Preparing for the Real World
Written by Justin Lee | Published. 2017.08.03 11:54 | Count : 906
The summer after junior year are comprised of months that many rising seniors fear. During this time, some students stay at libraries for hours with their heads on the tables, struggling with what to write on their college essays; some students explore hundreds of college websites, considering where to continue their studies after high school. Others tour various campuses for summer camps or for leisure.
Just as the majority of rising seniors, I also have spent numerous hours and days seeking for the college that fits me, meticulously reading each school’s curriculum. However, I realized that discerning my interests was primary in order to decide what I want to pursue in the future. To discover what I truly desire, I decided to participate in an internship at a private equity investment firm called & Beyond.
& Beyond was the perfect place for me to intern for two reasons. First, it had a small, close-knit work environment where all the employees knew each other. Such environment would allow me to form friendly relationships with my co-workers, and engage and learn directly from the people I would be working with. Secondly, & Beyond itself was a private equity investment firm that conducted business in various fields, such as foods, beverages, cosmetics, etc. With such features, I would be exposed to a variety of business fields that would further expand my perspective and give me deeper insight on what I want to pursue.
To enter as an intern for this company, I had to submit a resume and complete an interview with Hyengkyun You, their main investment associate. Once this stage was completed, I was hired and given the opportunity to work as an intern.
Each day at the office began at 9:30 A.M. and ended at 6:00 P.M. Since I had never worked for that many hours, the internship challenged my stamina. As soon as I entered the office, I was overwhelmed by the fact that almost every single employee there had such a prestigious background. There were employees and interns from MIT Sloan School of Management, NYU Stern School of Business, Seoul National University, and Cornell, to name a few. Having the opportunity to work with people from the world’s most prestigious universities was a great experience as they could guide me through this business and teach me valuable lessons.
During the internship, I spent most of my time doing basic research and creating office documents about global cosmetic brands for a mall that planned in Incheon, South Korea. I also had opportunities to attend business meetings at many company owned cafes and restaurants, such as Say Cheese in COEX.
[Above: & Beyond employees work diligently on the tasks they need to complete.]

Out of all, the most memorable moment from the internship was regular internship lesson meetings that were held every Tuesday. During each meeting, I listened to the lectures about the history and the fundamentals about the business itself. At the end of each lesson, the employees were given a case study, which required them to work together by gathering and communicating ideas and to solve critical issues that companies could face. As an eager student intern, I observed and listened to every word that was being spoken, scribbling my notes in my notebook so that I could review them later. 

[Above: A business meeting is being held with the managers and the executives.]

After weeks of doing this, it was time for me to leave the internship and collect and organize all my thoughts during the internship. Afterwards, I did feel like I had a clearer answer about what it was I wanted to do in the future. I recommend fellow students who are doing internships to really be engaged and involved with the company and try to extract every single lesson you can out of the experience instead of wasting weeks of your life completing the internship just for the sake of telling people you completed an internship. It’s an experience that can really add perspective and insight in your life and help you make wiser career choices.


Justin Lee
Rising Senior
Seoul International School

Justin Lee  student_reporter@dherald.com

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