Tag Archives: personal

Hold on to the edge of your seats, but if you read the title, it’s possible that you’ve already stopped reading. If you’re still in this, thank you. I really do mean it, even if you’ve heard me say ‘thank you’ a zillion times.

Segue into gratitude- I want to put this out there now and forever: Thank you. The support that I’ve been blessed with is unfathomable. When I first published my Open Letter, my feelings would be something along the lines of “a mess.” I was a mess because there were all of these people who wanted to help me, wanted to share my story, wanted to feel hope with me. At one point, I started tearing up in class (sry profs I was still totally paying attention).

The expectation I had before I posted that Open Letter was pretty much zero. I am still a bit of mess, not only because I’m in my 20’s, but because I still do not know where I stand.

Here are the [rough] statistics of my “Be Remarkable” campaign thus far:

  • 3,500+ Views to my blog post
  • 2,000+ Unique Visitors
  • 100+ FB Likes
  • 37 FB shares from my link
  • 30 upvotes on Pixar’s sub-Reddit
  • 28 Pixar Marketing Professionals that I looked up on LinkedIn
  • 25+ Sincere, endearing FB comments
  • 10 industry professionals; 4 who have/had some sort of connection to Pixar
  • 9 Tweets to industry professionals and Pixar employees
  • 5 FB messages from people I hadn’t talked to/haven’t talked to
  • 1 WordPress Reblog
  • X Retweets and/or Favorites*
  • X FB shares from links that linked my link (people I didn’t even know shared my link!)
  • Infinity support and gratitude

And as I mentioned in the title: Nothing yet. As a soon-to-be graduating senior**, this is scary. At this point, I just want to know if I even remotely have a chance (and I shared this with some of the Pixar recruiters I emailed).

Do I move on?
Can I move on?
Should I move on?

*X = a variable; not sure how many
**anyone who goes for their dream, really

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.

After getting back from church this morning, I automatically walked to my kitchen, filled my kettle with fresh cold water, and turned on the stove. You know what time it is? It’s coffee time.

I enjoy coffee, but I lie somewhere between those who drink it because they need it and those who drink it on occasion (i.e. to stay awake). I also lie somewhere between coffee snob and police station coffee drinker. While I do not enter myself in world barista championships, I do like to support our local coffee shops around the city. How can you pass up Vintage Heart Coffee’s iced vanilla latte or even Central Market’s regular hot coffee? I’m sorry, but my allegiance will never be with Starbucks. I am not a gold member (but Caroline is).

But I want to talk coffee because I’m in a bit of a dilemma. A couple of months ago, I broke my beloved french press. I bought that special one that Starbucks made (I can hear the irony, but I bought it because of the ‘special size’) and I chipped the glass. Upset by tragedy, I threw it away. What I later found out was that I could have easily replaced the glass. I thought they didn’t make replacement glass for that particular “model,” BUT THEY DID. Lesson learned… I guess.

Right now I brew my hot coffee in a makeshift pour-over-type-coffee-vehicle. You can see it in the picture above. And after seeing the price of french presses increase, I decided that perhaps this is an opportunity to explore other ways of brewing coffee. I didn’t expect there to be so many options. From different types of french presses to an Aeropress to a Chemex to different types of pour-over’s, I didn’t know of the various ways I could make coffee. I refuse to get a Keurig or a regular coffee machine; this is where I ask for your help. What do you use to make your coffee, people-that-make-coffee? Should I stick to a french press? Should I drop some mad $$$ for a Chemex? Those things aren’t cheap, but since I’m transitioning to buying things that last longer (aka might cost more), I figured that I should ask for the advice of the smart people around me.

I’m currently obsessed with “Houston Blend” coffee at HEB right now. Also, I will never stop putting condensed milk in my coffee (I love Vietnamese coffee, of course). But I need something cool and awesome to brew my coffee. HELP.

Thank you in advance,

I did it again. I got into another bike accident. This time it was a bike-on-bike collision. It was completely not my fault. I don’t even think I was going that fast (which is something rare). The dude just pulled out on me…and stopped directly in my way. It wasn’t at ACL but it was after. I seem to have an affinity to get hurt when there are music festivals going on (re: SXSW), but I digress.

