It is not what happens to you —it is how you respond to it

This year will most likely be remembered as one of the most memorable years for the entire MSBA program staff and the class of 2020 and 2021 cohorts. The COVID-19 pandemic and its ongoing consequences on the economy and public health guidelines has profoundly changed the way the MSBA program delivers its curriculum to its students.

What has been the most heartbreaking aspect, to all of us, is that almost half of the accepted students from overseas either couldn’t join the program on time or, unfortunately, have inevitably decided to defer their enrollments to next year, all of which majorly attributed to the suspension of Routine VISA Services.

The picture was taken at one of the Bootcamp sessions in pre-fall term

The picture was taken at one of the Bootcamp sessions in pre-fall term.

Even in this challenging and chaotic time, to best accommodate the experiential learning experience for those who have taken a leap of faith to pursue what the MSBA program will offer this year, the program’s office decided to adopt some flexibility into this curriculum by delaying the program start-date to mid-August, instead of mid-July.

Additionally, for those who may not feel safe being in the campus setting, the program has been delivering a hybrid version of both in-person and online learning via Zoom.

Though I consider myself a realist who sees the world as it is, I feel quite optimistic about what is to come as a result of the change we all are going through in this current time.

My ultimate motivation to apply for the MSBA program at Emory University’s Goizueta Business School came primarily from my desire to achieve the state of personal autonomy. And that is the case for most my fellow cohorts. The encyclopedia defines autonomy as, “A person’s sense of self-determination, of being able to make choices regarding the direction of her or his own actions, including the freedom to pursue those choices.”

Rather than seeing ourselves as victims who have been lost to the external circumstances of which we have no control, I believe we can create what is the best for us by proactively going after the outcome we want from the seed of positive mental attitude and visualization. Even Zig Ziglar says, “It is not what happens to you that matters. It’s how you respond to what happens to you that makes a difference.”

It is not that pretending to be positive all the time is the solution to a happy life, but it suggests that when we change the way we look at things, the things we look at change.

I strongly believe that developing my intellectual and leadership capability is key to achieving a state of autonomy and self-actualization. There is no doubt that this firm belief has led me to a sense of commitment in learning the skills that are not only in high demand in the world we are currently live, but also extremely valuable when I embark on my endeavor as an entrepreneur.

I am an extremely blessed individual because I have been given an opportunity to embark on my American dream as both a first-generation Korean-American and a first-generation college student in my family. I attribute this blessing to my father, who has sacrificed more than I can ask for, to ensure that I am able to develop my intellectual capability to be more valuable to the world at large. It was his autonomy that enabled all things to be possible.

In the same regard, we, Emory University Goizueta Business School MSBA class of 2021, also desire the personal autonomy for the reason that we can give back to our loved ones, our community, and our world.

Sean Jung

Sean Jung

Sean Jung is a first-generation Korean-American and a Master of Science in Business Analytics (MSBA) candidate at Goizueta Business School. Before joining the program, Sean pursued a Bachelor of Science degree in Nutrition Science from Georgia State University, where he was also actively involved in quantitative research experience. He also has a brief experience working with financial services clients while working on his entrepreneurial endeavor on the side. In his spare time, Sean enjoys strenuous physical activities such as working out, hiking, and dancing.