Tag Archives: be remarkable

After I watched this video by Hank Green of the vlogbrothers, I felt compelled to write.

The video is about how we see people and their skill.

You’ve probably said something like this before: “My friend, X,  is really good at Y. It’s like they were born to do Y.”

There are two mindsets, according to Carol Dweck:

1) A person and her skill is a snapshot that stretches forward and backward, infinitely. This is the way we usually see it. You’ve probably said this:“X is born with it.” Innate skill, otherwise known as the fixed mindset.

2) There are innate traits that make the acquisition of skill easy, BUT it’s a continuum. Everyone starts out bad, but can work toward getting good at a skill. This is known as the growth mindset.

What’s the verdict? Growth mindset is the correct mindset!! And with the growth mindset, you have a better chance at acquiring more skill.

But the fixed mindset lingers within a lot of us. We think, “You never get good at stuff. People are good at stuff because they’re good at stuff; and people are bad at stuff is because they’re bad at stuff.”

Skill and talent are not innate.

I try to remind myself, everyday.

As I navigate through new waters, I often think things with a fixed mindset, and I know that it limits me. I KNOW THIS. I’m aware of it, but I still struggle with it everyday. You look left, you look right- and you feel inferior. That maybe you’re “not meant or born with Y skill.” This is how I see myself with the new waters I see ahead of me: latte art…and design. Two vastly different skills, but two new skills for me.

But I see proof of it, I’ve proven myself with the growth mindset. So, why is it so hard to keep that mindset? Habit? Societal reminders? Failures? In attempt for resolve, I try to take small victories. Even if it’s as small as learning an InDesign Keyboard Shortcut, discovering how to change the color swatch or steaming the milk close-to-perfect- I try to take it as a win. And I try to remind myself that through my failures and struggles- I’m on the right path as long as I keep navigating forward.

As my most memorable professor would sign off,


It pains my heart to write this.
I stared at the screen for nearly 20 minutes before I actually processed it,
then the emotions came and then the tears followed soon after.

TL;DR: I didn’t get it. I was rejected by Pixar today with an automated e-mail. And yes, I’m shattered.

I will also go ahead and apologize to some of the people I haven’t told personally but probably should have told personally. My heart can’t handle it, and for some reason posting it publicly makes it easier. I think because I can’t handle each separate reaction, whatever they may be. I know I will get pity, I will get empathy, I will get shock, and everything in between.

Right now, I just can’t handle it. Because I’ll hear and read everything that is being said, and none of it is going to register with me quite yet. All I can handle for now is letting y’all know, because I feel like I owe y’all for following me with all of my updates. It’s kind of like closure and me saying thanks again.

Here is my public request for sad songs. I prefer them to be sent on Spotify, but post them anywhere if you feel compelled.

I’m going to feel sad about it, and I don’t feel like I have to justify it. I was aware of my chances, but it doesn’t diminish the fact that I was rejected.

Sometime down the road, I may retitle this as “Semi-final Pixar Update,” because Pixar, this isn’t the last you’ll hear of me. Count on that.

As the Vlog Brothers say, as Caroline reminded me: DFTBA. Don’t Forget To Be Awesome.


Sidebar: I think they are hearing me, listening to me- what are the chances that I write a blog post and they e-mail me the next day?



I received this comment 2 days ago on my most recent Pixar Update post. It’s been about a month and a half in the process, a week since last week’s post, and yes I am still waiting. Sidebar: Thank you for your support Jane; I feel like the whole universe is rooting for me.

Coincidentally after I published that Pixar Update, 2 days later I received an email from a Pixar recruiter that I reached out to a week before. (Maybe they did hear me…Pixar is mysterious) She isn’t a part of University Relations, but she told me she sent my information to them and that they’ll be making final decisions in the next few weeks. She sent me this email 7 days ago. And then after I got that email, my application was finally looked at.

