USAG Daegu interns are on the ground ready, willing, and able

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New intern coordinator. Photo by Park, Bit-Na/USAG Daegu Public Affairs (Intern)
New intern coordinator. Photo by Park, Bit-Na/USAG Daegu Public Affairs (Intern)

USAG Daegu interns are on the ground ready, willing, and able

by: Park, Bit-Na | .
USAG Daegu PAO (Intern) | .
published: October 01, 2014

USAG DAEGU -- A new group of Korean student interns have arrived, and USAG Daegu has warmly received the nearly 60 bright and eager students. While the initial date for the program to commence was Sept. 15th, several interns got a quick plunged into their new workplace in advance-- ready to help out and get their six-month stay underway. The new group will be with USAG Daegu through late Feb. 2015.

Son, Min-zy is the Intern Coordinator for this fall session, and spoke about her responsibilities, but not before first admitting she was quite nervous about the initial interview for the intern program. “I was excited, but nervous while waiting for an interview. Before entering the door, I had to take deep breaths three times.” A veteran of the intern program, Son still could not forget how nervous she was the first time around. However, that didn’t stop her from trying out again for the highly regarded intern program.

Son has good reason to maintain positive thoughts about her experience as an intern previously assigned to the Camp Carroll ACS facility. “I was so happy to communicate with Army families. When I got praise through the ICE (Interactive Customer Evaluation), I was able to feel satisfaction from the performance of my tasks,” she said. Now as the new intern coordinator, she said this opportunity will give her a chance to further develop her leadership abilities.

The intern coordinator has a huge responsibility. No one realizes that more than the last session’s coordinator, Estelle Jeong. Like Son, she also sought to further develop her leadership skills. Her responsibilities were vital to the overall success of the intern program experience. As the coordinator, she had to lead many interns during intern meetings or many different events. She said that the tasks motivated her to widen her perspective--especially since her responsibilities meant she would meet many supervisors, university workers, and USAG Daegu personnel.

Gladys Colon-Algarin, Intern Program Manager, ACS, Camp Henry, can attest to the positive development of the interns. She’s on top of every aspect of the program. For that reason, she is the ideal person to speak about changes involving the intern students. For example, she spoke of how Daegu Haany University student Kim SooYeon developed during the course of his internship. She said, “Kim grew, and changed with new confidence.” Over the course of their internship, Colon-Algarin said she saw a very positive change in the all the intern’s interaction with others, as well as their improved skills. “Without a doubt, the multicultural atmosphere also played a strong role in the greater development of the interns overall,” she added.

Like many others, Colon-Algarin also believes that the USAG Daegu intern experience does have an impact on their possibly being able to move forward in securing jobs at Korean companies such as Samsung and LG. As many interns will likely agree, applicants for the internship program are usually very concerned about learning American culture. Many of them are like Son who confessed that she came into the internship program to experience the American atmosphere before entering an international company.

Whatever each student’s goal, there are still those previous interns like Son, and Jeong, who can share with incoming interns to the program, the value of the internship. “I like to share with others my experience. I like to say, ‘Let me tell you about the intern responsibilities I had at ACS.’ Jeong said that she had many chances to perform and participate in programs involving financial readiness, family support part, and volunteering.” The former intern coordinator added, “Even if you are not in ACS, you can learn practical affairs that you’ve never faced at your school before. Also, you can work in English without going abroad.”

While no one would argue that there is always a side of a situation that is not positive, the intern program nevertheless, stands out as a winner in so many ways. Both Son, and Jeong will be the first to tell the new interns that this is a chance to discover something new and wonderful. Maybe Colon-Algarin summed it up best by stating, “Respect differences, and keep an open mind.”

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