KSEA NY Chapter News
Stella Chun Humans of KSEA Interview
Stella Chun Humans of KSEA Interview
Stella Chun is currently working as a Technical Sales Specialist at Thermo Fisher Scientific, a biotech company. She has been involved in KSEA since 2009. She was introduced to KSEA through participating in the Young Generation Technical and Leadership Conference (YGTLC, now Ygnite). She started to get more involved in KSEA as she became an organizer for Seattle YGTLC, and in the following years, she continued to organize as team lead, co-chair, and eventually chair at Ygnite 2017. She expanded her involvement as YG Director and is currently the YG/YP Executive Director and actively participates in executive and council meetings to advocate for young professional members of KSEA.
Hello, Stella! Can you introduce yourself briefly to those who are reading this?
Hi, my name is Stella Chun. I was born in Korea, grew up in Canada. Currently, I am located in NYC working at Thermo Fisher Scientific as a Technical Sales Specialist. It is my honor to be here – thanks for the invite.
Thanks for agreeing to be featured in our interview! We would like to hear more about your career journey. How did you get involved with a job at a biotech company? Did you know what you wanted to work for when you were an undergraduate student?
No. Back when I was in undergraduate school at the University of Ottawa, I was a pre-med – pursuing to become a doctor. While I was studying Medical Genetics, I got involved in the research. Fortunately enough, I met a great PI and became the first author of the publication. So, I thought if medicine didn’t work out, I would stay in research. I didn’t realize how difficult doing research was until graduate school. Unlike the first time, I couldn’t have more publications. However, I managed well in my grades and applied for medical schools.
It’s interesting to hear that originally, you wanted to become a doctor!
Yes. I was sure that I wanted to become a doctor. Even now, sometimes I look back and think about trying again. So, while I was applying and interviewing for medical schools, I started to work at a biotech company as a sales representative, thinking that it’ll be a temporary job, and here I am today, still as a sales rep.
I see. As you mentioned earlier, did you want to go back to school after a few years into your job?
Yes and no because during that time, the format of MCAT was changed and I started liking the job more and more. Being a sales rep, I’m constantly learning new things and working on new projects. It was a steep learning curve during the 1 year, and even today, I’m still learning new aspects of the job.
Yes. I also agree that many factors play in our lives when it comes to making such career decisions. When did you get involved with KSEA?
It was the Young Generation Forum (YGF) 2008 in Seoul, Korea, when I was introduced to KSEA friends. When I got to meet new friends from YGF, it was an eye-opening event. Though I had a balanced student life in undergraduate school, I realized I was a “big fish in a small pond”. We had a fun time, yet it was also a reality check of learning about motivated people.
I also remember my first time being at a KSEA event having a similar experience. Did you go back to other KSEA events after?
Yes, I attended the following year’s YGTLC (current, Ygnite) in Dallas, TX, and met over 100 students who were like me, but more well-rounded in terms of extracurricular activities, research, and more. It was a wake-up call for me to do more things as a student. Also, the more I attended KSEA events, the more I wanted to move to the USA to pursue my dream.
That sounds great! It sounds like KSEA has provided new perspectives and friendships.
That is one of the reasons why I stayed active within KSEA. I have met numerous friends that I still keep in touch with. We value the community and the platform we have within KSEA to communicate from generation to generation.
I really appreciate that you have served us as an organizer for YGTLC, Team lead, Co-chair, and Chair not to mention YG Director, publication director, and membership director. What changes have you seen with KSEA YG across your involvement in the past few years?
Thinking back to my first experience with KSEA YG, we have grown so much. The first YGTLC I attended had about 100 participants. Then, it has grown to about ~200 participants per year. Not only has the size of the group grown, but also the structure has been established and many people have put in efforts to keep it a healthy environment.
What is your goal for KSEA YG?
I would like to provide similar experiences to the YGs that I was fortunate to have. Networking is essential for personal growth. It will help you expand your perspectives and also motivate each other. So, I would like to provide that environment for future KSEA members.
Thank you so much for your time talking to us about your experience and involvement with KSEA! We look forward to seeing you achieve your goals and see your impact on KSEA’s growth.
December 29, 2020January 15, 2021