Today, I am approaching the end of my seventh week here in South Korea. I still remember the first article I wrote almost 6 weeks ago now, and I can’t believe how time has flown by since then. Tomorrow will be the last day of my internship at DIOKOS and KoreaAgain.
Without a doubt, I can say that the time I’ve spent in Korea this summer has truly changed my life. I’m thinking back to when I was still in Los Angeles, about to board my flight bound for Incheon International Airport. I couldn’t help but feel nervous. I would be spending close to 2 months in Seoul, and this would be the longest time I would ever be abroad. There was so much uncertainty, and so many “what ifs” that only time and experience could provide the answer to.
Not to mention, working for DIOKOS and KoreaAgain would also be my first ever internship! I would be navigating my first real world work experience in a foreign country. But from the beginning, on my very first day at the office, Danny gave the warmest welcome to both me and Patrick, my fellow intern and USC student. His immediate compassion to the both of us made any of my fears dissolve instantly.
Before we joined the company, Danny emphasized that it was his priority to give us work that would be fruitful for us and relevant towards our passions, talents, and career interests. At the same time, he mentioned that he wanted us to enjoy our time in Korea as much as possible and that all of our experiences here could be used for content. A lot of what is posted on our platforms comes from the wonderful memories we collected during our time here, and I’m so glad to have documented these moments through our company.
In our early weeks here, it was just Danny, Patrick, and I in the office. As a small team, Patrick and I had the privilege of being able to learn from Danny directly and collaborate on DIOKOS and KoreaAgain’s projects.
On some days, this meant we could go cafe hopping or to different universities for work! On others, he even let me visit a Korean occupational therapy practice in Suwon to observe my future practice in an international setting.
Knowing that I was coming into a supportive space every time I came into work made my transition to life here in Korea seamless. I felt comfortable trying new things and truly pushing myself to learn skills that I never would have anticipated. Whether it was putting my videography or camera skills to the test, following the latest trends to curate content and manage our social media platforms, or using Premiere Pro software to edit our content.
Danny created a safe work environment that encouraged Patrick and I to communicate our different ideas with him. I was thankful for the trust he had in me, and as a non-business or marketing major, the fact that he was willing to take a chance on me.
Getting to know Danny, learning from him, and hearing his stories and advice have been absolutely invaluable during my time here. His life story is one that I am in awe of, and it is something that inspires me and gives me the confidence to pursue dreams of my own. As someone who was scared to go abroad for work, Danny always made sure to look out for me and constantly emphasized that he was here for me, and whatever I needed. I felt taken care of here, and for that, I will always be grateful to him.
As for the interns who later joined our DIOKOS family, Charmaine, Dillon, Alana, and Josh, it was so fun to be able to work as a team together and learn from one another. As a team of 6, the workspace became even more dynamic than it already was. From exchanging culture, and our own personal life experiences, and supporting one another as best as we could, I felt proud to work alongside them and create the projects we envisioned for our company.
From my time and experiences here in Seoul, not only do I feel like I’ve grown when it comes to professionalism, but I know that I’ve learned a lot about myself as a person. From commuting across Seoul and to neighboring cities, communicating in a language that I am not fluent in, budgeting my finances appropriately, and exploring this beautiful country on my own.
I am proud of the adaptability, independence, and resilience I’ve now gained upon my departure.
The first few weeks I came to Korea, it felt incredibly surreal to be working and living in a different country. But now, as I have less than a week left in this country, that same feeling is returning. Just as I feel like I’ve gotten used to life abroad, it’s time for me to pack up my things and head home.
During my final week here, I am filled with nothing but contentment and utmost gratitude. Thank you, to my fellow interns who made this experience unforgettable. To Danny, thank you for your unwavering support while I embarked on this journey of a lifetime, and for sharing your wisdom. This city has welcomed me with open arms, and the memories I’ve made here in Seoul will be some that I hold with me for the rest of my life. With everything I’ve learned and experienced in Seoul, I feel ready to face life’s next chapter.