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Meet Tran Dan Chi - a talented Freshman at New York University

Post by: trangtrang | 23/05/2020 | 353 reads

Reporter: Thank you, Tran Dan Chi, for taking your time to have an interview with Ams Wide Web, and congratulations on becoming a part of New York University!  Can you share how you felt when you received the acceptance news from New York University (NYU)?

Dan Chi (DC): That night, NYU announced the result at four in the morning, and I stayed up all night trying to do everything I can to get it off my mind. While checking the result at four o’clock, I was already so tired that when I saw the word "Admitted", I just sighed with relief and turned off the device to go to sleep.

It was until the next morning that I decided to check again and share the joyful news with my family. That day, I was absolutely thrilled, my only regret was that I couldn't meet my friends at school due to the pandemic lockdown.


A day in the life of Tran Dan Chi in his white uniform.

Reporter: Why did you choose NYU as a "stopover" for the next four years? Which major will you pursue and do you have any plans to continue developing yourself after graduation? 

DC: While I was in elementary, I fell in love with NYU after going to New York, and I slowly fell in love with this city. From then on, I did everything with NYU in mind as my destination; especially when NYU has the best Media industry education in the world, which is also the major that I chose due to my love for film and arts as a child. I knew that I wanted to work in the film industry, so after finishing university, I planned to start producing and gaining experience in Media before deciding what’s the next step.


He shines on the stage of English Performance 

Reporter: During the application process, what was the most difficult time? How did you get over it?

DC: I found these two times the most challenging: the first one was while writing the application sub-essays: each school has its own sub-essays and, objectively speaking, not every school that I applied to was due to my "love for the school", but simply because of the school’s good reputation or the quality of the field that I intended to study. So there were essays that I didn’t really like or didn’t have the inspiration to write, which really slowed down the whole process.

The second time that I found difficult was the process of waiting for the results. When you are still writing, you can still submit, so everything is still under your control. But when the deadline was over, everything was up to the school’s decision. In addition, my friends getting admitted to more prestigious schools can make me feel pressured, or worst of all, my friends failed and made both them and I feel hopeless. Fortunately, I didn't have to experience the "rejected" feeling before getting the NYU results, but I was still extremely worried because I kept thinking "Should've done a better essay", "Should’ve edited your CV even more ”, etc. It was entirely up to my family and friends who were in the same situation and were able to sympathize, motivate, or help me that really relieved the stress I had while waiting for the results.

Reporter: Which extracurricular activities were most meaningful to you? In your opinion, is it necessary to set up a project or take part in international activities in order to impress admissions officers?

DC: My extracurricular activities were very much related to my chosen field: at school, I was the actor, Music Director and one of the directors of the ‘English Performance 19: Facade’ musical - one of my most proud and cherished memories and achievements; outside of school, I mainly worked in short films and documentaries at the TPD center, taking up editing, filming, and working on music videos for a number of bands and artists, mainly to gain experience and get in touch with people who are professional in their fields, not limiting myself to non-profit or student-run projects. Additionally, I also studied a lot of musical instruments, and in the summer of 2018, I was nominated to attend a film-making summer camp in Korea at Dong-Ah Art University, which was a very special experience.

The extracurricular activity that I found most meaningful was the documentary film I made about my grandmother, which was also the content of my personal essay. It was a project I worked on from beginning to end alone and more importantly, stems from my own emotional and personal reasons, with no intention or purpose of "studying abroad" at all. That documentary was my "brainchild", and fortunately it became the premise of my application profile, a decision I made only after the film won several small film festival awards in Ha Noi during July and August, and I also realized that the admissions committee could also relate to the meanings behind the movie.

I personally find that setting up a project or participating in an international activity does not make sense if you do it to "polish your profile", not stemming from the bottom of your heart. It might be nicer to write in your resume, but a resume is only three pages long, and if that project or activity doesn't mean anything to you, it's just meaningless words about something that you did not invest so much time or spirit in, and the recruiters will immediately see through it. People don't necessarily have to create something that will impress, just do what you love and spend a lot of time perfecting it, and the school will decide if you’re a good fit for them.


Tran Dan Chi and his Teen FILMmakers’ filmmaking class at TPD centre

Reporter: In your opinion, what made your enrollment application stand out and convinced the admissions committee to accept you into NYU?

DC: I'm not sure, because I don't think my profile is that ‘special’, but if I had to choose a reason, I think it was due to my creativity and dedication to all of my activities. For example, making the music for English Performance, which was an extremely difficult process; I spent 5-7 hours composing music every day, learned new instruments to put in the soundtrack, went out recording with my friends until late at night just to have a perfect night on stage; or the short films I made, I also had to call for funding, find a crew, survey the filming location a month before the shooting, shot the film, then the editing and color adjustment added another extra month, just for a 9 minutes film.

I absolutely love what I do (music and film), and I work on projects led by professionals who are working for a living rather than just accumulating experience so that I can experience the stressful working environment and then realize my drawbacks and understand my place in society and in my chosen field: I was nothing. The fact that I built my application around that helped my profile to become more comprehensive, and I think that’s what made me stand out from the rest.

Reporter: Do you have any advices for the students who are going to apply for next year's course?

DC: Do not be scared. The application process is an extremely challenging experience, but it is also extremely valuable. You get to look back on what you did, understand yourself better, understand the strengths, the weaknesses, and the person you want to become. You will also feel more attached to your companions and appreciate your parents' efforts in enabling you to study abroad, creating new motivation for your success in the future.

And also, whether you get admitted to the school you want or not, don't be sad: you have a whole life ahead of you to decide who you want to become, the rank or reputation of the school is just a temporary criteria at the age of 18. As long as you are happy with the place you decided to spend the next four years and that you always have the will to go on after the application process is over. Always find a reason to have fun

Reporter: Thank you for taking the time to have an interview with Ams Wide Web. On behalf of the editorial board, congratulations on officially becoming a freshman at New York University, and we wish you all the success in your next projects!

New York University was founded in 1831, based in New York City, New York State, USA. According to US News, the school is among the top 29 best universities in the United States, with an acceptance rate of only about 20%.

NYU graduates have won a total of thirty-six Nobel Prizes, three Turing Awards, and over thirty US National Medals for Science, Technology and Innovation, Arts and Humanities, more than thirty Pulitzer Prizes, over thirty Oscars, along with several Russ, Gordon, Draper and Fields medals, as well as dozens of Emmy, Grammy and Tony Awards.

NYU has more alumni who won an Oscar than any other university. Many NYU alumni are among the richest people in the world, including seventeen billionaires who are currently alive.

Reporter: Pham Minh Anh - Literature 1821

Translator: Le Minh Ha - English 2 1922