As I’m writing this article, it marks my eleventh day in Seoul, South Korea. Here, I am currently a Marketing Intern for KoreaAgain, a subsidiary of DIOKOS Inc. The very act of writing these words feels surreal. As a native of Southern California, I am half away across the globe and experiencing independence in a foreign country for the first time. For about two months this summer, I’m going to embark on the experience of a lifetime as I navigate the international workforce in Korea and immerse myself in the nation’s beautiful culture.
You might be wondering how I found myself here, and why I chose to intern abroad. Today, I’m eager to share those answers and provide an insider’s view of my first few days as a foreign intern in Seoul!
At the University of Southern California in Los Angeles, California, I am a third year undergraduate Occupational Therapy student with an emphasis in International Health and Development. My passion lies in promoting wellbeing and enhancing the quality of life for individuals of all backgrounds and age groups through activities of daily living.
These interests have always made me curious to learn more about how this would be applied across different cultures around the world. Thanks to a program offered at my University and sponsorship from CRCC Asia, I was able to make what was once a dream become reality.
You might be wondering— what is the connection between Occupational Therapy, a health profession, and Marketing? You see, the two fields share the same goal of understanding the needs of their target audience and developing strategies to empower them. Specifically at KoreaAgain, I am creating content for a company that serves as the premiere hub to guide foreigners looking to study and work here in South Korea! Just like this company, I too pride myself on my passion for helping others. Through KoreaAgain, I am thrilled to provide an exceptional and fulfilling experience for individuals seeking to work and study in Seoul.
I would have never imagined that I would get to collaborate and work closely with the CEO of an international startup. In my first week as a foreigner intern, I can confidently say I have already gained an abundance of knowledge and skills. From learning to use high-end cameras to capture photographs of my CEO during visits to a Korean middle school and national forum, to conducting a professional interview and editing it using specialized software, and even sitting in meetings with cross national clientele, I feel immensely grateful for the invaluable experiences and opportunities I’ve had so far.
If you’re thinking about coming to Korea to intern abroad, take this as your sign to go for it! While you gain exposure to the South Korean professional workforce, you might:
1. Strengthen and develop your skills! Collaborating with international clients and working alongside professionals from diverse backgrounds will help you grow as a global leader. By supporting their goals, you will find your own unique voice in the international workforce, enhance your communication, and gain expertise solving diverse problems.
2. Develop cross cultural adaptability. Working in a foreign professional environment exposes you to a different culture and
social norms. Being abroad gives you the chance to view your desired field through a Korean lens. By observing Korean business etiquette and growing familiar with the work norms prevalent in Korean culture, this distinct global perspective is sure to give you an edge in your career ventures.
3. Make international connections! By working in Korea as a foreigner, this is your chance to network with global professionals, fellow interns, and industry leaders. Cultivating these relationships are beneficial, as you never know what doors can be opened for you as a result.
As the premiere portal for foreigners seeking to come to this country, KoreaAgain is here as a resource to support you on this journey. It has only been a little over a week, and I’ve had the chance to try delicious new foods, immerse myself in the latest fashion and beauty trends, gain a deeper understanding of the rich history of this country, and as a certified BTS Army, marvel at the global impact of K-pop and its dedicated fanbase around the world. I can’t help but feel excited for everything that is to come. I can only imagine the adventures that the rest of the summer has in store for me.