Nam Nguyen’s portfolio

Personal Statement 1

During my last semester of undergrad, I made the decision to apply for the Counseling & Student Affairs Graduate Program here at Longwood. I did not have any background with Counseling since I was a Mathematics major as an undergraduate student, but my internship with Longwood’s Office of Fraternity and Sorority Life made me realized that a career in Student Affairs will be perfect for me. After completing this program, my goal is to pursue careers in Student Affairs at a University (Greek Life or Student Engagement for example) or in the office of Student Success. I think that with the knowledge that I gained from Graduate Education, I will be able to work closely with college students to help them with their transition into college or their overall college success. After that, while having a degree in counseling is a big step towards my future jobs, I will have to keep on learning new things and gaining more experience in the future after I have graduated from this program. Next, there are many factors that will be very important to my professional goal. First of all, I have a strong desire to work with college students because of my involvements on Longwood campus such as Peer Mentor, and Global Leaders, where I get to work with new students and assist them on their transition to college. Then, my internship with the Greek Life office here at Longwood taught me the skills needed to be a citizen leader, and my goal is to pass on the knowledge and the skills that I gained to future leaders on college campuses that I will be working at. Finally, I know that not all students will have the same college experience. Some students are more independent and will be fine on their own. On the other hand, some students (especially minority students, international students, or students from less privileged economic backgrounds for example) will need more help and guidance during college. My goal is to be the person that those students feel comfortable to talk to and I want to serve as a role model for them because I came from an immigrant family and I had a difficult time in the beginning of my college career as well.

Professional Resume

Summary: Energetic individual with strong communication skills, works very well in a team or independently

Skills: Communications, computer, math, leadership, reliable, public speaking, Microsoft Office.

Employment History:

  1. Office of First Year Experience Summer & Fall 2018

Summer & Fall 2019

Peer Mentor (Longwood University)

2.  Office of Fraternity and Sorority Life

Membership Development Intern

Longwood University

3. Andy Taylor Center for Early Childhood Development

Assistant teacher

August 2020 – Present



Farmville, VA

Mathematics major & Business Minor

Bachelor of Science degree

August 2016 – Mat 2020


Counseling & Student Affairs

College of Education and Human Services

May 2020 – Present

Other campus involvements:

  1. Lancer Productions (August 2016 – May 2017)

2. Phi Mu Delta fraternity (September 2017 – present): Vice President of Administration

3. Longwood University Global Leaders (March 2018-present)

Counseling Program Schedule

Year 1:

Summer 2020

  1. COUN 552: Contemporary Issues in College Counseling and Student Affairs
  2. COUN 505: Theories of Counseling
  3. COUN 507: Lifespan Development
  4. COUN 545: Techniques of Counseling

Fall 2020

  1. COUN 503: Intro to Counseling
  2. COUN 555: Testing & Assessment in Counseling
  3. COUN 565: College Student Development Services in Higher Education
  4. COUN 610: Career Counseling

Spring 2021

  1. COUN 510: Research Methods & Designs
  2. COUN 594: Practicum in College Counseling and Student Affairs
  3. COUN 601: Multicultural Counseling
  4. COUN 605: Group Counseling Theories and Techniques

Year 2:

Summer 2021

  1. COUN 622: Marriage & Family Therapy: Theories and Techniques
  2. COUN 651: Ethical, Legal, and Professional Issues in Counseling

Fall 2021:

  1. COUN 608: Clinical Psychopathology
  2. COUN 625: Diagnosis & Treatment of Addictive Disorders
  3. COUN 694: Internship in College Counseling and Student Affairs

Spring 2022:

  1. COUN 612: Case Conceptualization and Treatment Planning
  2. COUN 670: Leadership and Management in Higher Education
  3. COUN 694: Internship in College Counseling and Student Affairs
  4. COUN 699: Comprehensive Exam in Counselor Education

Labor Market Information

For the counseling degree, there are lots of different options that future counselors can explore. For example, they can look into school counseling, having their own business, or work at universities. In my case, my degree track is the counseling & student affairs, so I will be working mostly in universities around the country. Some places to that are available for student affairs counselors include student success, multicultural affairs, fraternity & sorority life, student engagement, and many more. Also, counselors can decide to pursue further education beyond graduate level with their counseling degrees.

