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My path, my way: Som's story

02 Jul 2018 - Lindsay Bennett

There are many ways to get a great university education, and at Kaplan we recognize that it’s not a one-size-fits-all experience. We provide many study options so that you can choose the path that works best for you.

That's why we're excited to introduce you to Dasom (“Som”) from South Korea. When we first met, she was in the early stages of her career in business administration after completing an associate degree in her home country. Som knew that in order to achieve her professional dreams, however, she would need to earn a bachelor’s degree.

She accepted an offer to study a BS in Management through the Bachelor’s Completion Program (BCP) at Northeastern University, a top 40 US university located in Boston. The BCP would allow her to use credits she had already earned during her associate degree to complete an undergraduate degree at Northeastern, which would save her time as well as money.

Before departing Seoul, Som spoke with us about her upcoming study in the USA:

Leaving her home country wasn’t easy, but Som knew that it was all part of a larger dream.

“When I got to the airport for my flight to the US, it was a bittersweet feeling because I was leaving my family and friends. However, studying in America has been one of my long-term life goals, so I was also really excited.”

She soon learned that some things wouldn’t be the same as in Korea. American university classes, for instance, were quite different from those back home.

“Korean classes are usually very formal. The instructor usually gives a lecture, and the students just listen. In an American class, the style is really free and it’s easy to talk with the professor. I believe that is a good teaching method to establish a rapport between students and teachers.”

By joining campus student organizations and using international student resources, Som soon made many new friends from America and around the world.

“I’ve gained a new perspective on cultural differences which is something I never thought about in Korea. The more I try to reach out to people, the more different perspectives I get.”

Som also discovered that she had the ability to be a leader. She was active in leadership programs, joined a women’s book club and even co-founded a local Lean In Circle for international students at Northeastern. Her efforts earned her a special excellence award for leadership.

After graduating, Som returned to Korea, and was hired as the Executive Assistant to the President and CEO of Samsung Biologics. Her job involves communicating with people from all over the world, and meeting well-known experts in the biopharmaceutical industry. She also gets to work with top-tier companies such as JPMorgan, Biogen and even the US Food and Drug Administration.

Her work is challenging, and she has to be ready to deal with many unexpected situations. Som credits her study experience at Northeastern with helping to prepare her for success in her career.

“I became a person who is globally-minded with fluent English communication skills, which has helped me every single day when working with colleagues from overseas. I learned about finance, marketing, statistics, business strategy, and academic writing in both academic and practical ways. I grew so much personally and professionally. Without this learning experience, I cannot imagine how I could survive in such a competitive and fast-paced world.”

Som's path to success

Studied an associate degree

in her home country

Entered a Bachelor's Completion program

at Northeastern in Boston

Developed her leadership skills

through on-campus student clubs

Completed her degree

and was hired for a top-level administrative job!

Som continues to think about how she can learn and grow within her field, and hopes to further her education in the near future. We believe she will go on to even greater accomplishments!

If you want to learn about how you can follow your own path to a university degree, click on one of the links below to learn more.

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