Finding an Outlet For Creativity: Terry Nguyen, Class of 2016

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Moved by the beauty of writing, Terry Nguyen, a GGHS graduate from Class of 2016, began her publishing career in Yearbook, as head managing editor. Little did she know that her position was just the start of her ongoing journey in becoming a writer. Discovering her talents as a writer, a photographer, and a storyteller, has inspired her to become a journalist. Terry never anticipated being accepted into USC (University of Southern California), yet she has always been drawn to their journalism school curriculum.After touring the USC campus and catching of the Annenberg School of Journalism, she was instantly sold. Terry, double majoring in Journalism and Political Science, USC offered her the best financial aid package out of all the journalism schools applied. “ I remember walking through the Media Center, where I am fortunate to work in now, and being absolutely taken by the technology and resources available for students,” Terry shares.

Starting out at USC, Terry felt lost and didn’t know her niche beyond the journalism field, but with the encouragement of her good friend, Allen Pham, who is the lifestyle editor of the publication, she finally applied for the Daily Trojan. The Daily Trojan is the student newspaper of the University of Southern California managed by students at the University.

Terry revealed that she “enjoyed working in the digital realm with the Annenberg Media Center,” and began writing lifestyle pieces for the Daily Trojan. She worked her way up during the spring semester of her freshman year into lifestyle editor and transitioned over to the news team for the new fall semester. Terry is currently the news assignment editor of the Daily Trojan and the USC news editor at Annenberg Media Center.  “I do a lot of hands-on journalism work, like editing stories, writing headlines, pitching story ideas, and I enjoy it a lot because it gives me a sense of productivity and influence in what the USC community cares about.” she expresses. Entering the journalism field, she strives to inform, influence, and inspire others through the power of storytelling.

Since this past spring semester, Terry reflects over her encounters “with failure a lot more than she’s ever had her entire life.” Constant rejections at various internships and positions she applied for took a lot of confidence out of her. However, looking on the bright side, Terry realized that certain things happen for a reason, and she found herself interning at LIVESTRONG.COM, a lifestyle and health media company with “amazing people and work culture.”

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Terry’s loved ones and thoughts of the future, allow her to find motivation in many different places. But at USC, Terry is constantly being challenged and tested to produce the best work possible. She adds, “My co-workers at the Daily Trojan, who are also my friends, are amazing reporters and journalists who have internships at companies like CNN and NBC. They push me to produce the best work possible that I would be proud of, five to ten years down the road.” Terry, too, was fortunate enough to be selected to cover for exciting events like Coachella, and two Red Carpets: one for the Streamy Awards and another for the movie Wonderstruck.

As of right now, Terry is also interning at the Hollywood Reporter twice a week. She has only been there for a couple of weeks, but shares that “pretty exciting things are happening.”  However, it has not been completely smooth sailing. “My article I wrote has yet to be published- I went through edits with my editor, 

and my first article was partially rewritten. It’s a learning experience, and covering Red Carpet is so different than news journalism.” Terry says. At the end of the day, as she is continuing to learn and discover, her excitement is still at hand for future internships to come. This summer, she intends to apply to the L.A. Times and the Washington Post. Additionally, in the future, she hopes to be interning at a print publication like the New York Times, as well as working for a digital-first publication like Vice News or ATTN.

For those who seek to go down Terry’s path, she encourages them to join their college publication and work for it. Terry has written for so many online news outlets as a freshman, “and if you know journalism is your calling as a high schooler, go for it. The path to success isn’t clear cut, so don’t be worried if it takes a while for you to determine your calling.”