Meet NYU Stern’s MBA Class Of 2021

Seoyoung Park (Claire)

New York University, Stern School of Business

“An entrepreneur, eager to create something meaningful and constantly challenging the status quo.”

Hometown: Seoul, South Korea

Fun Fact About Yourself: I am a YouTube channel producer! I’m currently running a YouTube channel on wine with my fiancé (winecrazedman).

Undergraduate School and Major: Sungkyunkwan University, Business Administration

Most Recent Employer and Job Title: LIVEO, Co-founder & COO

Describe your biggest accomplishment in your career so far: During college, I co-founded a charity crowdfunding platform with celebrities, led partnerships with large companies including Cheil industries in Samsung Group, and raised over $600,000 for charity with more than 100 celebrities.

To promote charity campaigns, we held creative events with donors such as romantic dinner dates with celebrities. In trying different online marketing strategies, I created Korea’s first viral Facebook post, which received 240,000 likes overnight. I also filmed a viral YouTube video with a Korean comedian and got over 2 million views. These marketing campaigns helped us raise a significant amount of money for NGOs.

What quality best describes the MBA classmates you’ve met so far and why? First, it would be open-minded. My peers are open to each other as well as new experiences and opportunities. You can always suggest something new and find someone to try it with you.

I would also say inspiring. Like our distinctive color “violet,” everyone seems to have his or her own distinctive stories, ranging from food entrepreneurship to an NGO founding. I am inspired constantly by everyone’s unique backgrounds.

What is the best part of coming to New York City to earn your MBA? Living in New York has always been my dream! The racial and cultural diversity is widening my perspective not only in business but in life. The constant energy of the “city that never sleeps” fuels me with the motivation that I cannot find anywhere else.

Also, I love the fact that New York is the center of various businesses ranging from fashion to finance. It offers an abundance of opportunities for entrepreneurs like myself. Be creative! You can always find the right network you need in New York.

Aside from your classmates and location, 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 love the various specialization options in NYU Stern. Stern offers 26 different choices of specialization, and you can choose up to three. Some of them are difficult to find in other business schools (e.g. Luxury Marketing). These broad specialization options allow you to explore the many passions you have.

What club or activity are you looking most forward to in business school? I’m looking most forward to experiential learning, called Stern Solutions, especially “Tech and the City”. As I love working with talented people, I can’t wait to work with my classmates to solve real-life problems in the tech industry!

What was the most challenging question you were asked during the admissions process? Honestly, there weren’t many tricky questions. Actually, I really enjoyed the “Pick Six” visual personal expression essay in the application. Picking six images that represent my life gave me an opportunity to reflect on my life and to plan the future.

What led you to pursue an MBA at this point in your career? After 7+ years of my entrepreneurial journey, I found myself struggling with similar issues across my businesses and I wanted to find the answers. I spoke to my family, friends, and mentors and realized that I needed to broaden my experience in order to expand my businesses to their full potential. So I decided to pursue an MBA in the US. I believe it would widen my perspective as an entrepreneur, strengthen my network, and improve my business skills.

What other MBA programs did you apply to? Stanford GSB, Berkeley Haas, UCLA Anderson, USC Marshall, Wharton, Columbia Business School

How did you determine your fit at various schools? The first factor was the location. I prefer big cities such as NY, SF, and LA that are suited for my urban lifestyle. Moreover, the IT industry, where my main interest lies, is more prominent in these cities as well.

Additionally, I place enormous value on my learning community. As an international student, a supportive environment was one of the biggest factors that I took into account. When I spoke with several international students at Stern, I was able to get the feeling of the collaborative culture here.

What was your defining moment and how did it shape who you are? In my first company, WeGeneration, three of the five co-founders left the company only one month after launching the service. It was challenging for me because I had a lack of work experience and connections in the entertainment business, which was crucial for our business model. The company was also running out of funding. Another founding member told me that she would also leave the company soon. So, I had to decide whether to keep this company or not.

Although it was not an easy decision, I decided to believe in myself and build the company back up. I reached out to every source of funding I could garner – the government, VCs, and angels – and earned enough grant and angel investments to survive. To get celebrities involved in charity campaigns, I contacted 50-100 companies every day and made proposals. I also recruited a CEO who had more work experience than I did. I even designed all the contents that we needed myself, and the company finally survived.

The moment that I decided to keep my company going was crucial because it shaped me as an entrepreneur. Although there were large obstacles ahead and I lacked resources on every end, I learned that with a strong determination and unwavering perseverance, anything is possible.

Where do you see yourself in ten years? In 10 years, I see myself considering an entrepreneurial path, creating positive impacts with technology. I see a confident woman who constantly challenges the status quo and inspires other women in business.

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