Student Spotlight Interview with Phim
CORE: Introduce yourself!
PHIM: I’m 26 years old. Born and raised in Philadelphia. I went to Mastery Charter school.
CORE: What are you studying and why did you choose it?
PHIM: I’m studying accounting. Mostly because I’m good at math, originally I was an architecture major but then I took a year off and had to rethink what I wanted to do and how to repay my student loans. I didn’t feel like going to school at that time. I lost my motivation. I took a year off to give myself time to actually think about what I wanted to do to make my time and effort worthwhile. I didn’t want to waste time on something I didn’t aspire to commit to.
CORE: What was your year off like? How did you decide you wanted to do what you’re doing now?
PHIM:It was hard. I’m the oldest in my family. There’s a lot of pressure to always do well since my younger siblings look up to me. There is this whole persona that I have to be – the good older sibling, I have to lead by example. It’s a lot of pressure, the expectations of my parents. It pushes me to give it my all but there are times when I ask myself, is this what I want or am I doing it for my parents? At the end of the day, as long as my efforts are recognized and acknowledged by my parents, that’s all I can ask for. Accounting was something my mom actually suggested as another option. I gave it a try and ended up loving it. I can actually see myself waking up everyday and wanting to go to work instead of dreading it.
CORE: What helped you get through that year?
PHIM:I’ve always surrounded myself with positive people that knew what they wanted in life, but we can also relate because they’re going through the same struggles. Having that supportive base to fall back on is something that really helped me. But there were times when I just liked being alone, running through my thoughts and creating pros and cons lists. This is one of those things where you know…if it’s for you it’s for you, and if it’s not it’s important to work on finding something that is. It’s all trial and error for me.
CORE: Who is your biggest supporter?
PHIM: My mom. I was brought up in a very sheltered and protective household. Growing up there were times when I felt like she let me be independent and times she was scared to let go of my hand. As I’ve gotten more independent she’s been able to let go of my hand little by little. Me growing up and facing some hardships was the reassurance she needed to let go but I’m still her little girl. She will always be there to support me in whatever I do. I can feel that she trusts me to make my own actions and mistakes but she’ll always be there to give me advice if I need it.
CORE: What drives you to make it in life?
PHIM: Waking up everyday and thinking about how I’m lucky to still be alive and how I can become a better person than who I was yesterday. That mentality drives me. The real world is different from school, being able to mentally and physically prepare yourself is something you work at little by little everyday. Being prepared and having that positive mentality is something that really helped me. I have to give it my best and when I feel totally burnt out and exhausted I just take the day off and the next day come at it with a different approach. If one way doesn’t work take a step back, look at it again, approach it a different way, and keep a positive mind. Definitely keep a positive mind.
CORE: Where to you see yourself in 10 years from now?
PHIM:By then I’ll have my CPA. I don’t know. Either making it to partner level or branching out to do my own thing and open my own firm. Probably live in a different state but we’ll see what happens.
CORE: How do you feel about the opportunities CORE Scholarship gives to students?
PHIM: I think it’s probably one of the most helpful resources I’ve ever come across. Back when I was still in high school there was this mentality that the people who go to college are the ones that can afford it and the people that didn’t couldn’t afford it. Having this resource and people that advocate for the importance of higher education is really important. I see more people wanting to go to college and doing what they can to make it work, that’s really encouraging. Having different resources to help reach that goal is really important.
CORE: Any advice for students?
PHIM: For students who are in the middle of their studies: Be patient. That’s one thing I can really advocate for. Be patient. Things will work out. Don’t be afraid to try new things. Do something that makes your happy. Surround yourself with good people that will push you to be the best and will also talk some sense into you.