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

International Student Success – “How to Prep for Career Fairs” w/ Kelley Alumna Hyemin Kim

International Student Success - "How to Prep for Career Fairs" w/ Kelley Alumna Hyemin Kim

Watch this video as Kelley alumna Hyemin Kim (Implementation Manager at Kyriba) talks about her experiences as both an international student and a recruiter.

By Sara Ko-Ada
Sara Ko-Ada Associate Director of International Student Services Sara Ko-Ada
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International Student Success: U.S. Job/Internship Search Advice from International Kelley Alumnus

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Watch this video and hear international Kelley alumnus (former EY consultant in San Francisco) and author of What’s Next – The International Student’s Guide to the U.S. College and Job Search Process Lawrence Nah share his advice and tips on …

By Sara Ko-Ada
Sara Ko-Ada Associate Director of International Student Services Sara Ko-Ada
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International Student Success: From a recruiter’s perspective

International Student Success: From a recruiter’s perspective

Watch this video and hear from Jessica Schinaman about researching which companies hire international students for internships and full-time positions, so you can make the best choice!

By Sara Ko-Ada
Sara Ko-Ada Associate Director of International Student Services Sara Ko-Ada
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International Student Success: Advice from a fellow Kelley student

International Student Success: Advice from a fellow Kelley student

Hear from Jason Gu about his journey moving to Columbus, Indiana, and how he’s made the most out of his time in Kelley! Watch this video to hear about how he has connected to other international students and employers by …

By Sara Ko-Ada
Sara Ko-Ada Associate Director of International Student Services Sara Ko-Ada
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Immigration Bridge – Help Navigate the International Hiring Process

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Helping navigate the international hiring process.

Whether you are an employer or international student, the Immigration Bridge Program®, launched by the Kelley School of Business, will help you navigate the complex H-1B visa process—so recruiters can make excellent international hires, …

By Sara Ko-Ada
Sara Ko-Ada Associate Director of International Student Services Sara Ko-Ada
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Internships in China? Check out the Junior Up Program on Lockin China-IU Portal!

Internships in China? Check out the Junior Up Program on Lockin China-IU Portal!

Heavy recruiting season in China is from late-February to mid-April. Get FREE access to thousands of summer internship positions from 100+ well-known Chinese employers through the Junior Up Program!

Junior Up Program is a new program developed by GUCCU & …

By Sara Ko-Ada
Sara Ko-Ada Associate Director of International Student Services Sara Ko-Ada
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Looking for Jobs in China? Find Opportunities, Tips, and Resources on Lockin China-IU Portal!

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China is a major player in the global economy and has become a popular destination for young professionals and college graduates seeking employment and/or internship opportunities.

To meet the growing demands, recently, IU officially partnered up with the Global University …

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