Person As a Professional Narrative

I believe that there is more than just one set of skills that a counselor must have. Each counselor is different from the others, and they have their own set of strengths that will help them succeed in their career. In my opinion, some skills that a counselor should have include leadership, public speaking, problem solving, patience, empathy, communication, and organization (and many more). Personally, I believe that I work very well with others thanks to my great communication skills and my ability to listen to what others have in their minds. I have many involvements on my college campus during my undergraduate years. For example, I spent two years as a mentor for many first-year students, intern for a student affairs office, and overall engagement on campus. My goal for post-graduation from my master’s program is to work in the Student Success office or in the Fraternity & Sorority Life with my counseling and student affairs degree. While I am doing very well in graduate school right now, there are some challenges that I am facing while trying to become a counselor. First of all, since English is my second language, I have to spend a lot of time to keep up with the readings at the graduate level. Also, I still need to learn more about other cultures to gain a deeper understanding of their characteristics, so that I will be able to work more effectively with my future clients.

Credentials Needed

There are different requirements for each type of counseling (school, mental health, or college). For my college counseling & student affairs track, I will have to take most of the counseling courses with the other tracks, and one course dedicated to student affairs for each term. Some specific student affairs courses that I have to take include the Contemporary Issues in College Counseling & Student Affairs, the College Student Development Services in Higher Education, and the Practicum in College Counseling & Student Affairs, among others. In Spring 2021, I will be taking a practicum course with a department in Longwood University that can be either residence life, student engagement, or athletics. During my undergraduate years, I gained some experience in student engagement through my leadership positions in my fraternity, which led to my internship with the Fraternity & Sorority Life office. My job as a Peer Mentor with the Student Success office helped me gain a lot of connections and experiences as well. At the graduate level, I would like to get more involved with the Graduate Student Association (GSA) to make more connections with others in the program.

Four takeaways

The first discussion that I found very interesting is the Q&A panel with the guest speakers who are professional counselors (school, mental health, and student affairs). Since I am on the college counseling and student affairs track, I get to learn a lot more about the school counseling and the mental health track of counseling. College counselors and student affairs staff often serve as the bridge to connect the study body, faculty, and the overall campus together. There are many areas that counselors with the student affairs background can get involved in. For example, they can work in the student success office, where they work with new students or students who need extra help with their academics. Also, they can work in student engagement, multicultural, or Greek Life. And there are three different types of school counselors that we talked about during the panel—elementary school counselors, middle school counselors, and high school counselors. While their general duties are very similar in terms of looking out for their student’s success, there are a few small differences between their school settings. Elementary school counselors work with teachers and parents to help teach their children social skills and good behaviors. Middle school counselors help with the transition into high school, which can be difficult because to some of us, middle school is a strange period of transition between being a child in elementary school to being a young adult in high school. One advice that really stands out to me is that I need to keep an open mind when I work with different students/clients. Not all of them are the same, and many of them come from different cultures/ backgrounds, so it is important that I listen to them and understand their needs and issues.

            The next class discussion that stands out with me is about Chapter 10: Human Development throughout the Life Span. Even though I have taken a course on lifespan development in the past, a small section of this chapter is very interesting to me due to my recent employment setting. Currently, I am working as an assistant teacher in Andy Taylor Center for Early Childhood Development, so the Infancy and Toddlerhood stage is exciting for me to read and talk about. I work with children from ages two through four, so the topics that the chapter discussed are very important for me to know. For example, we talked about how toddlers master all the motor development skills such as to roll over, sit down without support, crawl and stand, and walk without support. After that, they move to the Early Childhood stage, when they begin to get curious, question things, and develop new socialization experiences through peers at their schools. Around this time, I observed that children tend to play associatively and cooperatively. While those two types of playstyles are very common, something that really stands out to me is the same-gender playmates. Up until I entered the counseling program and took a course in lifespan development, I never thought much about how children tend to play with other children of the same gender. The thing that I enjoyed the most about this chapter is that we emphasized the importance of teaching children how to safely express their feelings by using words instead of actions.

