Neilson Lam didn’t know the Korean language, but he was already studying Chinese at Suffolk and knew he wanted to expand his knowledge of Asian culture. So he took matters into his own hands and started teaching himself Korean. Then, thanks to the connections of the Asian Studies program, Lam had the opportunity to spend the summer immersing himself in the language in Seoul, South Korea.
Lam received a scholarship from the Jongha Student Scholarship Foundation, which was established by the KCC Company in South Korea. He took courses in management and the Korean language at Yonsei University.
This is the fourth year that the KCC Company has awarded this scholarship to a Suffolk student. Dan McCarthy ’14 spent the summer of 2012 in Korea interning at Seoul Broadcast System, an affiliate of CNBC Asia. During his internship, McCarthy transcribed English segments from news stations worldwide and pitched story ideas.
When McCarthy walked into the newsroom, he was both impressed and nervous. “At first, I thought there was no way I’d be able to do this, and then the next thing I knew, I was doing it,” McCarthy said. “I learned how to confront a situation that overwhelms you.”
With this experience in Korea under his belt, McCarthy returned to campus in Boston, where he reported for Suffolk in the City and SuffolkU News and also completed an internship with the sports department at Boston’s NBC station.
These days you can find McCarthy anchoring the weekend newscasts for the NBC affiliate in Bend, Oregon. He often cites that first newsroom experience in Korea and the scholarship program as an essential step on his career journey. “My time in Korea definitely solidified my desire to report internationally,” he said. “I like being in a completely new world and telling their stories.”
Lam agreed: “Thanks to the scholarship, I was able to taste and feel the Korean culture. I tried all kinds of Korean food and explored many parts of Korea.” Lam, a global business and management major, plans to pursue international business with a focus on the Asian markets in the future.