Min Ji Choi learns the hustle and bustle of business careers


With her innate business sense, outgoing personality and South Korean roots, Min Ji Choi proved to be a natural fit for an internship at Swizzle, a South Korean text-analysis company that has recently expanded to St. Louis. (Photo by August Jennewein)

When business administration major Min Ji Choi was a child, her mom recognized Choi’s outgoing personality and offered her this bit of advice: “South Korea is too small for you. You should go out and see the big world.”

Years later, Choi acted on this advice and jumped at the opportunity to travel nearly 7,000 miles to the U.S. and attend the University of Missouri–St. Louis through a dual degree program made possible by a partnership with Kookmin University in Seoul.

“My parents have always been very supportive of me,” said Choi. “I told my dad I had a chance to go to America, and he said, ‘If you believe that’s good for you, just do it.’ So when I get homesick, I stay motivated and tell myself I can do whatever I put my mind to.”

And Choi’s determination has served her well. In the last year, she worked as a volunteer board member for the Midwest Digital Marketing Conference and landed a summer internship at Swizzle, a text-analysis company based in South Korea that has recently branched out to the U.S.

“I got an email from the internship coordinator in the adviser’s office that said Swizzle was looking for a Korean-speaking marketing student, and I was like, ‘Oh, that’s me!’” she said.

During her time at Swizzle, Choi set up presentations and represented the company in networking sessions, notably including an event hosted by the Korean American Association of St. Louis, which gave her the opportunity to meet St. Louis Cardinals pitcher Seung Hwan Oh.

Choi’s biggest project was revamping the company’s social media strategy. By building a stronger platform on LinkedIn, Choi was able to reach out to a wider range of businesses and put them into contact with Swizzle’s sales team.

College of Business Administration alumnus and Swizzle creator Nick Szabo was immediately impressed with Choi’s business instincts.

“Min Ji has a fantastic, positive attitude, and she’s a real go-getter,” said Szabo. “She has an uncanny ability to put together easy-to-understand presentations for clients. And after working with us, she understands the real-world challenges that can come up. There is no way for school to completely prepare you for what it is like to hustle.”

As the Marketing Club president for this semester, Choi has made good use of the “hustle” she learned at Swizzle and has helped plan a number of events for business-minded students.

A few upcoming Marketing Club-sponsored events include a site visit to Elasticity, a guest lecture provided by Sylvester Chisom, author of “The Young Entrepreneur’s Guide to Success 2.0,” and speed networking with professionals from Anheuser-Busch, Purina, Boeing and more.

During these events, students will receive career advice and practice soft skills such as communication and attention to detail. As Choi has learned, the key to success is certainly in the details.

“It’s the little things that can make the biggest difference,” she said. “Most students won’t figure this out until they’ve gained some real-world experience.”

The UMSL Experience


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