Just browsing through his Facebook timeline, you can instantaneously tell that this week’s Campus Celebrity has made a significant contribution to all aspects of UCLA life. He swears by his favorite quote: “Keep Calm and Carry On,” but he seems to do everything BUT “Keep Calm”. Aside from his interests in social media, fashion, music, and television, he spends much of his day (often 8-am to 8-pm on campus) attending classes, club meetings, working, and volunteering. However, he always does this with a bit of sparkle and a lot of personality, as is evident by the enthusiasm and passion in his interview. Read ahead to see Ben's perspective as he answers questions about the present, future, and a look into his favorite--and not-so-favorite--things.
What do you see yourself doing in five years? In five years, I want to pursue a Master’s of Science in fields relevant to Health Science, Public Health, Aging, Social Care, and Health Management in the UK. Ultimately, I would love to start work in Public Health or health organizations abroad to bathe in foreign and diverse culture and develop different cultural understandings of the world. Eventually, I would love to return to the US and further pursue my professional education and career.
The best part of junior year so far? During my third year, I have enjoyed the transition to the off-campus apartments. As an only child, I never took time to value my division between home and school because I always had a strong liking of staying within the social scene and being active within school. Now that I’ve had more time to understand the benefits of having time for oneself, I’ve started to appreciate personal time for thinking and retrospection into life.
What campus activities are you involved in? I’m currently the Vice-President for Colleges Against Cancer and informally a member of Circle K International. I work at the UCLA Luskin School of Public Affairs, the Luskin Center for Innovation, and I intern at the UCLA West Medical OB/GYN. In the past, I have also been involved with the UCLA Volunteer Center.
Your ideal meal? I love Thai Food; it’s a wonderful hybrid of spicy and sweet. My favorites include tilapia, tofu, kale, and chicken. My favorite drink is a hibiscus tea/juice, and for dessert: white rose ice-cream and earl grey/green tea macaroons. And pumpkin whoopee pies.
What is the best hidden secret in LA? The best hidden secret in LA is free fan tickets. I say this because many people do not know that movie premieres, TV tapings, and celebrity award shows are open to the public, particularly young or dedicated fans who will be willing to devote a great deal of time.
A fashion tip from Ben Nguyen’s closet? I love red, white, and blue, sparkles, and stripes. For guys, I think that boat/deck shoes are a major plus because they are easy to slip on and can improve an entire outfit. A fashion don’t: I have a strong dislike for sweatpants in public other than athletic purposes. While I understand that comfort is very important, I am biased towards a put-together ensemble because it enhances self-presentation.
Favorite place to study on-campus? For indoors, my favorite places to study are the Science and Engineering Library in Boetler and the Untitled Café in Broad. For outdoor studying, I enjoy the little terrace patio of Kerckhoff study rooms which look into Kerckhoff patio.
Ten Second Round:
1. Facebook or Instagram? Facebook.
2. Northern California or Southern California? I can’t—I just love the Golden state.
3. Rain or Sun? Sun.
4. Powell or YRL? YRL.
5. Choose 2: Sleep, grades, or social life. Social Life and..I don’t like to place an emphasis on grades so instead I will say academic and intellectual growth.