“What I lack in talent and intelligence, I will make up for in hard work.”
Hometown: Westborough, Massachusetts
Fun Fact About Yourself: I can play three instruments – the cello, piano, and drums, but my favorite has to be the cello. Although I hated practicing it when I was younger, I’ve grown to love to play and listen to Bach’s cello suites as a way to meditate and decompress.
Undergraduate School and Major: CUNY Baruch – Political Science
Most Recent Employer and Job Title: QS Investors, Compliance Officer
Aside from your classmates, what was the key part of NYU Stern’s MBA programming that led you to choose this business school and why was it so important to you? One of the key parts of NYU Stern’s programming that appealed to me was its world class education, specifically heralded by people such as Aswath Damodaran. I read some of his lectures and notes that are available online . I was struck not only by his knowledge of the financial landscape, but also the passion with which he teaches his courses. I knew that I wanted to be a part of a program that prides itself in education, and that is Stern to me.
What course, club or activity excites you the most at NYU Stern? As mentioned before, I would love to take a class with Aswath Damodaran, but in addition, I’m excited about joining the Asian Business Society. I’m a first-generation Korean American and would love to get the chance to share my culture as well as experience others within the backdrop of business school.
What excites you the most about living in New York City and how do you see it enhancing your learning experience? I’ve actually lived in New York City for around five years now, and I’ve loved every minute of it. There’s a certain energy and environment here that doesn’t really exist anywhere else in the world. NYC also is at the doorstep of so many renowned institutions and with the MBA at Stern, I hope to immerse myself in and take advantage of the professional and learning opportunities that the city provides.
What does EQ (Emotional Intelligence) mean to you and when have you seen its value in your career? Emotional intelligence is an incredibly important yet easily overlooked characteristic of a person’s career. The ability to demonstrate self-awareness, empathy, and communicate effectively is paramount. I’ve worked in teams my entire career and will probably do so going forward. Without EQ, I know that I wouldn’t be able to survive or let alone succeed at all in my career.
Describe your biggest accomplishment in your career so far: I was assisting on a $3.4 billion multinational deal for our client, when suddenly the senior paralegal had an emergency and had to step down. At the time, I had six months of experience. Given the urgency of the deal, I had to step in, oversee and lead a group of my peers. That transaction consisted of hundreds of documents that had to be drafted, reviewed, and executed almost simultaneously across numerous time zones, which meant that those nights consisted of very long hours. I had to multi-task and delegate assignments to my peers in an organized and efficient manner to help carry the deal across the finish line. Although I definitely felt like this was beyond my abilities at the time, I’m proud of what I was able to accomplish.
How did COVID-19 change your perspective on your career and your life in general? Although working from home is absolutely a viable and sometimes necessary option for people, I realized that I was someone who needed to go into the office to interact with coworkers and meet with them in person. Also, being in lockdown helped me realize how important it was to take care of myself. Time passed by very strangely in quarantine, which put a lot of stress on people, myself included. I made sure to keep a routine, which helped immensely, like exercising or meditating daily. I thought of it not as something I had to do, but something I was doing to help myself. I plan to keep this up going forward.
What led you to pursue an MBA at this point and what do you hope to do after graduation? The MBA was something I had in my mind since my first job. I knew that in order to hopefully pursue investment banking after graduation, I needed relevant experience. I spent some time at a startup and an investment management firm. Both of these gave me invaluable insights into the inner workings of a business as well as the world of finance through the lens of asset management. I reached an inflection point where I thought I was finally ready to apply for my MBA and here I am now, incredibly excited by the opportunity!
What other MBA programs did you apply to? Columbia Business School
What advice would you give to help potential applicants gain admission into NYU Stern’s MBA program? It’s going to sound cliché, but I can’t stress it enough: be yourself. NYU Stern has a unique essay called the Pick Six, which asks the applicant to choose six images that best represent themselves. I remember really having a hard time with this essay because I was trying to choose the six images that would impress the admissions committee. However, I slowly realized that this essay wasn’t about trying to impress someone – it was about explaining who I was and am. It takes self-awareness to do so, and I think that’s what you need to show throughout the process. You have to realize that you bring something to the table, and knowing who you are and being yourself is the best way to do so.
DON’T MISS: Meet NYU Stern’s MBA Class Of 2023