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Alumni Spotlight: Olivia Nguyen

Previous NEIVSA involvement: Member of Northeastern University Vietnamese Student Association

Can you give us a brief bio of yourself? What are you doing now?

I'm a Peace Corps Volunteer focused on Coastal Resource Management in the Philippines. I help local governments develop sustainable and inclusive environmental policies to protect vital tropical coastal habitats like coral reefs, seagrass beds, and mangroves. Prior to the Peace Corps, I was a Fulbright Fellow in Vietnam - a pivotal year of my life where I rediscovered my Vietnamese heritage and realized that my passion for international development would be best focused on climate change and environmental policy implementation in Southeast Asia. As an international business graduate from Northeastern University, I've also had opportunities to work in the travel, music, microfinance, and healthcare industries in NYC, London, the Dominican Republic, and Ethiopia. In my spare time, I love jamming out, working on my blog, diving, museums, and drinking beer with good company. My favorite things: tea, a hot shower, and jazz.

Favorite NEIVSA memory

When me and Quang and the gang would perform!

What's the best piece of advice you've ever received?

"Fall in love with your solitude." A simple poem from Rupi Kaur that brought light to a really dark time.

What flavor of ice cream would you be?

Mint chocolate chip!

What or who would you say are the biggest contributors to your success?

My family and their unconditional love, support, and trust. My best friends, who keep things real and give me perspective. And some random strangers and other people I'll probably never see again who profoundly inspired me with their stories.

Something interesting that people may not know about you is...

I had a random video of me singing go viral in Vietnam.

Any words of wisdom you may have for those who have recently graduated or those still in college?

That crazy idea or dream you've always had, or just recently developed - go for it. Your 20s is the best time to fuck up and make mistakes. Trust yourself - you're more capable, resilient, and resourceful than you realize.

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