Author: Yewon from South Korea, Accounting Trainee in New Jersey
Tolstoy said that “true life is lived when tiny changes occur” and I think he is right. After graduating university, I was confused about choosing the next step of my life. Like other people, I wasn’t ready to settle down at one company, and I needed more dynamic experiences. Most graduates want to go abroad to study English in an ESL program. But I didn’t want to go overseas just to study; I needed a program that would push me harder. That is how I decided to join the J-1 Program, and that was the turning point of my life. My first real world experience started in New York City.
I had studied economics in university. Economics has always been the one subject that I have loved. Being in New York means a lot to me because of its economic history. It is the home of the New York Stock Exchange, the world’s largest stock exchange by market. New York City is one of the world’s principal financial centers. Lower Manhattan is filled with diverse stories of economy from the Great Depression to 9/11. The whole city is a special textbook for me.
During my program, I met Paul Krugman who is an economist and a professor at Princeton University. He won the Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences for his contributions to New Trade Theory and New Economic Geography in 2008. I still remember how excited I was when I attended his public lecture during the first month of my internship in NYC. This was a big deal. I would never have thought that I could attend his lecture and take a photo with him when I was in Korea.
Everyone should face challenges and make their own opportunities. Every individual has their own interest, and we can all gain valuable experience by taking advantage of the J-1 Program and all that it has to offer. It could be an opportunity that you can fully dedicate yourself to get great results. Challenges are what make life interesting, overcoming them is what makes life meaningful. That’s the reason that I love the J-1 Program.