Living as an intern – Gia Kim
Living as an intern – Gia Kim
  • Yoo Kang Hyun-ji
  • 승인 2007.04.06 19:49
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She said, “You’re late.  I want an Americano coffee,” with a smile.  Gia Kim, one of Sookmyungaians, who possesses an open-mind and spectacular English speaking skills, is already like a business woman doing two jobs, student and intern.  She majors in English Language and Literature, and minors in Business Administration.  She first experienced work as an intern in Canada, not Korea and now, she works in the National Museum of Korea as an intern. 

According to her, she finished her sophomore year, and started her first intern life for 4 months at the Canstage, which is the biggest culture theater in Canada that supports play culture by helping authors, actors and designers in Canada.  In addition, the company is a nonprofit organization and the volunteer resources department where she belonged consisted of only volunteers like her.  She mainly did work on service such as ticketing, a variety of work case by case, though she was in the department of the personnel management.

Let’s look at her first story.  First, under a foreign sky, she said she was an absolute existence indifferent to them.  This is because she was only an Oriental as well as only Korean and they enjoyed their own conversation at the pace of native language, which contained several jokes and stories on culture which were significantly unfamiliar to her. 

She looked back on the past when she had difficulty talking with others, though she had thought she could speak English well, to some degree.  She said that her problem did not just originate from her deficient language skills, but in the deficiency of comprehensive understanding of other cultures.  For example, their style is considerably fashionable though it is a formal company unlike her at that time. 

She changed her style step by step from being very plain to becoming a funky fashionable person that could adapt to the specific circumstances of the company; finally, she was able to get along with them well.  Now, she says, “A turning point in my life was that experience where I was in Canada as an intern.  I changed my style and even my characteristics from reserved and relatively closed minded to an active attitude about every matter, or unfamiliar person I came into contact with.”

She explained differences about working in the National Museum of Korea as an intern and her present intern life focusing on each of the countries cultures.  She said, “I was just an intern I think in the museum, not like other formal members.  However, I thought I was a member like all of the people in Canstage.” 

In other words, all of the workers evidently were treated fairly, regardless of socio-economic status in Canada.  Her conservative and open mood in both companies originated from the differences of the two cultures.  She added, “It is not a conclusion that foreign companies are better.  The workloads for interns in a foreign company and a Korean company are the same.”

Finally, she said, “If you want to be an intern, I wouldn’t advise randomly applying for any company.  First, you need to find out the interns work description and how the company is concerned with your major or your future.  Based on my experience, if you are going to be socially active in your spare time, intern life is compatible with your school life.  Indeed, you can receive voluntary training of ‘society’ different from university or university life as an intern.”  

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