By MILLIE LEE
Global Business Journalism reporter
Search "GBJ" in Naver, the Google of South Korean internet search engines, and the first thing you see is this blog: Forest of Coline (콜린의 숲). It is the work of Coline Kim, a second-year student in the Global Business Journalism program at Tsinghua University. Having successfully moved from Korea to China during the coronavirus pandemic, Coline shared her insights and thoughts as a GBJer with a fellow Global Business Journalism student from Korea.
Could you briefly introduce yourself?
I’m Coline Kim from Daegu, South Korea. This is my second year in Global Business Journalism at Tsinghua University. Currently, I’m working as a product manager in Flash Coffee, headquartered in Singapore.
What are you interested in these days?
I’m a coffee lover. I drink four cups of coffee every day. Thus, I’m interested in tasting a variety of different coffees. Furthermore, I even take some coffee classes whenever I have time. Other than that, I’m into the Netflix series “Bling Bling Empire” nowadays. Since I’ve never been to America, watching the stories and lifestyles of Asian Americans is really intriguing.
Could you describe your undergraduate education?
Energetic, Passionate, Inspiring. These three words completely describe my undergraduate days. I majored in Computer Science, but my interests were always beyond my major. I bet I’ve done all the things university students can experience. I worked as a reporter for the school newspaper, was elected as the president of the student council, and studied in China as an exchange student. Those experiences helped me to become a better person.
What brought you to study for a master's degree at Tsinghua University?
I’ve always wanted to build my career in the media area, and I thought now-or-never is the time for me to study further. There are multiple reasons why I decided to continue my study in Global Business Journalism at Tsinghua. Of course, the partnership with Bloomberg seemed fascinating. And Tsinghua is the most prestigious university in Asia.
Aside from that, Tsinghua is a place where students with different backgrounds come from all parts of the world and work together. Since I believe cultural tolerance is the most significant capacity that journalists should possess, there was no need to hesitate to choose the GBJ program.
What is the most memorable course you have taken in GBJ over the past year?
I would say Professor Zhang Li’s Intercultural Communication course was the most impressive. The class was really interactive and animated, and I learned a lot through debate and discussion held in the class. Particularly, I was so excited to talk about a subject related to the K-pop industry in the class.
What course/project in GBJ made you develop the most for the last one year?
In my very first semester, I had zero knowledge regarding English news writing. I struggled with writing a short article because I didn’t even know the basic principle of writing articles back then. However, taking the In-Depth Writing course of Professor Rick Dunham the next semester gave me a clear understanding of writing. During the course, I had an opportunity to interview Jinbum Parker, a Korean alumnus of GBJ. Until then, I’d never worked so hard in my life writing something. I put all my effort into writing and rewriting over and over. I can certainly tell that not only did this project enhance my interviewing skill, but it took my writing skill to the next level.
Can you briefly explain your current job and what you do there?
I’m a freelance writer, writing articles about trade and international relations for the Korean embassy in China. And as I mentioned, I've been doing my internship in Flash Coffee as a product manager in the APAC Team since June. As a representative manager of the Korean market, I’m in charge of UX writing, APP development, localization, and communication.
Do you think your current education in GBJ is aiding your job performance?
I used to think communication is just all about listening and precisely delivering my intention. As I work for the company, however, I learned that communication is not an easy job at all. The more I work, the more I realize that the communication skills learned at Tsinghua are valuable and pragmatic. By applying all these skills to my work, I’m able to get the gist of each stakeholders’ intention, negotiate, and accurately convey the message.
What is your plan after graduation?
One thing that distinguishes me from other students is that I got my B.A. in Computer Science. While making the most out of my distinctive academic background, I want to be a tech journalist in the future. To be specific, I want to be a moderator who is capable of demystifying complicated information regarding tech startups, semiconductor, and IT corporations. Compared to South Korea, the Greater China region has many more media startups. Therefore, I’m willing to work as a tech journalist based in Shanghai, Hong Kong or Singapore.
Q: Say something to future GBJers...
A: Work hard, play hard! If you're going to be on campus, get the most out of the time given you in Beijing. Due to the massive amounts of work I did, I couldn't enjoy the campus life to the fullest, but I hope you guys have fun on campus!