It was late June of 2003 when my life changed. I remember the day well. It was warm. The sun has just ascended to its zenith and my family was saying their goodbyes to old friends. Aside from the teary farewells, it felt like any other day. I certainly did not expect to part from the familiar vendors at local markets, the chaotic streets shared by motorcyclists and rickshaw drivers, the Mekong Delta that cuts through my little town, or my loved ones in Vietnam to travel across the Atlantic Ocean to an unknown world called America.
The first year in the states was rough. I didn’t know a single word, not even hello. I wanted to learn the foreign tongue to be able to tell the lunch lady I didn’t want the thawing peaches or gray grapes. I wanted to get a perfect score on spelling quizzes and reading assignments. I wanted to make good friends. I wanted to become a part of the new culture that I felt estranged to.
I remember spending every day forcing myself to read. I started with easy books like the “Junie B. Jones” series and Dr. Seuss. Eventually, I worked my way up to more difficult texts like “The Magic Treehouse” and “A Series of Unfortunate Events.” The drive that I developed from familiarizing myself with English led to my love of literature and rhetoric. I learned the value of language. It paved my way to majoring in journalism with an interest in public relations and minoring in creative writing.
I chose public relations because I loved to tell stories. An admiration for storytelling is crucial in the public relations and journalism field. Public relations practitioners must translate a client’s core message to a public, in other words, telling the client’s narrative. My background in learning a new language and the skill set I gathered from creative writing help me succeed in public relations and being an editor for Tehama Group Communications.
If you share this appreciation and deep-rooted interest for language and capturing a narrative, then give the field of public relations a consideration. Ever since I’ve been a part of the Tehama Group Communications team, my writing skills has improved and my love for language has grown to new heights.
By: Kim Nguyen
Image provided by Pexles