Olivia S. Jung

Class Year: 

Hometown: Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA


Shady Side Academy


My hope is that through taking many interesting and relevant classes, through many, many conversations I will have with my classmates, and through other countless experiences and opportunities I will have thanks to the Huntsman Program, I will learn exactly what I will want to go into and ultimately spend my life doing. As of now I think it would be wonderful to work at institutions like the World Bank or International Monetary Fund.

Student Background

Olivia moved from Seoul, Korea to the suburbs of Pittsburgh, PA with her family when she was ten years old.  "As a result," says Olivia, "because I spent my adolescent years here in the United States, my style of thinking has an ‘American' side to it and often times I feel as if I have lost touch with the Korean side of my identity." Olivia hopes that spending six months in Seoul will help her to gain insights on what it is like to live in Korea as an adult - an experience that she is looking forward to very much. She also sees her Huntsman semester abroad as an opportunity to explore possible career options in Korea.

Why Huntsman?

Olivia first heard about the Huntsman Program during PA Governor's School for International Studies (PGSIS) in the summer of 2006.  "It was the most amazing time of my life," says Olivia, "as I got to spend five weeks with 99 other people that shared similar interests but from diverse backgrounds. After that summer I became friends with atheists, Christians, Buddhists, socialists, capitalists, linguists, from all over the state." 

It was there that Olivia realized she was interested in international development. Taking classes such as International Political Economy and International Communication and Negotiation Simulation (kind of like Model UN) helped to shape that interest, certainly, but it was mostly inspired by conversations that happened at lunch tables, in her suite late at night, and while lounging on the grass at the U of Pitt campus. When Olivia learned (from her Governor's School peers) of a college program similar to PGSIS, namely the Huntsman Program at Penn, she says, "I knew that I had to apply. And with luck, I got in!"

The Huntsman Experience

Reading and writing are two of Olivia's dearest passions.  In high school, she was the chief editor for the newspaper, yearbook, and a non-fiction literary magazine.  She says that the idea of expressing her views in writing and their potential impact on others appeals to her greatly. As a result, she is currently pursuing a minor in comparative literature, in addition to the two degrees in International Studies and Economics. She is also a writer for the Daily Pennsylvanian.

Olivia has also found time to pursue the interest that brought her to Penn in the first place: international development. As a member of the Penn Microfinance Club, she organized an accounting and marketing workshop for small business owners in Philadelphia. She's also served as a research assistant for Professor David Zaring (in the Legal Studies department) and Professor Jonah Berger (in Marketing). As a research assistant, Olivia says that she is gaining the relevant skills to hopefully begin her own project next year. Olivia's other extracurricular activities include Peer Advising and the Penn Music Mentoring Program (Olivia plays clarinet and piano!).

During the summer after freshman year, Olivia will be going on a backpacking trip in South America. She has never traveled outside of Korea and North America, and expects the trip "to broaden my horizons." She will be traveling with one of her Huntsman classmates in Colombia and visiting another in Panama!