Screen Shot 2014-04-16 at 4.45.49 PM

What does this mean? I don’t really know…


If I published this and got a response back [like today, now, in 1 minute], I’d like to think I’d be okay with the answer. This whole month and a half, I’ve been teetering between “I have a chance” and “I probably blew it.” Only one thing can resolve this indecisive feeling, and there’s a chance that it’s going to be automated. (Can you tell that my optimism is slowly dwindling, and that I’m currently leaning toward “I probably blew it?”)

This month and a half as I teeter between these two extreme thoughts, I’ve also been fluffing my pillows (metaphorically speaking). Just in case I fall off the Pixar platform, I need a soft place to land. I have a track record of optimism that can be incomparable to the majority, and it’s difficult to bounce back from. I’m a dreamer and this time, I went after a big one.

But speaking of dreams, I’ve gone after some pretty big ones, some that didn’t come true the first time around. No matter, I kept going for it, and my dreams eventually came true (i.e. getting accepted in the best university IN THE WORLD). I don’t regret any of the rejections and my journey for a second. Sure, I missed some UT freshman traditions, but I created memories on the journey to become a longhorn, as a longhorn, and still do as I’m on the cusp of graduation. Memories that I know would be drastically different had I became a longhorn right off the bat.

But back to Pixar, back to dreams, I’m not sure where I stand or if my dream will come true in the next few weeks. The outcome, no matter what it is, I’m preparing by telling myself to keep moving forward (which is actually something my friend John B once told me after I had gotten one of my first rejections). These are the pillows I fall on, along with the unmeasurable amounts of encouragement that even strangers, like Jane, give me.

Pixar will still be my dream, it still is my dream, but somewhere in the dreamsphere, it might not be my time (yet)**.

**emphasis on “yet”

Adventurously Yours,


PS: I don’t know if my analogies actually make sense, let me know maybe?

Two weeks ago, I applied for a marketing intern position at Pixar Animation Studios. Working at Pixar has been a dream of mine for a while. I once told Caroline that I would be a janitor if that meant I would be around those talented Pixar people. I still feel that way, but working on the Marketing team is more ideal.

What are my chances? One thousand to one, but since I applied, I concocted a plan that I call the “Be Remarkable” campaign. I refuse to be rejected by an automated email, so I decided to go the extra mile in hopes for at least a personal [rejection] email (worse-case scenario). A part of my campaign is this open letter to the Pixar Marketing team.

To readers, friends, and/or family: If this is worth sharing, please share. I’m hoping that this post gets to someone at Pixar, somehow, in the digital sphere.

Dear Pixar Marketing Team,

My name is Thu Nguyen, I’m currently a senior at the University of Texas at Austin and a hopeful Marketing Intern candidate for Summer 2014. But you may already know that… if my CL and resume passed the application process anyway. If it didn’t, please give me a chance to convince you to reconsider.

A couple of days after I found out about the position, I brainstormed ideas. I wanted to create something that would catch your attention while staying true to the Pixar brand. One of my professors likes to remind us, “shop the world, steal from the best,” and that’s kind of what I did.

Taking Seth Godin’s sentiment to “be remarkable,” and the Wilderness Explorer sash from UP, I created this:

Each set of badges represent my merits personally, professionally, and educationally. In addition, I made a Wilderness Explorer Handbook that explains how I earned each badge.
wilderness explorer handbook

Following the movie, I’m missing a badge that would “complete my Wilderness Explorer training.” Fittingly, it’s a badge that I call the Pixar Badge. How do I earn it? By successfully obtaining a Marketing Intern position.

Timothy Z at Pixar Animation Studios, it should be coming to the office today!

It’s a long shot, I get that. But I decided that I wouldn’t go without making my mark. I decided to take a chance because this is my dream. And if it’s not my time, it’s not my time. Like Dory, I’ll just keep swimming.

Adventurously Yours,

P.S. If you would like to see my entire creative process of creating the sash with pictures of all the components in detail, you can click here.