Where are you from?
I’m from Korea.
Where do you live now?
Right now I live in Silicon Valley.
What have you been doing since you graduated?
I started my job at Nokia right away after graduation.
What is your current job?
I’m in a team called Data Insights. It’s a data mining oriented team, which mostly was composed of technical people and data scientists. But they wanted to expand their experiential and data visualization, which is where I fit in. This team is technically an engineering team, but data visualization falls between engineering and design. In this position and with my design research background, I’m not just making wireframes or coming up with the ideas; I’m actually making it work with the real data with technical coding. My job can be considered as engineering but that overlaps with design.
Can you tell us about a recent project you’ve worked on that you were really excited about?
Unfortunately, I can’t talk about my current projects at Nokia right now, but I mostly work on data visualization projects.
How do you think the program helped prepare you for your life after Georgia Tech?
I feel like my foundation, my ideas, and my philosophy really were developed during my time as a PhD student in the Digital Media program. My job requires a lot of technical coding skills, and I learned those mostly during my undergraduate degree. However, my PhD taught me how I could use data in different ways. I focused more on the critical idea of how can data visualization be used in a broader sense. Another really important thing I learned was how to perform design research. A lot of people start projects by beginning to code right away, but I research before I code, so incorporating a research phase is something I got from my PhD.
Do you have any advice or words of wisdom you would like impart to current or future Digital Media students?
If you want to have a job in Silicon Valley, you need to have technical skills, and you have to know how to code. If you want to be a designer, you need to have a portfolio that shows you skills. You can’t just say that you can design in your resume, you have to demonstrate it in your portfolio. You also have to have to know the industry is changing so rapidly, and you really have to pay attention to trends. Everyone is making changes, and it can be intimidating to see how fast this industry changes. You need to keep your eyes on the new trends of the technology of your interest, what’s coming, what is hot at this moment.