Paul Marcelo Zarate Diaz is a Master’s in Public Policy candidate who began his studies in Fall 2020, with a focus on Trade and Industrial Policy. Prior to joining KDI School, Paul worked for the Ministry of Foreign Trade in Planning and Investment. Paul finishes his journey with KDI School in 2021. He is an editor with the KDIS Writing Center and shares his experience and insights regarding the Center.
Q) Tell us a little about yourself and a fun fact that your fellow KDIS students would not know about you?
My name is Paul, and I am from Ecuador and have an undergraduate degree in Business. I am thoroughly enjoy travelling and a fun fact about me would be that I play football for our campus team, and I also learnt skating while I was in Korea. I find skating to be rather rejuvenating. I have become quite the expert at it and ride with my skateboard around Sejong.
Q) How did you learn about the Writing Center and what inspired you to get involved?
Prior to joining KDI School, I was watching YouTube videos about the school and remember seeing advice videos mentioning being involved in extracurricular activities as an important aspect of being here. In my undergrad while writing papers for my course, I realized I had a knack for writing and would have other fellow students compliment my writing skills. In Ecuador, I already had prior experience tutoring students, writing prayers for my church and generally always enjoyed juggling multiple responsibilities and tasks. This led me to realizing I would be the right candidate for the Writing Center.
Q) What would you say makes the Writing Center special and integral to the KDIS experience?
I am grateful for the Writing Center experience as it has given me a new lens to learn and gain new insights about the various people and countries represented in KDI School. Reading and editing papers about Latin America, Africa, Asia or Europe has helped glean experience in ways that textbooks can not as the student body speak from their lived experience and realities. Looking at the world through the KDIS students has helped me understand the world in ways I never imagined.
Q) Did you need any special skills to be involved in becoming a part of the Writing Center?
Yes! The process to become a Writing Center editor is rigorous, and there has to be some experience in writing either policy briefs, translation work and other relevant experience to help you stand out as a candidate. I saw the call for applications on E-education and prepared all necessary documents for my submission. During the interview process, I had to edit a paper to demonstrate my ability to write and assist others in improving their work. The idea isn’t just to correct and play the role of a spell check, it is also to help improve the coherence of any body of work.
Communication skills are also important to the work and great level of organization and time management. For a lot of students who ask for assistance for their capstone, thesis or SRP, it is important to assist in a timely manner so as to not disappoint their expectations.
Q) Are there any testimonials you have received with any of the students you have assisted?
Yes, especially those writing the final papers for submission. It’s more common than not that students can have a writer’s block especially when preparing for their thesis, capstone or SRP. When working with students, we start from the beginning, and I help them think through the outline and structure of their papers. After the discussion, they can gain clarity and on how to proceed in a methodological way. This helps them manage their time and navigate their objectives well, and I am thankful to be part of that process with them.
Q) To new students like me or those almost done with their studies, what would you say to encourage us to access the Writing Center services?
The best thing about the Writing Center is that it is free! This opportunity is available every semester, and this service is available for every single student. I know, some people are ashamed to ask for help, however, for most of us English is a second language and therefore there is no reason to not ask for help. The great thing about studying is that there is always room for improvement and going through an iterative process of feedback will only make your work better. Secondly, the Writing Center offers free online workshops on e-education almost weekly discussing topics like how to write your methodology or abstract. These are also available to help you improve.
Lastly, writing is an important skill especially looking at the work, impact and future scope of KDIS alumni. Writing is an important skill to continuously develop as at its core it helps you learn anything. Technical skills are necessary; however, writing is important to set you apart and prepares you for success in your career regardless of your specialization.
KDIS Writing Center is a place for all students enrolled in the KDI School of Public Policy and Management to receive assistance in any type of written documents ranging from resumes and cover letters to term papers, supervised research projects, capstone projects, and theses. The Writing Center is staffed by trained editor consultants who have broad work experience in writing, consulting, proofreading, and editing.
Available sessions per semester: 3 sessions (appointments) per semester
Service Method: Online or Offline(Face to Face) service (Currently, only available online due to COVID-19)
Place: 4th floor of the KDIS building (S405)