Meet the MBA Class of 2025: Jen Park, Northwestern University (Kellogg)

Jen (Joo Young) Park

Northwestern University, Kellogg School of Management (JD/MBA)

“A project finance banker, soon-to-be lawyer.”

Hometown: Seoul, South Korea

Fun Fact About Yourself: More than 10 years ago, I received a Saju (Korean fortune telling) which told me I’d probably live abroad, near water, doing marketing or law. Well, guess who’s studying next to Lake Michigan studying at an institution renowned for both?

Undergraduate School and Major: Korea University, Business Administration

Most Recent Employer and Job Title: Investment Officer, The Export-Import Bank of Korea

Aside from your classmates and location, what was the key part of Northwestern Kellogg’s MBA curriculum or programming that led you to choose this business school and why was it so important to you? From the onset of my MBA preparation, Kellogg JD/MBA was my number one choice without a doubt and therefore the only school I applied to Round 1. I had my heart set on a JD/MBA dual degree, and I knew that Kellogg had the strongest JD/MBA program in the US. Kellogg and Pritzker, both renowned institutions in their own right, made this choice a no-brainer. The extensive history of their joint degree program was a paramount factor for me. With two decades of experience shaping exceptional JD-MBA graduates, Kellogg offers a robust curriculum that maximizes the value of the intense three-year experience while fostering an enduring and influential alumni network.

What makes Chicago such a great place to earn an MBA? Chicago is truly a stunning city in every sense! The city itself is a marvel. It is clean, energetic, and there’s always something to do! As a JD/MBA candidate, you’re in for a treat, as you can enjoy both the vibrant city life in downtown Chicago for law school, while also relishing the serene and beautiful Evanston campus.

Kellogg is known for a team-driven culture. What quality do you bring as a teammate and why will it be so important to the success of MBA class?  Coming from a background in international development and project finance, I have accumulated a wealth of experience in successfully dealing with global projects while working with people from all over the world. Over the time, I’ve honed the ability to establish effective teamwork with people representing a wide spectrum of industries, backgrounds, and cultures. Honest and respectful communication serves as the bedrock of both my professional and personal lives. I plan to uphold the same values in Kellogg’s classrooms, hopefully contributing to fostering successful teamwork and discussions!

What course, club or activity excites you the most at Northwestern Kellogg? My goal is to make meaningful impacts and enhance underserved communities through infrastructure development. I am excited to join Kellogg’s Net Impact Club during my time at MBA, with my past experience in infrastructure project finance and passion for social change. It seems to be an exciting platform to collaborate with like-minded peers, brainstorming innovative strategies for sustainable growth across diverse business sectors. What truly excites me is the prospect of joining Kellogg Corps and partnering with nonprofits in developing nations. Having predominantly been on the finance side of project solutions, I’m eager to approach societal challenges through a holistic strategist’s lens and tackle problems with a fresh perspective!

What has been your first impression of the Kellogg MBA students and alumni you’ve met so far. Tell us your best Kellogg story so far. My initial exposure to the Kellogg community came through my now-husband, who was a Kellogg student at the time. Even before I considered pursuing a business degree, I witnessed him interact with his fellow students and alumni, and it was immediately apparent that there was something truly exceptional about the Kellogg community. The reputation of Kellogg students being so close-knit that they know the exact number of kitchen utensils their classmates have in their apartments is not just hearsay; it’s a testament to the strong bonds formed here!

What truly struck me was the unwavering support from Kellogg students and alumni. Whether we had met only moments ago or were introduced through a web of connections, the response was consistently, “Oh, you’re a Kellogg student? Let me help you in any way I can.” This genuine willingness to assist has been a hallmark of my interactions within the Kellogg network.

One aspect I find particularly remarkable and unique is the Kellogg Guide Book authored by Korean graduates, a comprehensive resource that spans hundreds of pages. This guide covers everything from acquiring an USIM chip to navigating a successful recruitment process, and I believe it’s a feature that sets Kellogg apart from other MBA programs. The invaluable guidance and wisdom from this guidebook have played a pivotal role in my adaptation process, and I take immense pride in being a part of the Korean Kellogg community.

Looking ahead two years, what would make your MBA experience successful? My main goal is to be proactive and make the most of this journey. For me, it’s not just about ticking off boxes like recruiting, networking, and hopefully passing the bar exam. It’s about forging authentic friendships with my new colleagues, and saying yes to new experiences and opportunities that are not easily found outside of school. These moments offer a rare chance to temporarily detach from the corporate hustle, and I am determined to relish each and every minute of this unique experience!

What other MBA programs did you apply to? Harvard MBA

What advice would you give to help potential applicants gain admission into Northwestern Kellogg’s MBA program? Don’t hesitate to reach out! The Kellogg community is incredibly welcoming, and both students and alumni are more than willing to assist with any inquiries you may have. In fact, during my decision-making process, I had the privilege of engaging in in-depth conversations with numerous alumni who approached our discussions with the same level of thoroughness and consideration as if they were making the decision themselves. (I recall some of these conversations lasting well over an hour!). However, it’s vital to approach these interactions with respect and gratitude, recognizing that alumni are generously offering their time as a favor. The most valuable questions to ask are typically related to their experiences throughout the admissions process and their overall journey at Kellogg.


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