Name: Jennifer SeungAh Yook
Major(s) and Minor: Classical Humanities Major, History Minor, Biology Minor
Year: Class of 2016
Why did you choose Classics as your major?
After a long internal debate between CBN and Classics, I decided to go with the choice that I was most interested and excited about. Of course, in hindsight it seems like that was an obvious choice to make. Classics granted me the chance to develop skills and techniques essential for any field of study; it also allowed me to gain a much more profound understanding of our world.
What did you like most about it?
I think the part I like most about it is how it all seems to connect. Once you understand the more basic underlying themes, you can see the huge impact classics has in shaping modern society. It’s amazing how you can walk out of class one day and almost immediately be able to apply what you learned- your mind is able to make that connection and provide a modern example of ancient history/culture. It’s an amazingly relatable subject; we might not have monsters or demigod heroes, but the questions and issues that these characters faced are very relevant and very human.
What is your current position, what do you do, and what do you enjoy most about it?
Currently I am an intelligence officer for the USAF.
What was your first job after Rutgers and how did you get it?
I actually had two first jobs after Rutgers. The first was actually at an insurance firm. I got it after meeting one of my mom’s acquaintances; I was talking to him about my college experience as well as my life after graduation. We were parting ways when he told me he was looking to hire and offered me his office number. I called and after a short phone interview, I was hired.
Around the same time, I figured that since I had more time on my hands, I would like a job that didn’t revolve around office work. So, I applied to the nearest Starbucks and was hired.
How did you move from that first job to your current position?
Funnily enough, they don’t actually have much to do with each other. Once I had my first jobs, I was actually trying to figure out what I wanted to do with my life. Through experiencing working at these two environments, I was able to narrow down what I wanted and what I didn’t.
Looking back, what classes or experiences at Rutgers would you point to as contributing to your successes?
As far as classes, I believe that all my Ancient Greek language classes contributed to my success. Learning a new language is a new discipline; as rigorous as it is, it is also rewarding. These classes opened up my mind by giving me new perspectives, new teachings from ancient philosophers, and a renewed appreciation for history.
I also believe that actively participating in organizations/sports teams helped. Sometimes, we get so caught up in studying that, it’s nice to have a non-academic outlet. Plus, there are some things that a classroom just can’t teach you.
What advice do you have for our current Arts and Sciences students?
Take this time to try and find out more about yourself. Don’t think that you’ll be wasting time or effort by trying something (even if you end up hating it) - as long as you learn something from it, it’s never a waste.