What’s the best thing about your school?
The Jesuit tradition. I didn’t really know what that meant before college but I see BC does not aim to produce doctors, lawyers, and etc. Instead, BC wants to make better men and women so we can make the world a better place.
Give a little description of your background (where did you grow up, etc.).
I grew up on the north shore of Long Island. My town was mostly made up of white Jewish peoples so Bar and Bat Mitzvahs were the social events to attend. I did not always embrace my Korean heritage because I wanted to fit in to the community I grew up in.
This mindset came from me realizing I was different. For example, in the first grade when my classmates told each other their middle names, I felt different. I heard “normal” names like Andrew, Evan, and Michael but mine was not “normal.” My middle name is the Romanization of my Korean name-Keunchul. Eventually, my classmates turned to me and asked me what my middle name is. I was embarrassed because it was different and difficult to pronounce but eventually I relented. The result of sharing a little part of my identity was humiliation. The other kids laughed and made fun of me that led me to cry.
This started a phase in which I hid my Korean culture from my friends. I refused to learn Korean and felt indifferent of issues concerning Korea. As I got older, I realized how important being Korean was and I started to identify myself as Korean American rather than just American. Although I supported the U.S. over Korea during the World Cup, I’m still connected with my roots.
Are there any organizations/clubs you are involved in? Tell us about what you’re up to!
I am a news producer for Boston College Television. I basically help research news and find interesting topics and events on campus to film. Film/TV production has always been a hidden passion of mine and I never really acted on it until I came to college and joined this group.
I am also involved in programs held by the Office of First Year Experience (FYE) as well as working for FYE as an Administrative Assistant. At Boston College, we believe that the first year in college is a critical year for growth.
My favorite program that FYE has to offer is 48 Hours. 48 Hours is a weekend retreat for freshmen to talk about their experience so far academically, socially and spiritually. Ten senior leaders help facilitate these conversations and six sophomore Point Guards make sure the weekend is fun and meaningful for all. I went on 48 Hours as a freshman and I was lucky enough to come back sophomore year as a Point Guard! Point Guarding was so much fun because I was able to see the program from the other side and made great friends through the leadership team.
In addition, I am part of Appalachia Volunteers, which takes a group of students that give up their spring break to do service related work throughout the Appalachia region. It’s not a typical service trip. The Appalachia Volunteers program introduces students to the Catholic Jesuit mission of the university, encourages students to integrate moral and ethical principles with their experience of service and immersion and helps them decide how to use their gifts in service to others. It’s truly a program that has inspired me to do more service work and at the same time, I made some of my best friends through the trip!
Your go-to food place:
Le’s Vietnamese Restaurant in Boston. I never had pho before I got to college but now I am hooked.
I also love Italian food. So anywhere on the North End of Boston is good eating.
What was the hardest thing you’ve done so far?
Running the Boston Marathon was by far the hardest thing I’ve ever done. I wasn’t much of runner before college but after what happened in 2013, it only inspired me more to run it. The whole experience was crazy and parts of it I really wanted to die but moments like my parents surprising me at mile 13 in Wellesley, seeing my friends at mile 21 in BC, and the final mile made it all worth it. It’s an experience that I’ll never forget.
What is your best student-budget recipe?
I love to cook. Baked ziti and lasagna are my specialties.
Who has been an influential figure in your life?
My dad and his dad. Those two are the greatest people I know.
My dad came to the US after he graduated from medical school in Korea. He spoke no English and struggled to try to make something happen in medicine. Now he’s the chief of his department at the hospital he’s been with for over twenty years.
My grandfather escaped from North Korea to South Korea during the Korean War with my grandmother, aunt, and two uncles. He died when I was little, but without his courage and resilience, we wouldn’t have a future.
What has been your favorite memory so far?
Ugh this is tough. Besides the Boston Marathon, I’d have to say my internship in Korea. In the summer of 2013, I had the opportunity to intern at KBS for a program dubbed Cool Kiz on the Block. It was really cool to be able to see the behind the scenes work that goes into a television show and I got to meet some Korean celebrities. One time during the show, we went on location to a rural part of Korean and after filming, we had a barbecue together and it was an awesome time. I also was able to have a good conversation with John Park from American Idol … in English!
If you could sum up your life as a student in three words, they would be…
Stressful, exciting, and unpredictable.
Is there anywhere in the world where you’d want to study abroad? Where is it, and why?
I’d want to go South America. It’d be a huge change of scenery and there’s so many cool places to go. Machu Picchu is on my bucket list.
What song is representative of your life right now?
“Give a Little Love” by Noah & the Whale.
Where do you see yourself in five years?
I’m hopefully doing something that makes me happy or preparing for my career. I am studying to get into medical school so that’s the current plan but if I’ve learned anything from life, things can change. Not sure if that’s a good thing 😉
What’s your go-to selfie face? (A picture is obviously necessary.)
Hate doing selfies…
Coffee, tea, energy drinks, “crazier stuff,” or nothing at all?
Anything mocha, or black coffee. I don’t really like the taste of black coffee but the bitterness wakes me up. It also helps if it’s cold.
Who’s the person/people you can rely on for anything?
My former boss Chris. He was not only a great boss but a mentor and friend. Even though we don’t see each other as often as we did, he always makes sure to check in on me from time to time. We’ve had a lot of good times and he’s always been there for the not so good times.