Ended up with some major bruising (or 3) and an abrasion (or 2). Lesson of the day: always wear your helmet…which is seriously true by the way. I wore my helmet, thank God. I wore my helmet and I still have a hazy memory. It’s a scary thing, I’m still trying to piece together that night. Grasping at straws for a memory that I assume is never coming back. It’s a blessing that I got picked up by at PA (physician assistant aka my brother) and came home to two more PA’s (aka his classmates).

I will be out of commission for running, at least until the bruising goes away. I have a big ‘ol bruise on bum…and it hurts to walk (how sad…). All I can say is, “whomp, whomp, whomp.” Ironically, as this has been my second bike accident, I don’t think I’m done with biking (just yet). If you’re not frightened at bruises, I’ll link a picture of it here.

Another day, another accident.


oh acc, my acc

I was never proud of where I came from. Was. Today and forever, I am proud to say that I transferred from a community college. Two community colleges actually and they both had their own greatnesses, thus why I am writing this post. See, I don’t think people get it. Many people have a negative perception of community college and you know what? I’ve been there, but I also think maybe people haven’t fully understood how fun it really is. I miss community college, and it’s not just because of the many ‘Bonus’ and extra credit opportunities I came across. Sidebar: I come across more extra credit opportunities at UT than I was led to believe.

To be completely cliche, it’s really how you make it. My very first experience at a community college was great because I got through it with my friend and it was during the summer. I Skyped in the hallway, and I got credit just by being there. My official experience at a community college kind of brought the “ashamed feelings” though. Despite being in an amazing city, I thought to myself, “I don’t have to be happy, I don’t have to make it fun, this is just a stepping stone to university-life.”

When I didn’t get into UT for what felt like the 30th time, I wanted to cry. It was supposed to be easy, it was supposed to be just 1 year here at this community college (thought in a tone of frustration)…and so I had to move home. Yep, not a lot of people know this, so there that is in the open. I moved home to go to our local community college, somewhere I thought I was doomed. Many of y’all have heard of it, LONESTAR? (Go Ducks.)

But I honestly don’t know what happened, I started to love it. I started to make the situation better because no one else was going to…or something. In my first year, I was disillusioned by the impossibility that my experience was going like NBC’s show, Community, until I realized that it totally was…in it’s special way. We had carnivals, I had a Spanish class that I loved (kind of like Community), and speech class was always a show…I loved going to the library and messing around with people, reading the books (because people still do that), and sleeping on benches like it was my job. Our Spanish class even had an end-of-the-semester party at our classmate’s house and it was legit, ask Caroline. There was a gazebo.

I’m not saying my time at ACC was completely awful. It kind of was, but it kind of wasn’t. I went to ACC and I was taught by some amazing professors that made me realize that we are all meant to do great things. One prof even wrote me a letter of rec and I know he meant every word. I went to ACC and I realized that I hate o-chem and that the biology/pre-med life is not for me. Who knows what would have happened if I had gone straight to a university and just stuck through my classes? I don’t know and I don’t really care to know, I think this was the way it was meant to be. (Go Riverbats.)

I also made friends with a lot of older people. Some people were in their late 50’s…and they were amazing. Y’all know I love older folk. They still have sass and they are all class. (I just wanted to rhyme, sue me.) They showed me how to appreciate the opportunity I get a.k.a. getting a degree at this young age. I wasn’t bombarded by job loss or worries about their kids, but they were and it put things into perspective. My problems seemed microscopic in comparison to theirs.

There are some people who go through an incredibly straight path throughout their college career. They go from high school -> university in 4 years (internship or 2 in between) -> full-time job. What I discovered is that this is a huge misconception.

My friend recently got a tattoo that says, “Treasure the journey.” I get it…in this context anyway. If you are thinking about community college, really consider it, it’s really what you make of it, and I really did love my time at community college. If community college is your only option for the first year, congrats, I’m jealous, “treasure the journey.” If you’re in community college, really “milk the cow”. I made up that analogy, but really enjoy it, find those goofy festivals, the weirdo, but incredibly awesome professors that actually care about their students, and the older folk who are probably in your class. I miss them, they totally have stories. And if you’re like me, someone who transferred from a comm college into a university, wear your riverbat/duck/whatever-the-goofy-comm-college mascot is proud.

