University of Minnesota
University of Minnesota

Career Support

International Alumni Job Search Stories

Sangyeon (Clara)

Degree: B.A. English and Political Science, CLA  
Graduation Date: May 2014
Employer: A Korean Governmental Organization (DC)
Position: Researcher


What is your job?

I work as a researcher at the Embassy of the Republic of Korea.

How did you get the job?

During my senior year, I asked my political science professors for a lot of advice. Many of them gave me helpful guidelines in planning for post-graduate life. To give an example, Professor Freeman at the Political Science Department advised me to look for job openings in the East coast where many organizations have an international focus compared to Minnesota. He also recommended to me that I should find a job opportunity, which would benefit for my unique background of being a fluent speaker in both Korean and English. Thus, I researched numerous international organizations dealing with Asian issues, especially related to Korea. This led me first to D.C. for summer internship after graduation. Later on, I got a researcher position as a full-time staff member at the Embassy.

What was helpful for your career development?

Asking for help was helpful in building up my career. I asked a lot of questions to my professors who are experts in the field of political science. I also went to the CLA Career Services Center multiple times for resume critiques and mock interviews. Advisors at the Career Center were very helpful as they have years of experience working with graduating seniors.

Secondly, my internship experience during college was very beneficial for me to get hands-on experience in my field. I worked at the office of the President of the Minnesota Senate for half a year during my senior year. Not only did I learn how to apply knowledge from the classroom to office life, I also was able to draw a clearer picture of my career path. I cannot imagine working as a full-time researcher without the skills I learned from my internship at the Senate.

What advice do you have for current international students?

Being involved in a campus community is a huge plus. Our school has a lot of resources and tremendous opportunities, and it is important to take advantage of being a student in such a big state school. I was involved in a student group called LiNK-UMN(Liberty in North Korea) during my junior and senior year in college. As one of the founding members and a leader in LiNK-UMN, I handled a variety of responsibilities such as communicating with the staff at Coffman, requesting funding, hosting numerous events, recruiting members, etc. Being involved in student group activities can help you build multi-tasking and communication skills which can be a valuable asset in a job. Most importantly, a student group can help you find a field you are really passionate about which could lead directly to a future career.