Life lessons from a 20-something

Making sense of a nomad life

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In light of the “Emily in Paris” debacle (a 20-something American comes to Paris and tries to teach Parisians how to live), here’s how I actually made the most of my time abroad.

Digital Media, Culture and Society Series

Why the #GirlPower trope in advertising and popular culture is not helping feminism.

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We are living in an age where feminism has become ‘popular’, that is, in pop culture, social media and politics, feminist discourse has become increasingly prevalent and feminism has become a kind of “cultural capital” (Rottenberg 2019: 41). “Feminism” is no longer a controversial stance — Hollywood stars like Emma Watson and Beyonce have proudly announced that they are feminists, and big brands like Dove and Always have declared their support of women’s empowerment. …

Digital Media, Culture and Society Series

After 10 years using Google services, here’s what I learned about surveillance capitalism

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In January 2020, Alphabet Inc., Google’s parent company, became the third technology company in the world to reach a market capitalisation of 1 trillion US Dollars (Swartz 2020), only following Apple and Microsoft. However, unlike its two rivals, most of Google’s user-facing services — including the two most popular websites in the world, Google Search and YouTube (, n.d.) — are free. Instead of charging users to use its services, Google reached its trillion-dollar status through advertising — the company reported 134.84 billion US Dollars in global advertising revenue in 2019 (, n.d.). Google is transparent about this fact, stating…

Digital Media, Culture and Society Series

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Google, the third most valuable company in the world, made two major business deals that brought the term “health data” to the world’s top concern in 2019. In November 2019, Google announced that it would acquire Fitbit (Osterloh 2019), a health technology company selling wearable activity trackers and accompanying software that allow users to track their heart rates, step count, sleep patterns, and manually log other health data such as food and water intake, weight, and menstrual cycles. …

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At first glance, digital nomads may look like they have the dream job. They travel around the world and work remotely from a beach, plane, or alpine resort with the help of digital tools. They’re never stuck with the 9–5, which allows them to visit exotic places and experience new things every day.

Life lessons from a 20-something

Stories from a first-time people manager

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My biggest leadership challenge came to me when I was 23 years old when I became the youngest person to ever become a Design Lead in a 2,500-people company. All of a sudden, I was managing a team of 10, all of whom were older and more experienced than I was.

Growth lessons from a people manager

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One of the greatest privileges I’ve had in my career so far was the opportunity to mentor young marketers, most of them fresh graduates in their early twenties. After a few years, I could name certain favorites who had incredible strengths in character that helped me grow as a mentor, and also, names that come with dread when mentioned. I wanted to help them learn and grow, but no matter how much I tried with logic and reason, these mentees weren’t getting there.

Advice from a hiring manager, who learned this the hard way so you don’t have to.

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Once upon a time, there was a young, first-time hiring manager who was wowed by “sparkling” responses by candidates during their first interviews only to be disappointed by their attitude and performances later. Here are some of those stories.

Being too busy

Being busy is often…

Having a professional mentor will change your career trajectory.
Having a professional mentor will change your career trajectory.
Photo by Nik MacMillan on Unsplash

My husband recently applied to graduate school, and in the process, he had to ask for recommendations from his teachers and managers. Since I had just gone through the process a few months earlier, he asked me: “How do you know which person to ask?”

Orginal story by Chi Ngô, for

“Bao giờ có con” — câu hỏi muôn thưở mà người phụ nữ nào cũng từng phải nghe.

“Bao giờ sinh con?” — Nếu bạn như tôi, một 9x đời đầu đã lập gia đình, chắc cũng từng một lần nghe câu hỏi này. Mỗi lần gặp bố mẹ, bạn bè, họ hàng, người quen, hay các cô bác hàng xóm chỉ quen biết sơ sơ, câu hỏi này luôn được dùng để mở đầu câu chuyện. Bị hỏi nhiều đến nỗi, dạo gần đây tôi bắt đầu tự hỏi bản thân: “Mình có bình thường không?” khi thấy sợ hãi mỗi lần nghe nhắc chuyện con cái.

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Hoá ra, đó…

Chi Ngo

Content Strategist | Chevening Scholar 19–20 | Building People-centric Startups

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