Meet The Texas McCombs MBA Class Of 2020

Hyonwoo Yoon

University of Texas, McCombs School of Business

“A person full of curiosity and is not afraid to take calculated risks.”

Hometown: Seoul, Republic of Korea

Fun Fact About Yourself: I consider myself to be very lucky. While backpacking in Europe, I lost my wallet in Belgium, the 2nd country I was visiting. A month after returning to Korea, the wallet was sent to me anonymously with all my credentials and money in it!  I still do not know what happened, but use this lucky wallet even today.

Undergraduate School and Major: Kyung Hee University, Economics

Most Recent Employer and Job Title: American Chamber of Commerce in Korea, Head of Marketing

Describe your biggest accomplishment in your career so far: I have successfully served in several roles in my organization; raising revenue as a marketer, strategically managing positive P&L as a financier, and leading communications for projects and joint occasions including meetings for Vice President Pence and President Obama.  While managing the Chamber’s 60th Anniversary Annual Campaign Project, I raised and surpassed the projected revenue, and thus, all staff members were able to go on a retreat to Taiwan.

What quality best describes the MBA classmates you’ve met so far and why? After meeting my cohort and study teammates, everyone is incredibly talented and from very diverse backgrounds and nationalities. I am very lucky to be surrounded by a community of determined people who enjoy life, have fun, and are talented academically and professionally.

Aside from your classmates, what was the key factor that led you to choose this program for your full-time MBA and why was it so important to you? I chose the McCombs School of Business due to its strong community network of current students and faculty, as well as the alumni who were extremely helpful and engaging while I was preparing my application and throughout the Accelerated Foundations Program.

What club or activity are you looking most forward to in business school? I am looking forward to joining the Graduate Operations Group, International MBA Student Association, Graduate Blockchain Society, and Graduate Marketing Network.  I would also like to participate in the MBA+ Leadership Program to evaluate and improve my leadership and communication style. Further, l would like to attend the tailgates for this year’s football games with my class members.

What led you to pursue an MBA at this point in your career? I was at the tipping point of my career and needed an additional push. As I would like to become a leader of a big organization one day, I believe the extra skills I will learn during this program will assist me in achieving that goal.

How did you decide if an MBA was worth the investment? I decided to pursue an MBA after speaking with my mentors and hearing from MBA graduates on how it impacted their careers. Throwing myself out of my comfort zone to move to the States for two years was the price I was gladly willing to pay to upgrade myself and be surrounded by extraordinary people from around the world.

What other MBA programs did you apply to? Several schools throughout the US, mostly on the east coast. I received acceptances to a number of programs, but decided to attend McCombs.

How did you determine your fit at various schools? During the application process, I reached out to faculty and alumni members to grasp the sense of community and visited various campuses to assess the overall atmospheres of the schools and cities. As I was planning to move with my family, such aspects were equally important for me when deciding which program was the right fit for me.

What was your defining moment and how did it shape who you are? My mother has had three open surgeries for the past 15 years and I was always by her side each time she entered the operation room and when she woke up, even when I was serving in the army. The experience has taught me the importance of family and to be patient and remain hopeful even at the worst of times.

What do you plan to do after you graduate? I want to expand the role of the Chamber to become a proactive business designer that provides a further depth and breadth of services to members and guide new U.S. entities to succeed in Korea.

Where do you see yourself in five years? I would like to be more involved as a leader at AMCHAM and expand the outreach of the organization in the region by establishing a broad and unique network in Asia.