By Mariana Velasco
Young is a junior targeting Spanish and concentrating in Finance from Seoul, South Korea. *The interview took place in Spring 2021.
Thank you for taking the time! What are you up to? I took a leave of absence from Penn due to the pandemic, so I am currently interning as a Venture Capital Research Analyst at SoftBank Ventures Asia. I honestly got this opportunity thanks to the Huntsman community. Staying connected with friends from Huntsman and talking to Kelly, our program director, has really made it easier to stay involved despite being away from campus physically.
I am curious to hear what Huntsman means to you. Everyone crafts their own path in Huntsman. What would you like to have achieved in these four years? I can answer this question in two ways. Professionally, I think Penn has just so many opportunities and resources. Huntsman just launched a brand new alumni platform and there are people working in so many different locations around the globe. I have been reaching out to alumni and they all have been extremely supportive. I think that Huntsman has a very special community of people that want to stay involved and getting to know what their experiences are is an amazing opportunity. Last week I was just talking to a Huntsman friend to see which courses we were taking next semester. I really think that we are just this super cool family at Penn. We get to do so many things together. Huntsman students are extremely talented people and it just motivates me to do better and stay positive just by virtue of being surrounded by them. Finding a community in a large school like Penn is one of my favorite things about being a Huntsman student.
How has your perception of being a Huntsman student changed through the years?
Freshman summer I was interning virtually at a hedge fund from San Francisco as a Marketing Strategy Intern. As the youngest intern in a small team I got to learn a lot. This experience helped me realize that Huntsman has a lot to offer professionally. I appreciate the effort that our program director and faculty directors have put into opening up more opportunities for Huntsman students. While I did expect the community aspect of the program among students, the professional support and alumni network gladly surprised me. I love meeting new people. I have gotten to meet very interesting people, which has confirmed to me that business is probably the right path for me. I want to make an impact in business.
What about the international studies side and Spanish? International studies means understanding the culture and the world as a whole. We get to take very interesting classes in the college alongside our business training, so you get a really well rounded education. I saw it during my internship at SoftBank, knowing about the culture and the region of your investments is super helpful, it sets you apart. Targeting Spanish is an essential part of developing this global view. Penn has a lot of resources in all of its language departments, so I have truly been able to make the most out of it.
Being a Penn student requires constantly making choices about how to spend your time. How do you decide what to focus on with so many opportunities around us? That is a very important question, sometimes it can be overwhelming. What I try to do is be very selective. There are enough interesting things to do in terms of classes, extracurriculars.. so I try to only do things that are very interesting to me and that I personally enjoy. I try to go for things that make me grow as a person and I ask for advice from upperclassmen as well. Reaching out to people is very valuable, they can give you very meaningful advice.
What is something that you started in high school that you still care about? The refugee crisis. I used to design uniforms for refugee kids. I started tutoring and raised money to design these uniforms and sent them over to Myanmar. I flew to the refugee camp and met the kids in person. It was a life-changing experience. I am trying to figure out a way to continue this, it has become a passion of mine. Previously, I was not sure what kind of impact one could have as a person in the world, but the amazing people that I have met here in Huntsman have helped me develop that side of myself.
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