Earning my IS minor abroad in Korea and Japan

When the opportunity to undertake the Information Systems (IS) minor study abroad in Asia presented itself, little did I know the profound impact it would have on me, both personally and professionally. The three-month journey split equally between Korea and Japan, was filled with lessons that transcended textbook knowledge and instead rooted themselves deep into my experiences and interactions.

Academic Deep Dive: The Courses That Shaped Me

The learning experience in Korea was foundational. Under the guidance of Professor Norwood, and Professor Pugsley, we navigated the realms of networking, servers, and database fundamentals. This laid the groundwork for our subsequent time in Japan, where the curriculum shifted towards the expansive domains of web-based applications, system analysis, and design taught by Professors Oh and Ramachandran, respectively. This academic journey wasn’t just about absorbing knowledge but applying it in real-world contexts.

Cultural Revelations: Beyond the Binary

Life in Korea and Japan was an immersion in a world where tradition seamlessly intertwines with technology. From the bustling streets of Seoul to the tranquil shrines of Kyoto, every corner echoed with stories of the past while humming with the rhythm of modernity. The pinnacle of this synthesis was evident in our visit to Disneyland Japan. Here, my inherent passion for operations, stemming from my major in operations and supply chain, found resonance with technological marvels. The park wasn’t merely an entertainment hub but a living example of operational efficiency and tech integration. The park featured an app with a live tracking system for every ride, providing accurate wait times. Understanding the nuances behind operations and now database management made me appreciate the live application and the technology and operations practices behind it.

The Lasting Impact: Professional and Personal Gains

The IS minor abroad program wasn’t just a short-term academic foray. Its echoes resonate in my current professional role. I recently had the opportunity to visit the IT department for an operations-based project in my company. While I might not be delving into complex SQL queries, the foundational understanding of databases and networks enabled me to engage in meaningful discussions, bridging gaps between operations and IT.

On a personal note, the relationships established during this journey, whether with fellow travelers or friends I met in Japan, have continued beyond the duration of the trip. The shared experiences, laughter, and learning have cultivated bonds that continue to thrive.

An Open Invitation to an Unparalleled Journey

To my peers and fellow students, the IS minor abroad isn’t just another program to enhance your resume. It’s a holistic experience that molds you academically, culturally, and personally. If there’s an opportunity to immerse oneself in a world where classroom theories meld with real-world experiences, amidst the backdrop of two culturally rich nations, this is it. Embrace this opportunity and let the transformative experiences of this program shape your future.

David Kale is senior at the David Eccles School of Business majoring in Operations & Supply Chain with a minor in Information Systems.

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