Me being featured in my friend’s blog

[Thank you Kim, for giving me something quick to update my blog]

Kim is a good friend of mine, not having to be too close like a hang-out buddy but we know that we can talk for hours about marketing in general, marketing industry in Vietnam or just about observing different people’s behavior. As she said in her post about me, I’m projecting an image of an extrovert person and she’s totally the opposite one. Majoring in Marketing (at least) helps us to realise that what we have seen is (not really) what we see.

She is an artistic person but never boasting about her talents. She’s scoring extremely high in terms of her academic results but never feel enough of it. She thinks deep and looks far. She would give you a lot of insightful comments and make you think a little bit more to figure it out.

She might not be an ideal applicant for your company to do sales (and talk bullshit things), but she’s a great strategist I would say

Her blog is HERE




This series feature interviews with some of the amazing people I know. I pose to them the questions similar to those that are asked at job interviews, including the wildcard questions. It is interesting to see how different people approach the same set of questions in their own way.


In many ways, Beo is the antithesis of me. I’ve known him since 2010, and we were in the same postgrad class for a year. We both major in Marketing which is not really a popular choice for Vietnamese students. I think our friendship has a strange dynamic to it. At a superficial level, Beo is the embodiment of an extrovert and I am somewhat of an introvert. A lot of what he likes and values and reckons, I don’t agree with or don’t care for.

While I deliberately keep it at arm’s length, Beo has always been actively involved in the activities of Vietnamese students societies. He loves travel, I don’t care for it. He loves the crowd, always projecting the impression of a happy go lucky guy; while I am the brooding girl in the corner with a look that either says “I’m confused” or “I’m indifferent”.

Yet strangely enough, we are still (good) friends, and there are a lot of collaboration projects in store that we’ve been planning. I also have always suspected that behind his ear-to-ear smiles Beo harbours quite a few worries and not so sunny thoughts that he doesn’t tell most people. We are quite different, and we are yet all the same.

Beo now lives in Sydney and is a PhD candidate, specialising in tourism marketing. I decide to find full-time industry work in Melbourne.


1.     What is the meaning of your name? Tell me about it.

If you’re not Vietnamese, you will find my name confusing. My last name is Thai and I’m not Thai. My first name is Nguyen and it’s not my surname. My nickname is Beo and I prefer to be called as such even though it literally means ‘fat’ in Vietnamese.

I don’t look like a typical Vietnamese, so hopefully people can recognize my nationality by looking at my name.

(Editor’s instructions: Beo is the nickname; Thai Thanh Nguyen is the correct version of full name. Vietnamese style of naming: family name – middle name – first name.)

2.    What is the last book that you read?

Sorry I’m not really a fan of reading book. Can I tell you about the last journal article I just read? Anyway, the (current) topic for my PhD research is consumer knowledge, regulatory focus and satisfaction when deciding the destination for their vacation. Not finalised yet, and I probably will change the topic (as I did twice within the first 3 months of my candidature).

3.     If someone wrote a biography about you, what should the title be? 

“A cheerful heart with a big smile”.

4.     What kind of people do you dislike?

I dislike people who are always negative and whining ALL THE TIME.

I dislike people who are dishonest.

I dislike people who are not striving for their goals in life.

5.     What are you passionate about?

I have strong interests in traveling (and food). I’m proud of myself for traveling up to 14 countries at the age of 24 because a lot of my peers haven’t had a chance to do that (and they still have to worry about their job hunting, etc.)

I love traveling, either being a tourist or being a backpacker, because it enriches and opens my ‘small eyes’ to different levels. I know why Argentinean people had dinner at 9-10pm and party till 7am even though they still have to work at normal office hours. I understand why people love romantic Paris so much. I went shopping at the 5th Avenue in New York. I had my 21st birthday in Las Vegas. I ate raw octopus mixing with raw egg in Kyoto. etc.

I then become more tolerant and acceptant to differences.

6.     What is your biggest failure so far, and what have you learnt from it?

I am happy with my own personalities and guess that that’s how people love to be around me. But I can’t be true to myself (and it sucks sometimes). Can’t really tell what my biggest failure is, but what I can learn is NEVER be so overconfident about myself. Be confident, and humble.

7.     What are the main sources for your inspirations?

I’ve got my inspirations when talking to people, not that they inspire me through their words (sometimes, some people do), but through finding the connection between me and them (traveling interests, food-addicted, career focus, etc.) Simply seeing other people striving for their goals inspires me the most.

8.     If you are a well-known brand (e.g. Nike, Pepsi, Starbucks,..), what would you be and why?

As long as I associate myself with another brand, I lose my uniqueness.

9.     What would be a good slogan/tagline for yourself?

See my suggestion for the biography. Other option: picturing happiness. 

10.  Where do you see yourself in 5 years?

Wherever i live in 5 years time, I probably have to see it through a mirror. I may have short-shaved hair, thicker beard, tanned skin, not wearing business suits (although i’d like to wear it, it’s super uncomfortable and I find it hard to breathe).

I may enjoy a career that I don’t even know how to describe it. I may be both working as a government officer, academic lecturer, consultant, and an entrepreneur.

And I try my best to integrate traveling into my career.

11.  What is your biggest weakness?

It could be both for my biggest weakness and biggest strength. As a people-person, I enjoy the company with people and naturally know how to treat and communicate with people the way they want. Sometimes it’s an emotional challenge to keep up with what I’m naturally good at.

12.  What are the things that you are really really good at?

Probably inspiring people and make people surrounding feel comfortable.



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