Vietnamese college student interested in design to join global competition in US

She started with Microsoft Paint and Adobe Photoshop out of the desire to emulate posters of the South Korean pop culture figures whom she used to admire

Nguyen Tran Thao Nguyen (R) speaks at an awards ceremony of the national round of the Adobe Certified Associate World Championship in Vietnam, in this provided photo.

A Vietnamese student having a zeal for computer-based design is readying herself for a global graphic design contest in late July.

Nguyen Tran Thao Nguyen won the first prize from the national round of the Adobe Certified Associate World Championship (ACA) and will represent Vietnam to participate in the international competition scheduled for end-July in the U.S. city of Orlando, Florida.

This is the first time the Southeast Asian country has sent a contender to ACA – which tests contestants’ design skills using Adobe Photoshop, Illustrator and InDesign.

Nguyen, a junior at the Ho Chi Minh City Post and Telecommunications Institute of Technology – a renowned university in Vietnam, developed a liking for drawing and model making on the computer at an early age.

In grade eight, Nguyen was captivated by posters of the South Korean popular-music singers she idolized, so much so that she began creating similar products with Microsoft Paint and then downloaded Adobe Photoshop for further experimentation.

“At the time, I didn’t know what I was doing is called design and didn’t have the faintest idea of it,” she recalled.

Encouraged by positive feedback on the creations, Nguyen grew increasingly interested in design and take orders for free.

“My mom asked me why I was all the time sitting by the computer. But she supported me after listening to explanations on my products.”

In high school, the student played a crucial role in painting backdrops for school musical performances, and won praise from peers and friends for her elegant presentation slides.

As a third-year student in multimedia design at the university, Nguyen has taken up the job of making leaflets, catalogues, and advertising banners for a company on a monthly basis, and become financially independent in a country where many college students, particularly freshmen and sophomores, tend to rely on their family for support for living and learning costs.

Despite the commitment, she has achieved a notable academic performance over all the semesters.

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