Through those experiences, I started to study the growth and decline of small and medium-sized firms. During my last semester, I prepared a thesis about cases of direct investment by Korean companies in China. Once I completed my studies, I realized that I needed a comprehensive understanding of what America is like, because the U.S. and Korea have a close partnership – not only economically, but also politically.
The Chamber’s mission statement is “To strengthen businesses and the economic environment for those who work, live, and do business in Arlington.” They accomplish their mission through a very professional staff, developing the local business community, and well-prepared events each month. These factors have created a perfect environment for me to observe various aspects of not only Arlington County, but also this country.
One thing that has impressed me about business in the U.S. is corporate social responsibility. I never thought corporate social responsibility programs would be sustainable. I thought there would be a lack of participation, or it would be hard to get people engaged in the local community without real interests. Many nonprofit organizations have been founded on people’s needs with a clear mission and purpose, but businesses are different. However, while I was working at the Chamber on some of their events, I’ve seen a lot of members practicing corporate social responsibility by contributing their time and resources to the Arlington community and the Chamber.
My internship ends on June 13, and time has gone by quickly, but I’ve experienced a lot in a short amount of time – not only in the workplace but also in my daily life. I feel very lucky to have this opportunity to work with the Arlington Chamber of Commerce. This experience has given me a more in-depth understanding of business and this country. I want to express my gratitude for all that my co-workers have done for me and their encouragement and help.
Editors Note: Hanna Kim is an intern with the Arlington Chamber of Commerce through the Korea WEST exchange program which provides top South Korean university students and young professionals the opportunity to intern abroad in the United States.