1. I was born and raised in Seoul, South Korea—home of Samsung, LG, Hyundai, Kia, BlackPink, and BTS. I lived there for most of my life before I moved to the United States to start a new life. I studied chemistry at Yonsei University, which is one of the top 3 schools in South Korea known as the “SKY” universities which stands for Seoul National University, Korea University, and Yonsei University. The school has roots dating back to 1885 and was founded by international Christian missionaries who set up institutions in Seoul. Yonsei’s motto is VERITAS VOS LIBERABIT, which means, “the truth will set you free.”
2. I love languages and can speak 4 different languages: Korean, English, Japanese, and Chinese.
3. I have two Korean yoga certificates—Master Healer and Power Brain Method Trainer—and traveled to Canada for a yoga/meditation trip.
4. I worked with several organizations while I was a college student as part of their consumer advisory boards including Seoul City, Shinsegae Department Store (one of the most luxury department stores in South Korea, owned by Samsung), Hankook Cosmetics, Christian Broadcasting System (CBS), and Lotte Confectionery. While I was with Lotte Confectionery, I was one of their taste testers and created a new brand name, Eclipse, for one of their products. This small achievement led to some interviews in newspapers, which led to a fellowship program for a marketing agency called Sangam, where I could work with various global brands including P&G, Cartier, and Asiana Airlines.
5. When I was a junior in college, I tutored math, English, and chemistry so that I could save up money for a solo backpacking trip to Europe. I traveled to England, Hungary, Switzerland, France, Italy, and Germany. That trip changed my life and has changed my whole life perspective. After I graduated, I was fortunate enough to visit Canada, Russia, Japan, China, U.S., Malaysia, Hong Kong, and the Czech Republic for business and leisure.
6. After I graduated from college, I got a job working in soccer for the K-League, which is the top professional soccer league in South Korea and had the opportunity to work at the 2002 FIFA World Cup hosted by Korea/Japan. Four years later, I also went to Germany for the 2006 FIFA World Cup and visited the Bundesliga (the top professional soccer league in Germany) and some of its teams including Berlin FC and Bayern Munich. It was a great experience to learn from one of the top soccer leagues in the world. I also used to be the PA announcer for international soccer tournaments and had the opportunity to watch a 22-year-old Cristiano Ronaldo play for Manchester United against FC Seoul.
7. I once appeared in a TV commercial for Honda Accord in South Korea. Normally they cast famous celebrities to use in commercials and advertisements for various products, but they decided to use everyday people for their new concept. One of my connections from my time as a sports marketer for the K-League thought of me and recommended me for one of their commercials!
8. After several years in the K-League, I decided to take a gap year to take a break from work and find a new direction in my life. During my gap year, I taught English, leadership, and public speaking to elementary and middle school children. The universe brought me to different parts of the world and I ended up living in New Jersey for a few months. While I was there, I also had the opportunity to perform at Radio City Music Hall in New York City as part of a Korean martial arts demonstration group. After some time and lots of reflection, I decided that I would go back to school and earned my M.B.A., M.S. in sports management, and Ph.D. in management at UMass Amherst.
9. Before I came to Siena College, I worked for Chivas USA, which is now a defunct soccer team of Major League Soccer. I was brought on as a project manager for their Korean Heritage Night for a game against the Vancouver Whitecaps, who had a Korean soccer player, Youngpyo Lee, on their team. Even though it was a brief time in my life, I’m grateful that I had the opportunity to live in L.A. and watch David Beckham play for the L.A. Galaxy.
10. I have one older sister and one younger sister, and they are my number one fans, travel buddies, and soulmates.