My KUBS

Global Internship Experience | Overseas Korean Traders Association (OKTA)
Valuable Experience in OKTA, a Platform that Connects People
 

(left from the left) Se Ran Bae (Business '15) interning at Overseas Korean Traders Association (OKTA)
 

Q. How did you prepare for the internship?
I checked the school website for notifications regarding the internship program. I selected the country or the company I was interested in and looked through past reviews about their internship program. For more information, I had help from the international office. There are many required documents so it is easier to prepare beforehand. I would recommend applying for an American visa before anything else. After the document screening, do not fret over the interview because it is more about telling who you are.

Q. What does Overseas Korean Traders Association (OKTA) do?
Overseas Korean Traders Association (World-OKTA, or OKTA) which is located in Los Angeles, U.S., is a non-profit organization that is aimed at increasing trade between Korea and the US.  It has a different character from other companies and it provides a good ground to meet people from various industries and get involved in various kinds of work. OKTA is located at the junction of Wilshire Street and June Street, situated inside the KOTRA building. The organization is helpful for those who are interested in trade or public institutions like KOTRA. The advantage of working in OKTA was being able to meet with its members which included a lot of board members from different companies. These members were entrepreneurs and they were rich in business insights, so it was a good experience to hear about their experiences. I applied for an administrative post but the workers there allowed me to explore other departments and I am grateful for their support. Rather than sitting in an office all day, I found myself attending seminars and meetings about real business projects. Therefore, I visited many places in LA.

Q. What kind of work did you do?
For the administrative work, I was responsible for organizing the OKTA members' information on excel, and writing documents for business plans. But other than administration, I worked in finance, accounting, design and other departments. In the finance and accounting offices, I wrote disbursement documents and maintaining the balance sheet using Quick Book. Quick Book is a balance sheet program often used in the U.S., and it was a fruitful chance to apply what I learned in "Accounting Principles" and "Intermediate Accounting."  It also gave me an insight into the expenditures of the organization and the mechanism behind its relationships with its sponsors. Regarding designing, I used tools like Photoshop and Illustrator to publish monthly issues which will be sent to the members.

Q. How did you find living?
As a KU alumnus, the president of OKTA helped me on numerous aspects. Originally, there was no residential support so I had to find my own lodging with the help of a LA Korean community website. But the president was considerate to look for a reasonable priced accommodation. Lunch fees were provided by the association. Downtown LA is does not have a stable public order so I do not advise people to go touring in the evening. Having a driver’s license will help immensely when travelling. I would recommend people to prepare an international driver’s license. The cost of living is expensive, but the cost associated with working is in fact, quite cheap. It is possible to visit San Francisco or Las Vegas and there are many tourist attractions in LA. I recommend using Uber and Google Map.

Q. What’s your overall thought on this global internship?
I think that going on a global internship was the best choice I made in college. I found out what it was like to work abroad and the stories I heard from people whom I met had had given me lots to think about regarding my career. Also, although it has been only two months, the time I spent in the company had cultivated a global mind. I would like to thank our business schools and OKTA for giving me a wonderful opportunity.

 
Se Ran Bae (Business '15)