Good Luck, Jennifer, With Your Stanford Interview

One of my students, Jennifer Nham, has an interview with Stanford tomorrow. She is a young Vietnamese-American girl who is applying as a chemical engineering major. She is smart and charming, but just a little shy so, hopefully, she can overcome her natural tendency to be quiet and push herself to let the interviewer get to know her. This evening we practiced together. I asked her questions and she did her best to answer them. Overall, she did a good job. I let her know to just do her best and that is good enough. Her sweet personality will shine through.

This girl’s parents escaped from the brutal Communist regime in Vietnam in the early 1990s. They arrived in the United States as refugees and were granted political asylum. Her father works in an Asian market and her mother has held a variety of jobs in the food industry. Through hard work, they have raised three children: two sons and a daughter. One son is now in his second year of residency as an orthopedic surgeon, the other is studying to be an electrical engineer, and now their daughter has a Stanford interview and also wants to pursue engineering. That, my friends, is the American dream in action. Hard work = opportunity.

At 4 pm Pacific Time tomorrow, please keep Jennifer in mind. That is when she’ll meet with a Stanford alum at a Starbucks near her house. She will be nervous but is capable of doing a very good job. A little collective support certainly can’t hurt.

Fingers and toes are crossed.

Here’s to pushing past fears and going for your dream.

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