            Another class discussion that resonates with me a lot is the chapter on Multicultural Counseling. As counselors, we have to connect with our clients to get to know them at a deep level. Since not all clients share the same cultural/ethnic background, we have to take their backgrounds into consideration to identify special needs and solutions to their issues. Since I went to a PWI as an undergraduate and now graduate school, I can say that it can be a challenging experience for some minority students. Many times, I am the only Asian (or sometimes a person of color) in the organizations that I am involved with, but I still made a lot of good memories and friendships from those experiences. While I personally have not faced any forms of discrimination on my college campus, other minority students and groups are not as lucky as I am. There have been instances of racism that were aimed towards minority student organizations on Longwood’s campus in the past few years. While the university claimed that they have tried their best to resolve the problem, the student body is still not satisfied. A lot of the issues start from the competencies of the university officials and the lack of diversity within faculty/staff members. While a lot of the staff members did their best work with what they were given with, some other staff members do not see that some students need more assistance than others.

            Finally, the last chapter that I really enjoyed so far is the Advocacy chapter; specifically, the Advocacy Group Assignment. In the assignment, a student was bullied by other students at school because of her disabilities. She uses a wheelchair and faces accessibility issues since her school is old and does not have the assisted doors on bathrooms nor elevators. The school administrators asked students to volunteer to help Mila with her bathrooms needs, which turned out to be a bad decision because that is when the bullying started. They used Mila as an opportunity to wander around the hallway during class time instead of taking her to where she needed to go. The situation would only get worse as she gets to college and brings this trauma with her with the fear that she will face the same issues in college. During the exercise, my group discussed that Mila is marginalized, while other non-disabled students are privileged. Since she has been bullied by her peers since middle school, the fact that she is afraid to speak out is understandable. There are many ways that we can help her overcome her fears of being bullied once she arrives at college. For example, we can let her know that technologies on college campuses are much more advanced to appropriately accommodate individuals with special needs. Also, college students are much more mature than high school students, and they would be happy to help her is she needs any help. The biggest takeaway that I picked up from this chapter is that there are people out there who are not as privileged as I am, so it is my duty to advocate for those people and be a voice of support if they ever need me.

Self-care Plan

Graduate education can get very challenging and tiring at times, so it is important that students/future counselors take good care of themselves. We all have our own self-care plans that can be very unique because not all of us are the same. In my case, my self-care plan can be divided into three sections. They are recreational/fun, physical health, and mental health. For the recreational/fun section, some of my activities include spending time with friends, playing some video games, and doing other things that I enjoy doing for fun. I believe that, when I have the free time to take my mind off my work and do something I enjoy, I will be a lot more productive when I get back to my schoolwork. After that, some of the things that I do to take care of myself physically include going to the gym, sleeping, eating healthy, and maintaining my hygiene. If I can properly take care of myself physically, then my body will feel much better, and I will be able to get work done more effectively. Then, some of the things that I can do to take care of myself mentally include taking breaks, asking for help when I need it (help with classwork for example), and giving myself one day off per week (when I do not have to worry about classwork). Being a graduate student and working at the same time is not an easy task, so it is important that I give myself a break once in awhile to help my body recharge.

Position Statement 2

After almost two semesters in the counseling program (college counseling & student affairs), I am really enjoying the time with the department and I learned a lot about myself as well. When I applied for the program, my goal was to get a job as a student affairs staff member at a university, specifically in Greek Life, or in Student Success. While my goal is still to become a student affairs worker, I have developed some interests in the early childhood development area. After I took the Lifespan Development course last summer, and during my current job with the Andy Taylor Center for Early Childhood Development, I learned that toddlerhood/childhood development can be very interesting, and I definitely would love to look more into that in the future. Currently, I am still very interested in pursuing a career in student affairs, and not much has changed. I would like to get more involved with the Graduate Student Association (GSA) at Longwood to make more connections and to get more involved with other graduate students and staff. The only challenge that I am facing right now is the amount of reading that I have to complete. Since English is not my first language, I always take longer than my peers to read the materials, but I am trying my best with that for now, and it is working fairly well. In the spring, I am going to take a practicum course for student affairs. I am hoping to work with another department at Longwood such as residence life, or student engagement, to gain more experience and get to know Longwood better. As of now, my goal after completing my master’s degree is to hopefully get a job here at Longwood because I love this place and I do not want to leave yet. After a few years of working for Longwood, I will be trying to find another student affairs job at a bigger school to continue learning and widening my knowledge and skills in the field.

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