Hoon Yoo

Let’s be Honest! It’s hard to figure it all out at a young age.

By Lulu Zakia Qonita

Originally from South Korea, a largely homogeneous society where he spent most of his life, Yoo found his first year at NYUAD challenging. Eventually, though, the unique intercultural education allowed him to learn from people of different cultures, values, and backgrounds. To Yoo, it was a fascinating and a life-changing experience. Today, NYUAD stands out to be the place that  shaped him to become the person that he is today.

Hoon Yoo, Class of 2020, graduated with a degree in economics. He is currently studying at Yale School of Management as a Silver Scholar, allowing him to pursue an MBA immediately after his graduation, complete an internship during his second year, and come back to Yale to finish his studies.

To fully realize what path he wanted to take, Yoo involved himself in as many extracurricular activities as possible. He also discussed his interests and plans with professors, alumni, and advisers in the Career Development Center from early on.

“You'll be surprised how much advice you can get from the people that went the path before you,” Yoo said. He also took courses from different fields including, the arts and music, the humanities, and the sciences. This personal journey led Yoo to his passion for business in his junior year.

This journey was not easy, nor was it linear. Like many other college students, Yoo had personal situations and struggles that he had to overcome during his studies at NYUAD. Finally deciding to pursue an MBA at Yale School of Management was the result of his admiration for his father who was a self-made businessman, the challenges his family overcame, and the NYUAD education combined. Yoo is excited about his new journey in the US and hopes to figure out a way to pay forward the opportunities, privileges, support, and experiences that NYUAD has given him. “I still miss NYUAD. Abu Dhabi is my second home. This might sound corny, but I miss the people in what I believe as one of the most diverse places on earth where diversity is celebrated.” Yoo has the goal of giving access to the kind of exceptional education that he was able to have at NYUAD to bright potentials out there. 

When asked to give advice to students who feel pressured to have a future plan, Yoo’s response was “Let's be honest, it's rare that we figure out what we want to do with our lives when we are super young. I am still figuring things out too, you are not alone. While you are at NYUAD, do things that interest you, find out what makes you happy… I’m still learning and growing every day, something NYUAD taught me to do.”