Where in the World is Miami Wednesday: Meet an International Alumnus from South Korea

In this week's Where in the World is Miami Wednesday, we meet Joonhyuk (James) Heo, a 2018 graduate originally from South Korea. He works as a data analyst at an advertising company.

Can you tell us a little about yourself?

Hi, my name is James. I came to the States in 2009 from South Korea. I am working as a data analyst at Cooper Smith, an advertising company. I normally spend my spare time working out and playing soccer. I also like to grab a cup of coffee to socialize.

What did you study and when did you graduate from Miami?

James in cap and gown reclines in front of Shideler HallI studied statistics with a business analytics minor and graduated in May, 2018.

Where do you live now and where have you lived since your graduation?

I am currently located in Toledo, Ohio, where I have been living since my graduation.

How did you get to know about Miami University and what made you choose it?

I was well informed by my high school counselor about Miami University when I attended high school in Ohio. I was also aware of its reputation for undergraduate teaching, which is one of the important reasons that I chose Miami.

Describe your career path since graduating from Miami University.

James in front of Cooper Smith signAfter graduation in 2018, I was hired as a data reporting specialist at an advertising company, Cooper-Smith. During the time I have been employed, I have gained a great knowledge of media and developed data-related skills.

How did the COVID-19 pandemic affect your work?

It was difficult to adjust my life style to work from home every day. However, I was able to roll with it. One great thing about working from home was the flexibility between work and life. It put heavier responsibility on my shoulders, which is fair. Luckily, my field did not get negatively impacted from the pandemic, so I was able to keep my work rolling throughout the period.

How did Miami University help you pursue or prepare you for this career path?

The interactive environment with my professors assisted me a lot to prepare for my career path. Also, working as a data visualization intern at the IT center at Miami was also a great opportunity.

Who was your favorite professor and why?

It is not easy to choose only one because there were a lot who positively influenced on my career and my life. I would like to mention Professor Chai, who was the most passionate professor I have ever met. Professor Robert (Bob) Leonard also had a great influence on my career path with his consultation and advice based on his life experience. Lastly, Professor Seonjin Kim, a professor who had highly motivated me while I was going through many obstacles during my junior and senior years.

What was your most memorable experience at Miami University?

My most memorable experience was Fusion, which is an annual cultural show presented by AAA. It not only promotes Korean culture but also Asian culture as a whole.

In your experience, what was the biggest difference between your home country and the U.S.?

The biggest difference between South Korea and America is the way how they treat random people. It was a huge surprise for me that many initiated casual conversations with me on random occasions, which was very friendly of them.

Additionally, people keeping shoes on in their houses was also something that is not done in Korea.

What was the biggest similarity between your home country and the U.S.?

The biggest similarity between South Korea and America is that people in both countries love drinking coffee. They drink coffee in the morning, after each meal, and at work. Also, many people spend time at coffee shops, socializing and studying.

Where was your favorite place to eat on campus or uptown?

My favorite place to eat was Mac & Joes. They had special deals on Mondays. During my freshmen and sophomore year, I went there with my friends almost every Monday. Spending good times with my best friends around the table full of food made my Mondays the best!

What was your favorite place to hang out on campus or uptown?

My favorite place to hang out on campus was at King Library. A lot of my friends gathered at King library without any commitments but with excuses of studying and doing homework. The moments that I spent with them hanging out until late instead of studying remain as good times to me (of course I spent time studying too).

Are you still keeping in touch with people (friends, professors, mentors) you have met during your time at Miami?

Yes, many professors including the ones I mentioned above, I keep in touch with. I also keep in touch with my old roommates and friends. I still occasionally visit Oxford to see some of my friends who are there.

What advice would you give to someone who is considering pursuing a bachelor's degree at Miami University?

If you are a person who actively seeks learning opportunities, I would say Miami University is the one. Its professors are full of passion.

And if you are also a passionate person, the synergy is greater than what you can even expect!

What does Love & Honor mean to you?

"Love & Honor" means a frame to me. Each moment, that I spent at Miami University, was unforgettably beautiful, that I picture with the statement "Love & Honor".

Where in the World is Miami Wednesday is a news article series that features Miami students studying abroad/away and international students. Catch us next week as we continue to travel around the world to feature the amazing opportunities that Miami students are taking and the experiences our alumni have had since graduating!

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