“Impact”- The Story of Hieu Nguyen

I’ve heard it said that we leave Earth not once, but twice. The first time is both obvious and inevitable. Eventually, our lives will come to a close, our bodies will wither away into nothingness, and it will be as if we were never here. The second time, however, is a bit more complicated. The second time comes when the imprint we have left on human society fades from memory. For example, this will happen to William Shakespeare when we stop reading Hamlet. This will happen to French architect Gustav Eiffel when his Parisian Tower crumbles and falls. It will happen to American President George Washington when the United States ceases to exist, and so on. We only have a limited time on Earth, and for many, the thought of squandering this time terrifies them. They must leave a legacy for progeny. They must do something with their lives.

I had the opportunity to talk to College Scout  cofounder Hieu Nguyen: a difference maker by nature. Hieu has had a very diverse and interesting career, both academically and professionally. He has attended schools in a number of countries, including Vietnam, Singapore, and even the United States. While in the United States, Hieu attended and subsequently graduated with a degree in Economics from New York University– not too far from my home town on Long Island. After graduation, Hieu started as a Financial Analyst for with a Vietnam-focus fund management company based in their New York City office. After one year, however, Hieu was transferred to the Hanoi office and began to reintegrate into Vietnamese society.

Since he’s moved back to Vietnam, Hieu has been hard at work and puts in large amounts of time and effort into the edtech startup College Scout, mainly fueled by his intense desire to make a difference.

Hieu described to me an invaluable characteristic of the Vietnamese people: their charity and their devotion to giving back. In the past, philanthropy in Vietnam consisted of people devoting time and money into charitable organizations or religious institutions. Now, however, there are people like Hieu giving back in a different way: paying it forward, elevating Vietnamese society for future generations. In talking to Hieu, I found both his devotion to the Vietnamese people and his desire to improve society to be abundant and pure. Hieu’s involvement in College Scout is charged by his passion towards building a better future, for he finds education to be the best way  to lift society.

Vietnam is at a pivotal point in its history. Society is changing rapidly and development is moving at the speed of light. Now is the perfect time to invest in the future, and Hieu is not going to miss his chance to build a better future for his country.

“I really want to do something for the country and for the people.”~Hieu Nguyen

I named Hieu’s piece Impact simply from his desire to make a difference. He is fully prepared to invest the necessary time, effort, and resources into the future of Vietnam, which to me is exceedingly admirable. His will to take personal responsibility reflects a country filled with people who truly care, and it is people like Hieu that will lead Vietnam to further success down the road.

Hieu is yet another inspiring person I’ve had the privilege to talk to. Every new person I meet emanates a different inspiring characteristic, and it I am growing ever more aware of the diversity and passion of these individuals. Nam’s spark, the resilience of Hoang Anh, Canh Hoang’s promise, and now Hieu’s desire to make an impact on Vietnam are rapidly escalating my appreciation for the Vietnamese professional community, and I am excited to meet more people.

By Todd Sammis, University of Gettysburg, when interning at College Scout in 2017″ 

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