1. When did you graduate and what was your major?
My name is Ha Eun Choi and I am an alumna of George Mason University. I majored in Global Affairs and minored in international security.
2. Can you briefly introduce the company that you will be working for? If applicable, please also describe your current job and briefly explain what you do.
The organization that I will work for is the United Nations Project Office on Governance (UNPOG) located in Songdo. This is part of the Division for Public Institutions and Digital Government (DPIDG) of the United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs (UNDESA). UNPOG primarily aims to strengthen public governance capacities to help develop the Member States in Asia and the Pacific and beyond to achieve the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development through various projects. I will be contributing to this process as an intern and work on those projects collaboratively and learn about public governance.
3. In what ways did Mason Korea and its quality of education help you land this job or help you get adjusted to it?
I have dreamed of working at the United Nations since I was young. To work at the United Nations, I realized that having proficient English skills and study abroad experience would be helpful. This is why I enrolled in Mason Korea and now I am more certain than ever that my choice was truly worthy.
I was able to hone my English skills over my three and a half years at Mason Korea. Because I didn’t have any study abroad experience prior to entering Mason Korea, I started my freshman year with the Patriot Plus Program (PPP) curriculum to work on my English skills. The PPP professors helped me study in a calm and orderly way and visiting the university's writing center as often as I could really helped improve my writing skills. The whole process boosted my confidence in my English skills.
I began participating in school activities in my sophomore year, starting with The Voice, the school newspaper. As a staff writer, I learned how to effectively write journal articles while writing 10 monthly articles over a year and a half. Next I joined Asian Boss Next, a youth media platform of Asian Boss. By interviewing people, editing videos, and adding subtitles, I learned about online media platforms and new cultures and perspectives around the world. Another eye-opening experience was working as a student fellow with the Center for Security Policy Studies Korea (CSPS-Korea) directed by Professor Soyoung Kwon. This was an academic awakening for me through endless meetings and discussions with various think tanks and helping organize an international symposium. Furthermore, it also led to great relationships with faculty and students. I highly recommend students to pursue the fellowship. Finally, my one year at the Fairfax campus in my junior year allowed me to meet diverse friends and learn about different cultures. I participated in a language exchange program and also worked as a student assistant.
Internships are a very important stepping stone. My first internship was with the Olympic Broadcasting Services (OBS) at the 2018 Pyeongchang Olympic Games. GMUK was assigned to one of the universities that OBS wanted. It was a once-in-a-lifetime experience and I had the chance to meet wonderful colleagues. I also worked as a student intern at Mason Korea for a semester, where I learned how to handle administrative tasks and conduct various events.
I was able to obtain these great opportunities through the help of Sangyong Lee, Director of Mason Korea’s Career Development Center (CDC). He helped me with my resume and cover letter, and provided numerous consultations. I also learned about the UNPOG program through an email from the CDC. Getting career-related support is one of the best privileges for Mason Korea students.
4. What advice do you have for Mason Korea students? Feel free to share tips on how to get a job or how to spend one’s years at Mason Korea wisely.
My hope is that all Mason Korea students know how privileged they are with all the opportunities presented to them. I want to tell fellow Patriots to seize every opportunity with confidence. Despite the fact that I didn’t start off with perfect English skills, I was able to achieve academic excellence through the help of my professors and the various student activities I joined. And now I am closer to my dreams and working as an official intern of the United Nations. There are already many opportunities around you; just try to do your best with confidence!
September 10, 2020