To be home is to be the best me

September 29, 2015Student Blogs

Far away from my sweet pup and my cottage in Chapel Hill, NC, I am sitting in a hostel in Wicker Park, Chicago. My endeavor here is centered around how and why I am choosing to take responsibility for my part in contributing to a positive cultural transformation underway. This shift I am referring to … Read More

The Courage of Doing

September 25, 2015Student Blogs

7 pm. Sunset. Chicago’s skyline is an ember burning out, its oranges and pinks give way to rich dark blues. The trains come by like clockwork, rattling along industrial steel. The smell of homemade quiche offsets the city’s sweat after a long day. I am reflecting on this post-it note whirlwind of a week sitting … Read More

now that i have seen, I am responsible

September 25, 2015Student Blogs

Beyond the day-to-day tasks, and nagging time clocks, lies a deep desire to help. To me, help is not just defined as making something easier or serving someone, but more the act of truly providing value and opportunity to one’s deepest need. This desire isn’t new, just newly reignited. Let’s go back to 2006 for … Read More


September 25, 2015Student Blogs

Belief (noun): Something one accepts as true or real; a firmly held opinion or conviction. e.g.: ‘We’re prepared to fight for our beliefs.” Funny that the dictionary gives “fighting for our beliefs” as an example; that is the reason I love the word. A belief carries tremendous power, because it is connected to emotion. All throughout … Read More

Some Might Say It’s Kismet

September 25, 2015Student Blogs

Kismet [kiz′met, kis′-] noun. destiny; fate. If you asked me three months ago what I would be doing today at this moment, I would have said something like, “driving from Playa del Rey to Compton, CA, to go design some clothes and print some tees at work.” If you asked me the same question two … Read More

on being defined

September 25, 2015Student Blogs

May of 2014 post-undergraduate student life was really tough, and I was a lucky one. I got a job with housing accommodations right out of music school at a music production studio in Miami, FL. I met industry giants such as Diplo and Skrillex, saw them work, then suddenly, everything came to a screeching halt. … Read More

A moment about my education

September 25, 2015Student Blogs

I get two distinct reactions when I explain my year at Experience Institute. I start with my elevator pitch: I’m designing my own master’s degree over the course of the year with three three-month apprenticeships in biomimicry. Two-week meet-ups before and after each apprenticeship in Chicago are set up to support reflection and refueling with … Read More

Like a river

September 24, 2015Student Blogs

To say that my career journey has been a winding river would be selling the story short. For the past year I’ve been a software engineer for a major financial tech corporation. Before that, I was an interactive theater educator on a tall ship in San Francisco. Before that I was a backcountry leader for … Read More

“Wait, what is it that you do?”

September 24, 2015Student Blogs

Sometimes, I feel really bad for my parents. As first generation immigrants from Vietnam, the spectrum of professions they’re familiar with goes something like: doctor, lawyer, dentist, and maybe pharmacist. Unfortunately for them, I’ve never been interested in any of those professions, due to a squeamish fear of blood and general disregard of authority. My … Read More


September 21, 2015Student Blogs

When I think about the most pivotal moments in my life, I often recall a conversation. I remember the phone call with a mentor that encouraged me to take on my first job as a youth and family counselor. I remember another discussion with a close friend that drove me to try my hand as … Read More