Balancing work and school can be quite a challenging task. There needs to be adequate time invested in both to make it work. Today, we introduce an exceptional part-time student at the KDI School who maintains a full-time job while excelling in her studies. We hope you get good insight into how she is able to manage her time between work and school.
1. Could you briefly introduce yourself?
My name is Daniela Bizama and I am a part-time MPP student at the KDI School. I have been living in Seoul for the past four years while working as a diplomat at the Embassy of Chile in Korea. This assignment has given me the opportunity to learn about Korean history and how it has transformed through innovation and technology. I am married and have a dog named Chabe. She is a rescued Korean dog. I love to sing, play guitar, go to the movies (althoughthese hobbies have been a little bit harder for me these days due to the COVID-19 pandemic) and I really love tasting new food and flavors. This makes me a huge fan of Korean food!
2. What made you decide to attend the KDI School?
Since I arrived in Seoul, I wanted to further my studies in an area that gave me the tools to understand what policies are beneficial and to identify collaboration opportunities in the bilateral relationship between Chile and Korea. I did a lot of research prior to making this decision. KDI not only offered academic excellence, but also an institutional overview that I considered remarkably interesting.
3. How do you manage working full time and attending the KDI School at the same time?
It was a little bit hard at first, but once I got used to it, it became a routine. Usually, I leave work and go home to do the assignments that are required for the week. I try to leave some free time before dinner to disconnect from what happened during the day. Sometimes if I am a little bit stressed, I meditate or try a mindfulness exercise. This experience has helped to manage my time a lot better and it has also helped me realize that you can do whatever you set your mind to.
4. What have been your favorite courses so far, and why?
My favorite courses have been “Industrial Policy and International Trade Regulation” with Professor Sherzod Shadikhodjaev and “Asian Global Cities” with Professor Yu-Min Joo. The “Industrial Policy and International Trade Regulation” course provided the tools to learn how a national industrialization policy may follow or be in conflict to WTO rules and how countries can pursue the development of their industries while and simultaneously staying within the WTO framework. In the “Asian Global Cities” course, we analyzed how globalization impacted the most relevant cities in Asia and what challenges needed to be addressed to improve livability for all people.
5. How do you find the online classes?
Personally, at first, I found it a little bit hard to stay focused. But thankfully, I believe the professors were aware of this situation and found a way to introduce little breaks to allow us to get back on track. With this methodology, I have found it much easier to concentrate throughout the online classes.
6. Any words for prospective students?
I would recommend KDI to all of those who are seeking the opportunity to further their studies in English in Korea. The programs are truly 100% in English with top notch Professors and great staff. I have always received assistance from the Academic Division, which is valuable considering that I do not have the opportunity to travel to Sejong frequently. Likewise, the student body is diverse, which gives you the chance to meet people from different countries, backgrounds, and fields.