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“She Thought She Could, So She Did”-- I’ve had a lot of work experience in the corporate environment where a lot of the work is dictated by the entire company or enterprise and you’re trying to execute on it. Whereas with the Center for Asian Pacific American Women (CAPAW), I’ve been fortunate enough to create, implement, try things, test things. It’s the fact that I can generate the idea and see it come to fruition, like the sHERO program. That’s what really makes me excited because the intent was to always help women, always to network them together, to give them insights to things they might not get for years, and to be able to demystify what happens in leadership . And to give you the reigns to then direct how you want life to go. To be able to see it, I really get excited. Whatever we want, it’s possible. We can do it!
I have many role models, but first and foremost would be my aunt, who is now my mother. She is the one who brought me to the States when I was eight. She is a single woman who took on full responsibility for her younger sister's child in the 1970s which is really unheard of. She really did her best to make sure I had opportunities that I would have never gotten in Korea had I stayed. She was a strong role model from the beginning, and we laugh about this, but I literally did follow her exact footsteps. Having that strong role model showed me that a single woman can succeed, and the world is open for you to try things.
The second person who inspires me would be my immediate supervisor when I first started at State Farm. She was the one who demonstrated to me how you train somebody, how you bring someone along, and make their experience meaningful. She wasn’t an executive, but she knew how to develop people. I learned how to coach and provide constructive feedback to make it a positive experience for others. I eventually became known for developing people.