also earned an MPhil degree in International Development from the University of Cambridge with a scholarship from the Cambridge Trust. I currently work as a Lecturer at RMIT Vietnam (Saigon South campus), and expect to receive my Ph.D. degree in September 2022.
My research broadly explores relationality, that is, the work of human connections. I study how people approach their daily work activities under the influence of their connections, relationships, and interactions with other people, including but not limited to colleagues, friends, family members, customers, and strangers. I employ qualitative and ethnographic methods in my research. Ethnography suits my type of intellectual curiosity and the type of questions that I tend to ask about people and organizations, which I summarize as: “How do human connections and interactions shape the work being done here?”
I am currently examining the intricacies of human connections as experienced by workers in two settings: (1) a college resource center specializing in supporting undocumented students (undocumented immigrants attending college and postgraduate programs) in the United States; and (2) two companies providing professional consulting services for international students applying to colleges in English-speaking countries. My future research continues to examine relationality using ethnographies on human relationships and interactions in the service industry and non-traditional contexts.
In my free time, I read about culture, science, politics, and philosophy. For a change of scenery, I visit pretty little coffee shops and try out various types of cakes while observing people. I also enjoy all genres of movies and drama series. My love for drama can be seen in all of my research projects; please click the "Research Projects" tab for more details.