Tam Nguyen

Tam Nguyen

President & Co-owner

Advance Beauty College

Garden Grove, CA USA

Hard work is the difference-maker. I believe in taking the stairs—there’s no elevator in life.


By Roadtrip Nation

Tam Nguyen


My road in life took a while to figure out.
I was born in Vietnam and came to the U.S. at the age of one when the Vietnam War ended—my mother and I were separated from my father, then reunited by the American Red Cross after three months.
We were incredibly poor growing up, but my parents worked seven days a week to be able to pay for my education and set me up for a better life.
My parents had always expected me to become a doctor, so I got my bachelor’s degree in biological sciences and then went to medical school.
When I finished medical school with my Doctor of Medicine degree, I realized that I wasn’t truly happy because I did it for my parents, not for myself.
I faced my fear of disappointing my parents, made a career change, and pursued an MBA—it was the first time I felt truly happy and fulfilled by what I was doing.
After receiving my MBA, I tried a few different business ventures before settling into the family business.
I now serve as president and co-owner for my family business, Advance Beauty College—an accredited private beauty college that trains in nails, skin, and hair.
In addition to running Advance Beauty College, I teach a business management class part time at California State University, Fullerton—my alma mater!
Keep following my journey


President & Co-owner

I handle the external operations for an accredited private beauty college.

Career Roadmap

My work combines:
My work combines:
Helping People

Day to Day

My day-to-day responsibilities vary. Some typical activities include going to a handful of business meetings, reaching out to mentors in the community, and improving relationships in my network. I handle the external roles for my family business, such as community government relations, bringing in new vendors, working on business development, and real estate investments. I also teach a business management course one day per week at California State University, Fullerton.

Advice for Getting Started

Here's the first step for everyone

Seek out different mentors to offer support and guidance in all areas of your life. They'll help you break down your own mental barriers and build your confidence so that you can be a better leader.


The Noise I Shed

From Parents:

"You have to be a doctor."

Challenges I Overcame

First-Generation Immigrant
Family Stress

Interviewed By

CSUF Roadtrip

CSUF Roadtrip

California State University, Fullerton students and alumni