My UC Personal Statement
STEVE NGUYEN UC PERSONAL STATEMENT
Out of all the people that have influenced my personal decisions to attain academic and career success, my parents and personal mentor, Mr. Carl Pawl, were the ones that provided me with the most realistic vision and foresight in which my strengths, weaknesses, and personality could be utilized to my maximum potential. Their ideals mainly sought for me to establish an enduring career that would best fit my personality. However, as I was more in tune to the realistic perception of today’s society and my parent’s lectures, the pressure of achieving these goals had progressed to a more difficult stage each and everyday.
From my intermediate to my high school years, I could recall countless occasions of how my parents were never able to help me with my schoolwork because of their full time work-related priorities. As a result, I found it extremely difficult to understand what I was good at and what I wanted to do as my academic career progressed. It was because of the lack of time that my parents were able to devote to my studies that I viewed Mr. Pawl as an academic and potential career advisor. I was incredibly fortunate to have him as my homeroom science teacher, because he just also happened to be my video production teacher. As an eighth grade student who was an avid science and film buff, Mr. Pawl was that teacher who gave me the time, tools, and equipment to take advantage and learn as much as I could about film and science. Coming from a low income family, my family and I could never afford the tutelage or the equipment to learn what I wanted to on my own, but Mr. Pawl always gave me access to what I needed. If I wanted to learn, he would actually be kind enough to stay after school and instruct me on how to use that camera or balance these equations. Pawl always encouraged me to explore my passions in the arts and sciences, but most importantly, to pursue my interests outside of the classroom. It was because of him that I realized that my interests were never about academics and exceptional scholarly performance, but rather, a culmination of my desire to explore, learn, and be independent on my own terms. Now it has been three years since Mr. Pawl has passed away, but his advice always kept reminding me that I must do more than the minimum required, and that I need to push myself in order to be a great individual. I guess those words never sank in until my senior year of high school during this application process.
Being in company with a family of UCLA alumni, my parents have always wanted me to follow their footsteps and continue the so-called “tradition” of becoming an engineer and continuing my father’s business. Though it may sound like a safe career path, I knew that becoming an engineer is not the only option out there. While attending a Career Fair held at my school, I had an interesting discussion with a student that currently attends the USC School of Pharmacy and another physician that graduated from Duke University. The conversation progressed from small talk to career options, goals, and interests that we shared in the pharmaceutics. After some serious consideration, I told my parents that I’ve decided to pursue pharmacy, which happened to be one of the options my parents have laid out for me. The fact that my grades are slightly above average and that I have to compete against peers who are mostly older and much more academically competitive than I am are somewhat worrisome to my parents. Now, I realize as I am writing this how much my parents and Mr. Pawl had motivated me.
I am now ready to face the next level of challenges that await me, and I hope to achieve my goals in the hopes of attending the University of California this fall. Not only would I like to relish the opportunity of being a university student, but most importantly, to build a strong foundation for my future and my dreams.