Hello! My name is Jorge and I’m a student at The Art Institute of Washington, majoring in Advertising and Graphic Arts.
In order to graduate, I need to complete an internship as part of my curriculum.
I consider myself both extroverted and introverted from time to time, but I think working overseas will help me gain the experience I need, plus I’ll be able to observe new learning methods from another culture.
Also, I have the opportunity to learn a new language, meet new people and get to exchange knowledge with the locals.
I always wanted to experience life in Korea either as a student or through work experience, like an internship. I thought it would be hard to get to Korea, since I would need a special reason to go and of course the proper documentation.
That's when I started doing my research about internships abroad, which focus in Asia, and I found Asia Internship Program.
Applying For My Korea Internship With AIP
While checking AIP's website and reading other people's comments about how happy and good the program offer was, I got super excited and saw that there was a possibility for me to have an experience of a lifetime in Korea.
I applied through their website and got an interview with a representative at AIP. Next thing I know is that I got accepted into their Korea internship program.
The next step would be finding a company that satisfies the things I wanted to accomplish and match with my major.
In the beginning, I was very anxious and nervous. I didn't know what to expect and also having an interview online was not my strength.
Later, I got an invitation to have an interview with an Information Technology company in South Korea.
The company provides text analysis APIs that can understand and associate words in the same way as humans do. Their products are based on its patented technology of gathering a sizable database that understands, organizes and extracts true knowledge from websites and information repositories in a way that mimics natural human thought.
AIP then set up and arranged an interview for me to have with the Marketing Director of the company. Because there is a big difference in the time between Korea and the United States, it was very tricky to find the best time to talk.
I was so excited about even having the chance to interview with a company in Korea, that I really didn't care how late or early I would have to be in front of my computer waiting for the video call.
Anyways, the day came, and I had my interview. It was actually a very comfortable environment created by the director, that I didn't feel like it was an interview. It was very smooth and I was very relaxed, instead of being nervous as I thought I would be.
I was able to learn so much from that interview and I know it will be very helpful for my future. I asked questions, I got the answers and even though I didn't have all the answers for the director, he saw how interested I was and how I was trying to learn and making notes from all the information we discussed.
A week later I got an email from my AIP representative who was overseeing my case, telling me about the positive feedback he got about me from the Marketing Director of the company.
That completely made my day, and all I could think about that night is "I'm going to Korea!"
Important Life Decisions
But it was not so easy after all. To tell you the truth, I really took my time to think if this was really a good idea?
A lot came through my mind after I got accepted into my internship in Korea. Things like: Do I really want to go so far on my own? Would I be able to get along with the people? What comes next after spending some time over there? I really had so much to think about.
Plus, things got also a little difficult with my family since they were not so happy with the idea of me leaving so far away where I would do everything by myself, and it could be too much. But I guess every parent gets worried about their child going to study or work abroad.
I took my time and then I thought, “Hey Jorge, you really want to do this. This is a onetime experience you can't miss out!”
Later on, I decided that this was my chance to experience a different culture and learn new things that would help me grow for my career.
I sat and talked to my parents about how I feel and what I want to gain from this experience. My parents understood that I really had to do this, not only for my professional growth but also, for my personal development.
I got super excited, and I was completely convinced that this opportunity would open new doors for me.
Washington D.C. to Seoul, Korea
The day to finally go to Korea was here. I think I only had 3 hours of sleep the night before leaving, and it’s because I was so anxious and excited that I couldn't control it.
My process to get to Korea was a very interesting process, or I would say very fun in a crazy way! To start off, my flight experience was a little funny.
From Washington D.C., I had to connect to San Francisco, and everything looked perfect but not for long. Something was wrong with the aircraft, which made our first leg of the flight delayed. I remember how nervous I was because the connection time was really short to start with.
All I could think about during that time was "ahh I'm going to miss my flight, no no I really want to go."
Anyways, after probably one hour and a half, everything got clear to finally depart from D.C. But still I was praying on the way, probably the entire flight, since we were already too late.
Luckily, I met a friend who was in the same situation as me, so we were talking about how we would make it and even making plans in case we wouldn't.
We landed 10 minutes prior to the doors closing for the flight from San Francisco to Seoul. We decided to run as if it was our last chance.
It’s really crazy considering how huge the San Francisco airport is! We literally ran for 8 minutes nonstop, and the agents at the counter were waiting and calling for the rest of the remaining passengers.
We made it exactly one minute before the doors closed, and we didn’t even have time to talk. That's how bad I wanted to go to Korea.
But at the end, it worked out perfectly and I even made a new friend, so there was nothing to be mad or worried about.
The flight attendants were treating us so nice and helping us since they saw how exhausted we looked after our mini marathon.
Since I will definitely need it, I got some time to practice Korean with my new friend Eric, who was my partner in crime that day.
Arriving in Seoul, Korea
Finally, I arrived in Seoul! So far, it's been a fun and an interesting experience. It's true that the beginning was nerve wracking, but things happen for a reason.
I arrived at the Incheon airport with a big smile. Greeting every Korean that would pass in front of me. I was just too happy and I wanted to practice my bow and Korean greetings.
Once I picked up my bags, it was time to say bye to my new friend Eric. It was really nice meeting him and I got to learn several new things about the people in Korea.
Next thing to do was to exchange some money, and get to my accommodation where I will be staying.
Thankfully, one of my Korean friends came to meet me at the airport. He came along with me to take the bus and to get to my new place.
First Day Of My Internship In Korea
My first day at my internship was very nice and easy. I got to start my training really fresh, since my trainer shows how interested he is in teaching me. I also got to meet my coworkers and shared different knowledge since day one.
Something I really liked about this company is that everybody shares their own knowledge and opinions with others. Everybody learns from each other, and that is something important with a team, communication and sharing.
I do feel my host company was a great fit, because I'm working just as my coworkers are, putting in effort, getting excited for the results.
In the end, working hard without thinking is just a requirement I need to graduate, but something I need for myself as a professional I'm willing to become.
It's funny how I have even been invited to be part of the group in their presentations in the US. I believe that from this internship another opportunity will present itself.
This is just the beginning of my journey and there is so much more to learn and tell about. But as of right now, I will do my best to gain all this knowledge and use it for a great purpose.
Follow Jorge's Footsteps With A Korea Internship
It appears that Jorge is really enjoying his first impressions of Korea.
He's been undergoing his Korea internship for a couple weeks now and we can't wait to hear more of his adventures.
If you're interested in doing an international Korea internship like Jorge did, click on the Apply Now button below or on Learn More for more information.