Success Stories

Yulia Lee (Intern at KPMG, Accounting)

I graduated in December of 2017 in Accounting. I work at KPMG in Tysons Corner, Virginia where I completed my internship from Jan of 2018 to May 2018 and received a full-time offer at the end of the internship. It was a pretty competitive internship because I was the only intern that received a full-time offer. I work in the Tax department and focus on doing taxes that comply with international tax regulations since we focus on clients that do businesses outside of the US.

I am happy to advise to other fellow students to really look and seize opportunities that will help their careers. If you are looking for a company that will sponsor work visas (like I was), definitely do not be scared to apply to big companies because they are more likely to do more visa sponsorship. Use Hiremason since recruiters that post on that site are specifically looking to hire students from George Mason University. Go to career services that will help you make your resume to look presentable and attractive since your resume is the initial tool to make companies call you for an interview.

Once you have your interview scheduled, go to career services and schedule “mock” interviews so that you can improve on your interview skills. Interview skills are crucial in helping you to secure a job. Having a presentable and attractive resume is important for you to initially secure you the interview, but having good interview skills is just as important. Lastly, building connections and networking can also really open up opportunities. Attending networking events and building connections is always a good way to meet new people in your field and also a chance to really know the works of your field by hearing other people’s experiences.

To add on to my advice to fellow students:

I am a Magna cum laude graduate in Accounting and I think my GPA really helped with my job offer as well (students in business schools should pursue a high GPA if they want to be considered into a Big 4 Firm).

Mingyu Kang (Intern at EY HanYoung & Pacific City Bank, Management)

Hello, my name is Mingyu (Mike) Kang. During my undergraduate, I was a management major and I have graduated in the spring of 2018. Right now, I am studying for the USCPA exam and am hoping to work in an organization where I can use my knowledge and skills. Prior to my studies, I have worked in EY HanYoung at the PAS (People Advisory Services) department, Pacific City Bank’s SAD (Special Assets Department), and Incheon Port Authority’s Locks-Gate Operation division. Most of my working experiences were related to Accounting or Finance.

While working for the PAS department at EY HanYoung, I assisted staff members in preparing Composite Income Tax (CIT) statements for inbound and outbound clients. In Pacific City Bank, I collected and prepared legal documents for reclaiming collaterals and security deposits from Small Business Administration (SBA) loans while updating the client’s transcript of accounts. Lastly, while working in the Locks-Gate Operation division in Incheon Port Authority, my main task was to organized all the IPA’s warehouse equipment data for preparing for the company’s financial statement.

During my studies at George Mason University, I was able to learn about corporations and their business environments. These studies helped me to understand the objectives of the tasks and processes during my internship work. However, what helped me the most was from the MIS and IT courses which taught me how to use office applications. For most of the internship jobs, I received information from George Mason University’s Career Development Services. Mason Korea has always been supportive towards students in getting internship jobs as they highly encourage students to obtain work experiences at their earlier stages in college. Especially for my US internship in Pacific City Bank, Mason Korea’s staff members made it easier for me to communicate with their HR manager and contact with the Office of International Programs and Services (OIPS) Department in Mason Fairfax to prepare my documents for the Curricular Practical Training (CPT) working visa.

To add on to my advice to fellow students:

Additions from its support to their job searching, Mason Korea’s Career Development Center provides great resources to prepare students to become a more competitive in the job market as they help students by revising resumes and cover letters.

Minseong Kang (Intern at SK Innovation, Management)

Minseong Kang, a Management sophomore, has recently finished his two-month internship at SK Innovation. SK Innovation is part of the SK group, one of the biggest conglomerates in South Korea. Minseong’s experience brings hope and inspiration to GMUK students, as Korean students, who make up the majority of the student body, one day hope to find themselves working for one of Korea’s globally renowned conglomerates. The Voice looked at what the internship was like to report on how students might be able to take part in what Minseong experienced.

Minseong’s journey began in early June, after being discharged from 21 months of obligatory military service. Returning to school as a second semester sophomore, he was wondering what he could do in the meantime till classes started again in the fall. Just in time, the Career Development Center (CDC) was looking for two GMUK students to work for SK Incheon Petrochem, an affiliate of SK Innovation. Without hesitating, he applied, hoping to test and stretch his abilities in one of Korea’s biggest conglomerates.

Minseong’s time at SK Innovation obviously came with hardships, as many male students would relate to their difficulties in returning to academic activities after their discharge. Especially, while working in the Finance team of the petrochemistry industry, he had to learn on the spot how to carry out tasks concerning financial management, fund usage, and foreign exchange exposure, although his only education in finance has been the ACCT 200-level course. Yet, he praised the company’s level of expertise and professionalism as he was able to learn in an environment with several talented Korean employees. Although his education before the internship was not sufficient to take him to a higher level in financial knowledge, he claims that he learned many soft skills, such as communications and how to socialize in a Korean company.

