I vividly remember the first time I considered applying for the internship at CJ ENM and all the questions and concerns that others would voice to me as soon as I mentioned the possibility. I was a junior who had never delved into the entertainment or business industries and whose activities and classes solely reflected a trajectory in pre-medicine and psychology. My background and interests always led to the same questions from myself and others: Why CJ ENM? Aren’t you pre-med? Shouldn’t you be doing research for the summer? Why are you suddenly interested in marketing and entertainment? Won’t this affect your likelihood of applying to graduate school or medical school?
While I didn’t have all the answers at the time, I knew that my interest in entertainment, media, and marketing had steadily grown to an overwhelming amount over the past year. I decided then that there was no way I could graduate college and shut myself off from a field that I had never had the chance to experience. The opportunity that the Korea Institute and CJ ENM provided to work in these fields proved to be the perfect experience to better inform myself about whether I should consider these fields as career options as I moved into senior year and beyond.
During my time at CJ ENM I worked directly with the Global Business Strategy Team. The main goal of the team is to synthesize market and trend research into expansion strategies for CJ ENM’s business segments. This team welcomed me enthusiastically into their ranks and ensured that the experience was truly one of learning and growth as an entertainment industry worker.
Although I was unsure and nervous about my technical and linguistic capabilities at the beginning of the internship, I found myself thoroughly enjoying the work I was doing. Additionally, I am grateful that I was able to learn an incredible amount from my wonderful mentor, Mason Kim. He took the time to sit down with me multiple times a week and answered any and all concerns I had to ensure I was having the most positive and helpful experience that he could provide; and while I had no business background, he trusted me to learn quickly and to also provide meaningful supportive work for the team rather than simply putting me on the sidelines to do “busy work.”
The work itself was completely English based and research heavy, covering topics such as market trends, industry news, and company profiles. My main role in the team was to support other team members as they worked to develop reports, business strategies, and presentations with a couple of independent projects also thrown in. This kind of work was fast-paced and allowed me to learn something new about the industry nearly every day. Additionally, this experience mean that my work turned into something meaningful and impactful for my team and the company itself. I was truly astounded by the business side of the entertainment industry and the amounts of research that goes into an industry that we experience as consumers every day, but don’t think too much about.
As I look back on my time in Korea and at CJ ENM, I can say that I learned and grew an immense amount through my work experiences, all while enjoying the physical and intangible aspects of Korean life and culture. This experience not only answered many important questions for me, but also gave me long-lasting memories that I doubt I will ever forget. I highly recommend this internship for anyone who might even remotely be considering a career in the business side of the entertainment industry. I truly believe that anyone who goes through this program will fall in love with the interesting work, the friendly faces, and the beautiful location.