By Linh Dinh
Whether it is learning to relax or improvise, reaching milestones on her career ladder, or managing the dense workload that is college, Biochemistry and History double major, Dalena Nguyen engages the work and people she believes in with full potential. Combining the best of her curiosities and a desire to give back, Dalena’s interests in medicine, history and charitable social work yield first-hand positive impacts of her conscious efforts towards building an altruistic community. She will achieve her goals all the while remaining enthusiastic by simply knowing that what she does is genuinely appreciated by the people she cares for.
Q: What is your name, major, and expected graduation date?
A: Dalena Nguyen, Biochemistry and History double major, 2016.
Q: What are you career aspirations, and how do you evaluate success?
A: After many years of schooling, I want to become a successful doctor in neuroscience. Money is success! No, the amount of success a person has coincides with how happy a person is with themselves. There are material successes and career sucesses, but if there’s no peace and happiness in one’s life from the career choices and life decisions, success is but an illusion.
Q: What was your favorite part of the UGA experience?
A: UGA offers a lot of experiences, but the best experience would be the food in Athens! The food and people in Athens are very diverse, and most of the food are extremely authentic. One of my favorite place to eat is this Mexican restaurant called Tlaloc.
A: What was the best class you’ve taken so far? Who is your favorite professor?
Q: The best class I’ve ever taken was organic chemistry, not because it was easy and fun but because it challenged me to understand and try to master the concept. Since it was different from what I’ve learned before, I didn’t have any prior knowledge to rely upon. Despite saying that, my organic chemistry professor was not the best one. My best professor was my Medievel Middle East history professor, Dr. Fonder. He was different, strange, and enlightening.
Q: What is your favorite pastime?
A: My favorite pastime is playing tennis, fencing, and eating with friends. I like socializing with my friends.
Q: What UGA activities are you involved in?
A: I’m involved in the UGA fencing club and UGA VSA. I believe that putting all my time and effort in a few clubs is better than putting little to no effort in multiple clubs, because it demonstrates more dedication and commitment.
Q: What is one piece of advice you would give to an upcoming freshman at UGA?
A: Freshman year should be the easier year, so in order to get a head start in college, get your 4.0 now!
Q: What do you feel was your greatest accomplishment since entering UGA? Failure?
A: I feel that my greatest accomplishment was completing my first semester of organic chemistry, because it set me up to be able to take on even more difficult classes. One of my greatest failure was underestimating organic chemistry, which caused me to retake it for a 2nd time.
Q: What are your greatest strengths & weaknesses?
A: Weaknesses: procrastination, having a short-temper and lacking patience
Strengths: getting things done when needed, being reliable and loyal
Q: How do you handle the stress & pressure of the college lifestyle?
A: I can’t really handle the stress and pressure of college, but I’ve learned to balance them with the positive aspects of it. I like to set short-term goals in order to complete my work, and working out a schedule of things-to-do helps tremendously.
Q: Describe a difficult work situation / project and how you overcame it.
A: Like I said before, procrastination has been in my blood since I started school, but somehow, I’m able to complete all my work on time, just not on a timely manner. It’s still a work in progress. One difficult work situation that I overcame was when I had an 8-10 pg due in two nights but I hadn’t started drafting it. I already finished the reading and did some brainstorming, but I could never bring myself to start writing unless I’m under a lot of pressure. I finished it though; apparently, great ideas comes out when you’re under pressure.
Q: Where do you see yourself in the next five years?
A: In the next five years, I hopefully want to be out of medical school, start paying my student loans and planning to settle down with a partner – no kids anytime soon.
Q: Do you have any long term goals?
A: Of course, to become a successful and respected doctor, go traveling to all the places I want to visit, and just enjoy what life has to offer.
Q: If you were to invent one thing, what would it be?
A: I want to create a portable home, something small and cube life that can be folding into a home with all the necessary appliances and living necessities. Like a tardis!