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Coffee With Thuy Hoang

Thuy Hoang – an alumni from Swinburne University of Technology. She completed her Bachelor of Communication and Media in 2013.

Tell us about your study experience?

University life was a mixed bag, there were some good aspects but some not so good. I found that university prepares you for real challenges in life. But overall I must say that I learnt a lot. Living and studying alone in a different country and system of education can be lonely. One must have a lot of courage and determination to make it through years of studying long hours, chunky books, assignments and exams. Sometimes I found myself too shy to speak up or make friends in the classroom.

So that’s the thing, I had to learn to let myself be off guard and to relax. I made eye contact with my classmates and smiled. It worked. I am very lucky to have made some great friends who I am still keeping in touch with today.

Can you give us a “top 3” for Swinburne University of Technology?

The library and its services were just amazing. I spent so much time reading and studying there day and night. And I loved that my Hawthorn campus is so central with vibrant streets and has a nice park nearby for quiet, alone time. My third favourite thing about Swinburne is free lunches haha, they came in with variety as well, Indian food, Vietnamese food, Aussie sausages and much more!

What advice would you give to someone starting your course?

Be brave and ask questions, either to your lecturers, tutors or friends. Take advantage of the students services. They are there to help you. And relax, enjoy a cupa sunshine and coffee when needed. Student life can be fun too, not just studious!

What is your job now?

I have always been a freelancer. I write poetry and edit and translate books. I teach English and Vietnamese. I like to work within the creative fields.

Did you find it easy to get a job after graduation?

Yes, if you really know your strength and talents, there is no need to worry about work. Work will come and find you. In fact, I rarely applied for jobs after I graduated.

How did you get from your institution to where you are now?

The uni years to me were very tough emotionally and financially. I had to work multipIe part time jobs for a long period of time to cover my living expenses. It was stressful and I really wanted to quit my degree several times but I didn’t. I carried on, I asked for help, and I made it. I really think those years prepared me well for my work and life now. It made me realise that I am strong and independent, I can do what I set myself out to do.

Describe a typical day in three words?

  • Play with my cat
  • Inking on papers
  • Reading

Have you been affected by COVID-19?

No, since the industry I work is not services like hospitality or such, I don’t see any impact on my job because of COVID.

What have you learnt about yourself?

That my life before Covid 19 wasn’t that much different from my life during the lockdown. I must really enjoy solitude haha!

Three words to describe your life during this time?

Finishing unfinished business

What about the future?

I’m about to leave my parents’ home in Hanoi to Da Lat with my cat to live our life in nature together, working on my second poetry book in English and continuing with my teaching online, meeting new people for new projects. I am open to collab 🙂

What positives can be taken from the changes in our lives?

Changes can seem hard but they are vital and actually good for us. We can take every change as an opportunity to discover ourselves again, we never know what we are capable of. Remember we are strong, we evolve and adapt to our environment. So every change can be seen as pushing the reset button!

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