Sara Ko-Ada

Associate Director of International Student Services

Sara Ko-Ada

What do you do?

I not only coach our Kelley undergraduate students to successfully explore potential internship positions and career paths, but I am also our Office’s International Student Services Lead—coaching, programming, and supporting Kelley’s international student population, as well as our domestic students interested in global opportunities are my responsibilities.

Why do you do it?

My reasons are simple—empathy and positive impact through intercultural competence. I empathize with those who may be struggling to find their meaningful career calling for various reasons, and I’ve found joy in helping those who turn jobs into meaningful careers. Having lived and worked in diverse environments, I value creating positive impacts through intercultural competence—the ability to comfortably and properly navigate, be aware of, and appreciate various cultures and peoples. In this globalized world, whatever industry you’re in or position you hold, intercultural competence matters and is esteemed.

How I got here.

Born in South Korea and have lived all of my formative years on the U.S. Territory island of Saipan (Never heard of it? Google it. It’s in the heart of the Pacific Ocean, by Guam), I graduated from IU back in 2009 (BA in Journalism) as an international student. My first job was in PR/communications at an international development firm in Washington, D.C. Initially, my heart was set on spreading my wings as a broadcast journalist, so I made the bold move to Seoul, South Korea, to work as an English journalist. There, I worked as a news anchor and field reporter, as well as a business communications consultant for various global companies. These worthwhile experiences opened my eyes to the world of business and the importance of intercultural competence (or the lack there of)—leading me to obtain two Masters in international development and cooperation and international communication. It was then when I knew I wanted to help students, who may have similar background and stories as me, to reach their optimum potential in life and career. Where else would I do this but at my beloved alma mater?

What have you learned during your career?

Two things—challenge yourself to step out of your “comfort zone” and make those connections and long-lasting relationships. “What doesn’t kill you only makes you stronger” and “It’s not always about what you know, but it’s almost always about WHO you know.” I wholeheartedly agree—I’ve seen it, lived (living) it, and believe it. So go out there, expand your horizons and limits and see yourself grow and succeed.

What do you do away from work?

My husband and I love traveling—short and long road trips and international excursions. I also enjoy outdoor hiking and picnics and searching for tasty foods. I try to limit my retail therapy and couch potato sessions.

I strongly believe…

Our world will become a better, happier place if we all care, give, love, and understand a little more.

I wish…

I could be better at gardening and live to travel all around the world.

All Posts

Just for Our International Students (2/2019)

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Got Love for Internships & Jobs?
February—LOVE is in the air but so are internship and job listings! How is spring recruiting going for you? We have a full list of career-related events for you this month—check them out!
Interested …

By Sara Ko-Ada
Sara Ko-Ada Associate Director of International Student Services Sara Ko-Ada
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Just for Our International Students (1/2019)

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Happy 2019 – Ready for Spring Semester?
New year, new events, and new opportunities! We have a full calendar of career-related events for you this spring semester. Scroll down to learn more about them!
2019 Winter Shanghai Career Fair
In Shanghai, …

By Sara Ko-Ada
Sara Ko-Ada Associate Director of International Student Services Sara Ko-Ada
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Just for Our International Students (12/2018)

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You’re Almost Done – Adieu Fall 2018!
You made it! Few final exams, papers, and projects to go. We kept our newsletter for you short this time, with just a couple of reminders and tips of how the UCS can …

By Sara Ko-Ada
Sara Ko-Ada Associate Director of International Student Services Sara Ko-Ada
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Just for Our International Students (11/2018)

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It’s Cold, It’s Fall, It’s NOVEMBER!
We’re nearing the end of Fall 2018! There are still lots to do before December stop by Prebys Career Center or schedule an appointment with UCS career coaches so you can stay on track!

By Sara Ko-Ada
Sara Ko-Ada Associate Director of International Student Services Sara Ko-Ada
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A Letter to Our International Students – How to successfully get a job/internship in the U.S.!

A Letter to Our International Students - How to successfully get a job/internship in the U.S.!

Dear International Students,

It has been a daunting adventure—your big move from home, adjusting to the new culture, language, school, friends, environment, and the Goliath of it all—looking for jobs and internships in a foreign country, the U.S.

The year …

By Sara Ko-Ada
Sara Ko-Ada Associate Director of International Student Services Sara Ko-Ada
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Just for Our International Students (10/2018)

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Welcome to Spooktacular October!
Midterms, interviews, internships, jobs-they’re all coming along. It’s OKAY if you’re still looking for opportunities. We are here to help YOU through it all, so Keep Calm and Read on!
Fall 2018 Career Fairs–They’re Still Going!

By Sara Ko-Ada
Sara Ko-Ada Associate Director of International Student Services Sara Ko-Ada
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Just for Our International Students (9/2018)

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Fall Recruiting Has Begun!
Fall 2018 in full swing now! School, work, social life – we know it’s a lot but we’re here for YOU! Don’t forget to check out our full calendar of career-related events for you this fall.

By Sara Ko-Ada
Sara Ko-Ada Associate Director of International Student Services Sara Ko-Ada
Read more »

Just for Our International Students (8/2018)

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Hello…Ready for Fall Semester?
How was your summer? It’s already August and we’re excited to share everything we’ve worked on this summer with YOU. Scroll down to read what we have prepared for you!
IU Kelley UCS Travels to China!

By Sara Ko-Ada
Sara Ko-Ada Associate Director of International Student Services Sara Ko-Ada
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IU Kelley UCS Travels to China

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How was your summer? Busy with your internship, job, traveling, classes, everything else in between?

Many students think summertime is a great chance for IU faculty and staff to enjoy some downtime with the quieter streets and campus (which we …

By Sara Ko-Ada
Sara Ko-Ada Associate Director of International Student Services Sara Ko-Ada
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International Student Success – “Career Fair Recap: What Now?” w/ Kelley Alumna Hyemin Kim

International Student Success - "Career Fair Recap: What Now?" w/ Kelley Alumna Hyemin Kim

Watch this video and listen to Kelley alumna Hyemin Kim (Implementation Manager at Kyriba) share her advice on what to do AFTER you’ve attended career fairs to increase your chances of getting jobs/internships in the U.S.

By Sara Ko-Ada
Sara Ko-Ada Associate Director of International Student Services Sara Ko-Ada
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