Interview with Marina: a SUN scholarship recipient

At Ewha GSIS, we have several choices of scholarships. SUN scholarship is one of them, but the special thing about it is that we do not need to apply for it. The scholarship chooses us, the incoming and the current Ewha GSIS students.

In this interview, Marina, a third-semester student, tells us about her experience as one of the recipients of SUN scholarship, her study tips (must read!), and her favorite courses at Ewha GSIS.

Could you please introduce yourself to the reader of the Ewha GSIS blog?

I come from Russia and I’m studying International Business. But my background is actually linguistics, interpreting and translation. I have to confess though I’ve never worked as one. After graduation I focused right away on running my own small company, which started to recycle waste paper with time.

As for my current major I initially applied for Development Cooperation to learn more about the world and the reality we are living in. But after spending one year in Seoul and having met a lot of amazing people I realised I want to stay here longer. I’m not talking about my whole life but staying here longer than just 2 years of my master’s degree would be nice. So I changed my major for International Business, which makes it a great combo with my Development Cooperation knowledge as social responsibility is becoming more of a trend. So it all makes my Ewha academic experience and my past entrepreneurial experience more valuable and meaningful for my future career.

How did you become the SUN scholarship recipient?

It is pretty straightforward. This scholarship is merit-based and I got all A+ for my courses last semester. In Russia only younger pupils can get that “+” so at first I was amazed to know that here you can earn it at university. And I guess this awakened childish enthusiasm in me.

How did you prepare your admission application and interview? Any tips for successful admission and scholarship, or any cautions?

I remember spending more than a month on my motivation letter. It’s not that I was literally writing it all the time but those “background” thoughts they were there. I was totally new to composing motivation letters and I’m not particularly good at writing so it was hard for me. I did my research online, of course. I guess this is how we start any new endeavour nowadays. I looked for Ewha GSIS reviews and I also studied the program in detail. I think it is really important to understand how your past experiences correlate with the program and how the program can help you grow and become better. You have to understand this clearly and be able to explain it in your application and at an interview.

Since SUN scholarship selects only ‘outstanding student,’ how do you manage to be among those ones?

I think that you need to set your priorities straight for this. I study a lot. I don’t want to say “unfortunately” but sometimes it is. If I haven’t done my homework, I will stay at home. My friends know I become less of a going out creature during the semester or in other words a nerd. But then again, I tend to do things a bit slower than others. So what I’m trying to say is that it will not necessarily take all of your time but it will inevitably take a big part of your time.

the trick is to still reserve slots for things that bring you energy and keep them of high priority too.

I like studying though (the exam part is still pain) so for me it’s not a problem. Also the trick is to still reserve slots for things that bring you energy and keep them of high priority too. For me it’s seeing my friends. If I break this rule, nothing good comes out of my studies either. As for more practical tips, 3 courses is optimal. Try not to take more. And always read the materials before the class with a highlighter and a liner. The first one is for important statements and the latter is for important explanations. My colors are violet and orange. And I sound like a real nerd, right?

How do your experience and learnings in GSIS help you with your career path of choice and life in general?

GSIS offers a very modern approach to studies and courses are up-to-date. So in terms of professional knowledge I feel safe. Another cool thing is that GSIS is a concentration of totally different life stories. Students of all ages and countries come together and it’s really inspirational but also very reassuring. It lessens that pressure we all sometimes put on ourselves. Sometimes we are not sure about our life choices or get upset because we think we fall behind. And when you meet so many different people here with absolutely different backgrounds, you see how diverse lives can be and none of them are worse or better than others and it helps you make peace with your own experience.

Another cool thing is that GSIS is a concentration of totally different life stories.

What are the courses that you would like to recommend?

I liked the majority of courses I’ve taken so it’s hard to choose. I personally totally enjoy courses where you can get hands-on experience. Like this semester I took an Inclusive Business class, where we created a business model and the professor kept saying to our team “You can actually try it. Don’t you want to?”

Honestly, at first I had this attitude that we were doing something for educational purposes and for getting a grade. But then I also took a Financial Accounting class, which I would totally recommend to anyone. After this class accounting won’t seem scary to you anymore even if you’re bad at numbers same as me. So I took the accounting class and I applied those knowledge to calculate our costs and ratios to assess the potential of our business model. At that time all the dots connected for me and I was like “Oh, wow, this is how it works. I’m not just doing an assignment. I’m creating something real.”

A Strategic Management class is also amazing. It helps you understand how and why business works in this way not in that way, why some government policies happen. So for example, when I read news articles now, I don’t skip to conclusions anymore. I read them all and I can analyze them.

Note: SUN scholarship offers half of the tuition per semester. No application is required. Click to Learn more about scholarships at Ewha GSIS. If you need more information about the upcoming admission timeline and scholarship application process, please fill the form below.

Published by Khing Amatyakul

Thai, Working at SuperPlanet, IR grad from Ewha GSIS | @khingamat

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