Alumni Spotlight: Janie embarks upon a new chapter to expand her career in the US

Student Stories

Janie, from South Korea, has 5 years of experience as a lithium-ion battery designer at Samsung. She has recently started a new job at the US office that is a slight change in her professional role.

Janie arrived in Michigan at the end of June this year. “During the first couple of months, it was  originally scheduled that I would dedicate half my time to language school and the remaining half to my work with the company. However, I wanted to immerse myself in learning English for those initial two months so I can communicate well at the workplace,” she said. “I appreciate the understanding and acceptance of my request by my manager in the US office.”

Janie decided to study at MLC for 2 sessions in July and August as a full time student before starting to work in the company’s US office. She said she heard about MLC from a colleague who had previously attended and highly recommended the school. 

Her primary goal at MLC was to enhance her confidence in professional communication. “Back in South Korea, my responsibilities are solely within the engineering field. However, in the US, my role extends beyond engineering and I will also be working with customers. This change let me believe that I would need to build enough confidence in communication,” she said.

While settling into her new life in Michigan, she balanced her studies at MLC with occasional attendance at the company’s business meetings. She recalls, “The first month was quite challenging for me. This was my first time living in the US, and there were so many things to juggle and information to absorb.”

Janie, however, stands out as an adaptable professional and student who successfully found her own way to fit into American life quickly.  “I discovered that I could approach MLC staff members and instructors to ask about the cultural difference, not only during the classes but also at school activities, such as conversation hours. Sometimes there were cultural differences that didn’t make sense to me, and I could ask someone at MLC about them. That helped me a lot in bridging cultural gaps.”

Janie, in the middle, at MLC

Following the demanding initial couple of weeks, “I gradually felt more comfortable about learning and communicating with people,” she said. “In the first session, I didn’t have much time or energy to participate in the school’s co-curricular activities, but after a few weeks, I felt more comfortable attending some events. I particularly enjoyed the Kayaking event at Argo Park on the weekend. I don’t think I could have tried it on my own, and I’m really grateful for the opportunity!”

Janie completed her study at MLC at the end of August and commenced her work in September. It is remarkable to witness how Janie effectively prepared herself to begin her professional career in the US just within two months. “As I will have a valuable opportunity to connect with customers in the US, I want to develop into a professional who can grasp the bigger picture in this business field,” she shared. “The upcoming work won’t be easy, but I am fully committed to giving my best.”