Kai Potter, '19, Summer Internship at the Korea Herald in Seoul, Korea, Summer 2017

September 20, 2017

              I arrived in Seoul with some idea of what to expect at the Korea Herald because one of my close friends happened to have the same internship last year. But aside from what she told me regarding the responsibilities of the position and atmosphere of the office, I went into my first day at work with as few expectations as possible, so as to keep an open mind. Initially, I was entirely new to the journalistic process and the kind of work that it entails. Having finished my internship at the Korea Herald, I am happy to say that I still have an interest in pursuing journalism, or at least some career path which involves writing creative content, and I am still very much interested in investigating and writing about culture and sharpening my critical eye. What I liked best about the position was the ability to be an independent self-starter when it came to articles and multimedia projects. Having large swaths of time to brainstorm thoroughly was such a luxury, and I know that in the future, I am most interested in engaging in work where I have control over and investment in the end product or content.

              During the hours that I was not at work, I was able to further develop my relationship with Seoul. Through the Summer School Program last year, I got my first exposure to the city, and by the time I left I felt that I’d begun some explorations of the city I’d like to continue. This year, I had the chance to visit places I hadn’t been to, some even outside of Seoul, and at the summer’s end, I now feel as though I’ve established a lifelong connection with the place. Highlights from this summer were Friday nights spent at the local Jjimjilbang amongst other Seoulites, weekend trips out of Seoul to various water parks, and trips to numerous spots I’d missed last summer: Chunggyecheon, the Trick Eye Museum near Hongdae, clubs in Itaewon, sightseeing in Insadong. Furthermore, I got to re-unite with friends I’d made last summer, and I intend on seeing these people in Korea the next time I get to go. This being my first ever internship experience at a large company, I learned quite a bit about working life and finding a career in which I can make a true contribution. Additionally, having this introductory experience at an office in Seoul gave me many insights into the specific qualities of Korean work culture, which has opened my mind to the idea of international work and connection. Being exposed to the Korean language at work also gave me daily opportunities to practice my listening comprehension and to deepen my appreciation for the culture. Ultimately, I was really inspired by the independent nature of a journalist’s career (as far as brainstorming, researching, executing goes), and I feel compelled to pursue my own self-directed projects, at a newspaper or elsewhere. Having control to make a creative product to the best of my ability was an eye-opening view into what I want to do with the rest of my life.

            Finally, I would like to take this moment to thank the Korea Institute and the Jaromir Ledecky International Fellowship Program in Journalism Grant at OCS. Without the grant’s generosity I wouldn’t have had such an inspiring and informative summer, nor would I have been able to return to Seoul, thus solidifying what I had once hoped would be a special and lifetime connection with a city far away. I plan on continuing to explore my aspirations and ambitions fully indebted to what the grant has made possible for me.

Here are some links below to the Korea Herald articles that Kai Potter wrote during her internship:

Seoulites enjoy Understand Avenue: Seoul Forest’s new hot spot:

Queer film festival addresses pressing issues of Korea’s LGBT community:

From Busan to Britain and back: meet Korean Billy, the internet sensation of 2017:

Is Hongdae going south? Only to Hapjeong, Sangsu and Mangwon: