While my career followed an atypical path, I always knew I wanted to give back through my work.
I was born in Canada and lived in the UK, Korea, and the US during my childhood. Being exposed to numerous locations and cultures at a young age informed an interest in geography. While at Queens University, I choose to learn more about my interest area, majoring in Geography as well as Education. Public service was continuously at the forefront of my studies.
After graduating, I wanted to learn more about city planning based on my lived experiences in numerous cities. This led me to enroll at Columbia University to obtain my master’s degree in urban planning. While in school, I interned for the Community Board on the Upper West Side. This role opened my eyes to the way local government works and taught me a great deal about New York City processes and procedures.
Upon completing my masters, I was looking for a change of pace and knew I wanted to pursue a career in public service. I moved to San Jose California and took on two jobs with missions I was passionate about. My primary role was a Behavior Coach for students with special needs. This experience taught me how to assess the various stakeholders in a given situation – in this instance, administrators, parents, teachers, students, etc. I gained valuable skills in relationship management and learned how to balance competing priorities in order to best help my students. My second role was at a Christian organization called Servant Partners that works to help individuals in low income neighborhoods. This experience taught me about team building, conflict resolution, and most importantly, how to approach problems that seem unsolvable.
After two years, I was missing NYC and decided to move back. A friend of mine told me about Public Works Partners and encouraged me to apply. I never saw myself going into consulting because I hadn’t previously seen it as a career that was related to the public sector. However, after learning more about Public Works and their mission-driven focus, I knew I wanted to be a part of improving NYC through the firm’s work.
Working at Public Works has been extremely rewarding. When you are dealing with a full-scale legislative implementation process, there are bound to be challenges and moving parts, but knowing the positive impact the work is having makes it all worthwhile. It’s extremely exciting to be part of such a sweeping change. It’s also been great to get to know the team at Public Works. There is a strong sense of comradery as well as a collective understanding of the company values.
Outside of work I love to cook! Korean food is my favorite. I also volunteer for my church, NYC Relief (an organization that connects the homeless with services in the city) and for Do For One (an organization that seeks to break cycles of loneliness for adults with mental disabilities). I enjoy exploring NYC whether that be walking in Riverside Park or running the NYC half marathon. Staying true to my Canadian roots, I’m a big Raptors fan and very excited they won the championship this year.