2016 Essay Competition - View all entries

If I can dream it, then I can pursue it

Yennie Nguyen - Portland, OR, United States "You can be anything that you want". That's the phrase I was told throughout my whole life whenever the discussion of my future career choice was brought up. As I grew older, I realized that it was not always the case. There are limits to certain thing whether it is financially or capability. Not all of us can be the president but that doesn't mean we should stop there. When it comes to making my career choice, I had to constantly remind myself that there is no right answer nor will there ever be a final decision. Our society has strangely faced an emphasis that we should pick one career and stay on that path forever. I realized that this strange notion has put an immense pressure not only on myself but to other students as well. I don't have one single dream, I have a never ending amount of dreams. With that in mind, I focused on picking a career that I deemed suitable based on my skills and likes and more importantly on its ability to lay a stable foundation to help me pursue my other dreams. As much as I want to pursue my first career based on just what my likes are, I realized there are other factors involved. Coming from an immigrant family, we faced many struggles and continued to do so to this day. Not wanting me to face the same struggles as them, my parents would try to convince me to pick a career that provides a very stable large income. Of course, the careers associated with what they want were not always agreeable with what I want. But I understand their kind intention and decided to find a career that will be compromise both of what we want. Finding a career suitable also means I have to know myself clearly. This goes beyond my likes and dislikes, it also means I have to be knowledgeable of my skills, my capabilities, and even details such as the environment and workplace of my career. Growing up with parents who spoke little English, I naturally became their personal translator at a young age. Due to that, I was able to gain quite a bit of knowledge to many different types of careers such as retail and customer services, office works and management and even healthcare as well. I was leaning towards a career in health field but I wasn't so sure of my decision, it wasn't until I found myself volunteering as a translator for a free dental care event at the age of 16 that I decided to go into it. During the event which lasted for only a mere span of 2 days, I found myself helping and translating for quite a number of people. Each and every one of the patients I helped, thanked me and expressed their gratitude, telling me how lost they would have been and how lonely it would be for them if I weren't there to guide and keep them company. At the end of the day, I finally made my decision to go into the health field. I didn't know until then how much of a difference I can make through my skills and how much happiness I am capable of bringing to someone. Finding myself leaning towards the healthcare settings, I shadowed various jobs health place throughout my high school years. With that, I've finally made a decision to become a pharmacist based on my love of science and daily interactions with people. But of course, I'm not going to stop there. My first career choice satisfies my science loving side but I too, have a creative art side that has yet to be fulfilled.