January 19, 2016 /
Italia Peretti

Staff Spotlight: Umi Kim

Casey Trees is fortunate to have a great corps of highly accomplished and talented interns — and we love singing their praises when given the chance.

And that is why we are shining the spotlight on Umi Kim, a Senior at Ewha Womans University in Seoul, South Korea and our current Communications and Development Intern, who recently was recognized with two awards.

Lets meet Umi!

Casey Trees (CT): Where are you from and what university do you attend?

Umi Kim (UK): I am from South Korea and grew up in the small countryside named Jinwee, Pyeongtaek City. It was peaceful neighborhood surrounded by moutains and streams, which enabled me to have ‘nature’ in my mind. After graduating from a foreign language high school, I moved to Seoul to attend the university. I am currently a senior at Ewha Womans University, majoring in Geography education.

CT: Tell us about the awards you won? What are they called? What are they for?

UK: The awards I won are about my internship experiences so far in the United States. I won two awards for my experiences.

First, I was chosen as a Merit Scholar among the participants of the Korea WEST Program, a joint-government internship scholar program between the United States and South Korea.

The second award was a scholarship from the Ministry of Education in Korea for my essay about my internship experiences in nonprofit organizations in Washington, D.C. I am very grateful to be a Merit Scholar and one of the finalists in an essay scholarship from the Ministry of Education in Korea.

Both scholarship contests are designed to give students an idea about experiencing work places in different countries, which may be challenging, and a significant chance to see the bigger world.

I believe joining Casey Trees helped me to win these awards!

CT: What has been the most surprising thing about working at Casey Trees?

UK: There were two things that surprised me while working at Casey Trees. The most surprising thing is that all staff actually go to tree plantings. I did know Casey Trees plants trees but I thought tree planting is done specifically by the tree planting team. I was surprised and excited at the same time when all the staff from our department got to go to a tree planting as well! I highly recommend tree planting to someone who wants to feel a rewarding and strong nature-related experience.

The people at Casey Trees also amaze me. Casey Trees is an organization full of dedicated and talented people who have one common thing in each heart — sweet thoughts for trees. Every day at work, I can feel Casey Trees’ staff are doing their best to protect the tree canopy of D.C. with a green heart.

CT: What will you do next?

UK:  I will go back to South Korea to graduate college. I would like to go to grad school in the United States to strengthen my geography career. I am a senior college student in South Korea majoring in geography education. To be specific, I want to combine my interest in GIS with green thoughts for nature and society.

CT: What is something you have learned here that you will always remember or take with you?

UK: Casey Trees is such a green and cute organization with awesome people. I will always remember the green hearts that I could feel from the people at Casey Trees! I will also be tirelessly thinking about what I can do for the environment and society with the ability I can improve.

CT: What is a piece of advice you would offer someone who wants to work or study abroad?

UK: Embrace the opportunities given to you while listening to the voice in your heart. At first, it was not easy for me to live on my own in a different country using my second language. However, you will grow as a totally different person while traveling, communicating with people with different thoughts, and experiencing the new culture. Good luck!

We are always looking for the best and brightest to join the Casey Trees team so be sure to check our Jobs and Internships page often.