“A curious dreamer who wants to leave the world better than I found it.”
Hometown: Seoul, South Korea
Fun Fact About Yourself: I’m currently holding a Guinness World Record for the Largest Time Warp Dance. I was one of the 8,239 participants who danced to Rocky Horror Picture Show’s iconic song at West Hollywood Halloween Carnaval.
Undergraduate School and Major: University of Southern California, Bachelor of Arts in Music (Classical Piano), and Bachelor of Arts in Communication
Most Recent Employer and Job Title: Jam City, Creative Product Marketing Manager
Describe your biggest accomplishment in your career so far: When I started at Jam City, the procedure to analyze the user acquisition creative performances were limited. I developed a more methodical approach to analyze performances by aligning key metrics to the user journey and comparing each metric to determine the biggest user drop off and pinpoint what to improve. This method provided a much more nuanced analysis than “Good vs. Bad” creatives and empowered the team to build sophisticated creative strategies and iterations.
What quality best describes the MBA classmates you’ve met so far and why? Unapologetically unique. I had an opportunity to meet some of my female classmates at Forte Leadership Conference. Everyone had various personalities, passions, and stories, and was not afraid to share and connect with others. I look forward to learning everyone’s unique backgrounds and perspectives when the school starts!
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 appreciated the fact that Tepper has a clear vision for the future and a 5-year plan on how to improve its program. Also, when I visited the campus for Women’s Weekend, I was extremely impressed with the relevance of topics covered. (One of my favorites was the built-in sexism of AI voice assistant and its long-term impact.) That a top-level program like Tepper understands the fast-changing world of business and tech and has a concrete plan showcased its awareness and commitment.
What club or activity are you looking most forward to in business school? I hope to make a career switch to tech consulting, so I’m excited to be involved with the Tepper Consulting Club and the Business & Tech Club. I’m passionate about gender-related issues and have consistently volunteered in different organizations to promote diversity and equality. I will be continuing my passion through Tepper Women in Business and Asian Business Association. As a Forte Fellow, I want to pay forward the incredible experience that I had with the Forte Foundation by signing up to be a Forte Student Ambassador.
What was the most challenging question you were asked during the admissions process? People may not believe this, but the interview process with Tepper was my favorite and easiest. This was the only interview that I had with the Admission Committee, which gave me an opportunity to delve into a deeper discussion about my future instead of introducing myself. With that, I’d advise anyone interviewing at Tepper to think about your short-term and long-term goals beyond one-liners. Since you get through the introduction fairly quickly, be ready for some fun questions. (My last question was, “what do you do for fun?”)
What led you to pursue an MBA at this point in your career? In “Hit Refresh,” Satya Nadella emphasizes the importance of empathy and a meaningful purpose to assess and improve businesses’ overall impact on society. Unfortunately, I’ve seen many discrepancies between companies’ actions and social causes that they support as a feel-good marketing tool. I want to address this challenge by helping businesses re-define success, achieve sustainable growth, and contribute to the great good. In order to achieve this rather lofty goal, MBA at Tepper is only the beginning of my journey.
What other MBA programs did you apply to? Duke Fuqua, UC Berkeley Haas, UCLA Anderson, Northwestern Kellogg
How did you determine your fit at various schools? While my long-term goal is to be in the tech industry, I want to accumulate my management and strategy knowledge in consulting first. As a result, I had an interesting challenge of finding a school with a strong background in both tech and consulting. Because I plan on being back on the west coast after the MBA, the school had to have a good track record of sending graduates there. Finally, I prioritized schools whose values aligned with my own, especially around diversity and inclusion.
To find the right schools, I did three important things: read a lot of online profiles, talked to recent alumni and other applicants, and visited campuses. I heavily relied on online information from the school websites and profiles from Poets & Quants to build my preliminary list. I signed up for MBA programs and events such as Forte MBALaunch and Consortium Diversity Weekend. I’ve had some of the best tips and school information by leveraging the network I made from these programs. Finally, I visited all the schools that I was considering before the application deadline. It was critical for me to have the real feel of the school before I could determine how I would be a fit for the school.
What was your defining moment and how did it shape who you are? My most defining moment must be when I moved to the United States at the age of 13. Being in a new country with completely different cultural norms and values was eye-opening, to say the least. While it was a struggle to grow up in two cultures, the experience taught me the value of having an objective perspective and not taking anything for granted as normal. Most importantly, my own experience as a first-generation immigrant contributed to my open-mindedness and my passion for promoting diversity and inclusion.
Where do you see yourself in ten years? The pursuit of leading an ethical and profitable company will be my great experiment—something that I will probably be working on even after 10 years. More specifically, I hope to be in a corporate strategy or operation position to define a company’s virtuous vision and empower every department toward the goal.