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 California State University, Fullerton

An Nguyen

An NguyenAbout me: 

Like many of the people featured before me, I would consider myself a non-traditional student in many aspects. I graduated from college with a B.A. in Asian Humanities in 2005, but only after much time and deliberation did I find a calling into the medical field. As a post-baccalaureate student, it was difficult transitioning into a full-time curriculum consisting purely of difficult science courses when you are single and economically self-reliant. Were it not for the tremendous support from Dr. Goode and the rest of the staff at the CSUF Health Professions Office, I would not have made it as far as I did.

The first thing that I noticed when I started at CSUF in 2008 was how parts of the school were so cold and dispassionate at times. With one of the highest student enrollments in the world, it's no surprise that you can feel like just a number to the administration. However, when I began visiting the Health Professions Office for advising, I felt like I was treated as a real person there, and my concerns heard out and dealt with whenever I voiced them. I always felt so at ease when I stepped into the office, as if it was my sanctuary from the more dour parts of campus.

Although every person in the office deserves praise, Dr. Goode is the A-list star of the show. I have not met anyone with more devotion, compassion, and willingness to see students succeed than her. Her direct and no-nonsense approach to things might be uncomfortable for some, but I challenge you to find someone who is more well-meaning and knowledgeable than her. I do not consider myself an excellent student with high numbers or great accomplishments to my name, but Dr. Goode still helped me break down barriers that I could never have imagined overcoming. For that, I am eternally grateful.

Just 3 years ago, the thought of becoming a doctor was impossible to me. However, I realized that you really don't know what you're capable of unless you give it an honest attempt. “The journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step,” after all. As I start medical school this fall at Western University of Health Sciences, I will always keep in my heart the challenges and the support that were necessary for my success. I have always been a firm believer that you cannot do everything alone. Despite the ironically competitive path it takes to get there, work in the medical field is a collaborative effort, and the Health Professions Office has taught me the true meaning of helping others.

Since the previous Student-of-the-Weeks all had great advice to consider, I just wanted to contribute one thing:

Never forget that behind every exam, campus, interview, office, task, application form, job, or e-mail address, there is a real person with real feelings on the other end somewhere. Be kind to everyone you meet along your path, for when your time of need comes, they will treat you with the same compassion.