Friday, January 11, 2013

Meet Connie Paik, Current 5-Semester Option Student!

Connie Paik
HNC Certificate ’12, SAIS ’13                                   

Washington, D.C.

Previous Education
Boston University
B.A. International Relations, 2009

Previous Work Experience
·         Resident Director for CET Academic Programs
·         Intern at the United Nations Development Programme
·         Intern at the Embassy of the Republic of Korea in Washington, D.C.
·         Editorial intern at the American Chamber of Commerce in Shanghai
·         Intern at the Korea Economic Institute

Chinese Language Study Prior to Attending the Center
I took a few Chinese language courses and participated in the CET Beijing summer language program while I was an undergraduate student at Boston University. After graduating in 2009, I moved to China to work for CET Academic Programs in Harbin, and studied Chinese in my free time. I developed the bulk of my language abilities during my summer in Beijing and year in Harbin with CET. I didn’t take any language courses after that; I simply used Chinese at work and in everyday life.

Center Activities
My primary extra-curricular activity was volunteering at the Migrant School Learning Initiative (MSLI), where I taught children from rural areas and served as the events manager for the organization. I planned and hosted the school’s first Halloween, Thanksgiving, and Christmas parties. The MSLI was a great way for me to get to know my international and Chinese classmates from the Center; I also learned more about the local community in Nanjing. I participated in the erhu and dance clubs at the Center in my spare time.

Favorite Course & Professor at the HNC
Social Issues of China’s Modernization with Professor Hua Tao

Why did you choose to attend the Center?
I felt that the China Studies courses at the HNC would improve my knowledge and experience in China. I found the course content and reading materials to be interesting and relevant. Even though all of the students at the HNC have different backgrounds with the subject matter, the primary documents and academic articles by Chinese scholars enable everyone to learn something new.

What is your concentration at SAIS DC?
I am in the China Studies Program.

SAIS Activities
I am part of the China club, Japan club, and Korea club, and actively participate in their weekly language tables. I am also working part-time for the SAIS admissions office.

How did your study at the HNC help prepare you for your time at SAIS?
Since I completed my four China Studies course requirements for SAIS during my year at HNC, I was able to branch out into different area studies here at the DC campus and took courses on other topics of interest to me, such as a class on Japanese foreign policy and another on development and poverty reduction. The content I learned from classes in Nanjing has been relevant to most of my classes here as well.