Fact: The boiling temperature of water is 212 degrees.
That is an actual fact.
212 degrees Fahrenheit to be specific.

Why is that relevant?

  1. During my time in high school, our football team was on fire (metaphorically speaking). We were beating teams left and right. We weren’t the best, but we were pretty damn good. Thus, when we referred to our beloved Wildcat football players, they were on fire, they were “212”. We even had a hand signal that my best friend and I still do to this day. I loved watching high school football and I loved our team. Our principal and this tradition she carried out was crazy – but it stuck with all of us. It suck with me almost literally, metaphorically.
  2. Tying in with that last sentence, there is not a moment that goes by where I see the number 212 and think about my principal, my school, and my time there. Room 212, apartment 212, page 212, number 212 on a ticket – I mentally do the hand signal and mentally yell, “TWO TWEEEELLVEEE!”
  3. Most recently, I have officially started interning with Fahrenheit Marketing. That’s right, they’re called Fahrenheit Marketing. There’s a line in the ‘About’ tab that [literally] says, “We associate our marketing campaigns with turning up the heat.” If that doesn’t scream 212, I don’t know what does. UPDATEToday was the first day and our CEO brought us breakfast tacos. I was meant to work at this place y’all.

Perhaps it’s my Wildcat mentality. Perhaps it’s my insanity. I think I wrote this to say: everything happens for a reason and it’s all connected.
I think 212 is deep rooted in my life and forever will be. I’m okay with that.

Here are embarrassing shots of me and my best friend…and our never-ending love to the Cinderella story (re: this is another Wildcat tradition that only Wildcats would understand).


circa 2009?

I know I keep disclaiming my posts before I write them, but I promise this is my final one… I think. Today’s disclaimer is: it’s about to get actually vulnerable, but I guess that just means that my blog is showing growth… 

I often say “sidebar” in conversation. I would be in mid-sentence saying, “blah blah blah” then I say, “sidebar: yada yada yada.” Attempting to make this metaphorical to my life, like the sidebars I spontaneously sprinkle in my conversation, there are sidebars that spontaneously come into my life and disrupt it. But I choose the word “disrupt” in the most respectful way possible. I know it has a somewhat negative connotation but things happen, life happens, life gets disrupted. It’s nothing bad, it’s just life. Life goes on after sidebars just like my conversation. (Is that confusing enough for you?)

As I had mentioned earlier, Hannah and I are about to embark on a tour around Texas (cc: the “Texas Forever” Tour). We have been planning for months, making lists, and tweaking maps. But alas, a sidebar has come into my life and we have to postpone this trip. PTL that I have great friends who are understanding.


That was a little sidebar of sorts because this is the actual vulnerable part of my life: the sidebar that has spontaneously come is my mom. She didn’t just come into my life, but the help she needs from me is something of spontaneity. For those close to me, y’all know she has been recovering from a gastric ulcer. It’s interesting because I was actually having a problem with prioritizing and then this sidebar came in and rumbled my priorities into perspective. Some might call this sidebar a sign but I digress.

It’s been a hell of a summer and I’m not just talking about the 1000-degree-heat. With school, two internships, the fear of growing up, friends, etc etc – prioritizing has been something I’ve been working on but struggling with especially these past 2 months. Never had I piled on a plate so full, never had I thought I would make it to the other side. It’s hard prioritizing, y’all. What is summer supposed to be like? All work? All play? What are we entitled to do? Are we entitled at all? Transitioning into adulthood, everything becomes blurry. I wanted to go on vacation, but I also hated taking off work. I wanted to go to $1 beer Wednesday’s, but I was too tired, did that make me lame? I wanted so badly to go on this road trip, but does that make me a bad daughter?


I love my mom. I would do anything for her, but when she asked me to help her, I was frustrated and disappointed. Priorities blurred. It was a rough decision because I wanted to compromise. Sometimes sidebars aren’t meant for compromise though, sometimes they’re meant to shake you and ask you to adapt.