Each year, thousands of talented candidates from the most prestigious universities in Korea compete to work for the largest companies in Korea. It is common knowledge that most of the employees are chosen from Korea’s SKY universities or from the Ivy League. What is more, it is becoming increasingly difficult for humanities students to win out over natural sciences or engineering students in the race to get a foot in the company door. Despite all of this discouraging news, there is still hope. Minseong realized that those who do not have the objective advantages in their field are equipped with other skills, such as foreign languages. His fellow SK Innovation interns even advised lower classmen to attain certificates and licenses affiliated with the natural science or engineering sector. Whatever brings more skills to the table helps.

The lessons learned at SK Innovation from skilled employees taught him that while professional licenses and grades are most important, Minseong advises, borrowing the words from his senior employees, “what exceeds the physical qualifications is a serious thought about one’s career. While what I desire to do is among the important criteria, examining to see if the career I hope to pursue is promising or sustainable is a significant factor to consider when looking into the future.

-Cited from 2018 August Summer Vacation Issue by THE VOICE-

Hye Rin Yoon (Intern at Global Green Growth Institution (GGGI), Global Affairs)

Hye Rin Yoon, a GMUK Global Affairs and Psychology senior and currently working as an intern in the Global Green Growth Institution (GGGI), takes the front line for the Global Affairs students who aspire to be part of an international organization one day. A Global Affairs student working at a global organization shares her story of life at the GGGI through The Voice.

In May, following her time in Fairfax, Hye Rin began her work at GGGI, an intergovernmental organization that works with developed and developing countries to deliver sustainable growth projects. As a senior who will be graduating this year, Hye Rin was looking for an internship that would spark her career in the international field. Just as she was doing so, the Career Development Center informed the students about an internship at GGGI, and helped with the application process. Nonetheless, the process came with hardships. Hye Rin had to overcome her fear of the in-person interviews conducted during application process. She had to make sure to know more about the organization in advance, so she could present herself both professionally and authentically during the in-person interviews.

Winning through the tough interviews, Hye Rin now works in the human resources unit and Green Climate Fund Liaison Office. In the human resources unit, she helps her employer to brand the project by creating content for various media platforms. As for the liaison office, she assists in development project research and proposal organization for existing programs.

While most students find the Global Affairs major to be a broad realm, Hye Rin finds it depends on how one would narrow his or her concentration. In an interview with The Voice Hye Rin recommended, “Actively seek out for opportunities and research what is out there! Take advantage of all the resources around you – GMUK Career Center, your professors, your peers, job sites, online forums, etc. It is very important to find out what you like. However, it is just as important to find out what you don’t like. As you try different things, you get to learn about yourself more and more. Go at your own pace and enjoy the discovery process.”

-Cited from 2018 August Summer Vacation Issue by THE VOICE-

Yuna Kim (the Master’s Program at Graduate Institute, Geneva, Global Affairs)

Yuna Kim ’17 (Global Affairs), one of the first George Mason University Korea graduates, is heading for the Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies (IHEID) at Geneva in September 2018. This news is indeed dramatic and inspiring for patriot, since she is the first generation of the school. The Voice of GMUK celebrated her achievement and interviewed Kim about her time with Mason Korea and her journey to IHEID.

IHEID is a renowned graduate school in the field of international relations primarily due to its history and location. It is the oldest school of international relations in Europe and was the world’s first university dedicated to the field of international affairs. According to IHEID, “Today, Geneva hosts 30 international organizations, 250 international non-governmental organizations and 172 states represented by a permanent mission.” As the Graduate Institute, Geneva is located in a major international district, it has a close relationship with over one hundred international, non-governmental and private organizations in Geneva. There are numerous opportunities for students from all over the world to experience internships in NGOs and other international organizations.

Kim’s concentration was Global Governance here at Mason Korea. Yet, being the first generation of GMUK had made it hard for her to get necessary support for career development due to the lack of job educational systems. Therefore, she built her job experiences by directly appealing herself and her desires to internship positions at numerous companies and organizations. She also did not miss information that the Professors of Global Affairs provided to the students, and further participated in various international forums which had been held in Songdo. She could move one step closer to her dreams with passion and continuous efforts.

Along with her own efforts, she mentioned, “When I was preparing for the graduate school, I received huge help from professors at Mason Korea.” Her sincerity and continuous trials for her dream moved the professors’ minds positively. Especially, she has been working as a program assistant at GMUK with faculty who gave her essential advice. In addition, with advice and information from the GMUK faculties and staff, she could complete the preparation process successfully. Although Yuna Kim had received some job offers from the companies which she had previously worked at, she decided to pursue her studies at Geneva.

In the interview with The Voice, she described, “GMUK had been a good stepping stone in my life.” During her years at Mason Korea, she had been studying and preparing for her dream in a relatively more infertile and unstable environment than the current students. She believed in her infinite potential and continuously challenged herself. She notes, “Besides feeling envy for the fresh opportunities that present students get, I look forward to meeting Mason Korea students not only in Geneva, but also on the international stage.”

“The most important thing is to find information, use the information from the school actively, try bravely, and challenge directly,” she especially advised to Global Affairs students.

-Cited from 2018 May Issue by THE VOICE-