Young Old Girl Feature: Nhien Nguyen (Class of 2018) - embracing opportunities

Nhien Nguyen graduated from Somerville House in 2018 and recently featured on an OGA panel of Old Girls who shared their experiences and learnings since finishing school, for the benefit of the Class of 2021 students. Below, Nhien details her journey since finishing school and the opportunities she has thrown herself into, as she discovers how to combine her passions with her career aspirations.

She is currently in the third and final year of her undergraduate degree of Biomedical Sciences at The University of Queensland, before she begins her post-graduate studies of Medicine at UQ. Over the past three years, Nhien has taken up many of the opportunities that have come her way.

In the summer of 2020-2021, Nhien was accepted into a scholarship program to be a part of the Acquired Brain Injury in Children’s research team at the Children’s Centre of Health Research. Her project looks into children's recovery from brain injuries, and what difficulties their families face as a result of this injury. This would give us important information that can allow us in the future to recommend procedural or regulation changes that could reduce the burden of injury on these children’ families.

Outside of this, Nhien is also the Social Vice-President of The University of Queensland’s Premedical Society (otherwise known as UQPMS), which provides support, guidance and events for likeminded students from all degrees united by a common interest in medicine.

Beyond university, Nhien also runs classes and workshops for students preparing for the University Clinical Aptitude Test, an exam required for entrance into Medicine following high school for universities in Australia, New Zealand as well as the United Kingdom.

The resilience that I gained at Somerville House proved to be invaluable in my experiences following graduating. I knew that each obstacle that I faced, whether that be a new exam looming, or even falling below my expectations for myself, they would be something that I can look back on in the future as a testament for what I can achieve and reassure myself that any future challenge will come and go the same.

My transition from high school to university was not easy, but I hope to share my experiences this with current students at Somerville, so that future Somerville alumni could be better equipped with knowledge that makes this change less daunting. 

Three tips that I would give my year 12 self today:

1.    Asking more questions will take you a long way. 
2.    Surrounding yourself with people who support you through the good and the bad will be the best choice you make.
3.    There are so many different ways to enter a particular pathway, so one exam or one year doesn’t take anything away from who you are or your potential. Disappointments do not define you.

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