Lacey Bonner – USA
Please give a brief introduction of yourself.
My name is Lacey Bonner and I am an undergraduate student at the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa. I am a double major in Korean and Political Science and for my Korean major, I was a part of the Korean Flagship Program. I spent a year in Korea attending Korea University while taking part in an internship at VANK as part of my capstone.
How did you start interning at VANK?
Underneath the Flagship Program, each student must fulfill an internship and thus I joined VANK as I believed it was the best fit for me and my interests.
What were your duties as an intern?
As an intern, I got to fulfill many duties. One of my principle duties was undertaking the creation of English content for two websites launched the year I interned. I did research for and wrote content for the VANK “Bring USA to the Korean Classroom!” website as well the website featuring Korean independence activists that operated during Japanese occupation of Korea. I also did a lot of translation work from English-Korean and Korean-English as well as take part in lectures in Korean towards Korean youth on multiple occasions.
What was the best part of working at VANK?
The best part about working at VANK was definitely the people! I loved my coworkers and I got to get to know each and every one of them individually. They were open in sharing Korean culture as well as learning about my culture. Getting to travel with them to Pyeongchang for the Olympics and to Chicago for a NAKS event allowed my experience to transcend just the workplace environment and establish life-long friendships with the team at VANK and I will never forget them.
What have you gained from your experience as an intern?
As an intern, I’ve gained an increased understanding of Korea and Korean history. My Korean ability has also improved exponentially from when I first began. However, most important of all, I’ve been fortunate enough to expand my understanding of the world from being able to listen to and learn from other world views I would have never been able to access before.
Describe some of your short-term and long-term goals.
In short term, I plan to graduate in the spring of 2019 with my double major and to graduate with my Korean being the best it possibly can. My long term goal is to someday work in a position in which I can utilize what I’ve learned in Korea and Hawaii and use it to bridge the understanding between Korea and the United States. I also want to die with no regrets.
Are there any last words you would like to say to VANK?
Thank you so much for everything you have taught and given me. I will use it well in my life going forward and will never forget where I received it from. I was so lucky in my internship and with whom the people I was able to work alongside. I will miss you greatly but that makes all the more reason for me to come visit you in the future! Thank you and best wishes!