Hi all! My name is Soomin Shin and I hail from Raleigh, North Carolina. I just finished my sophomore year at Penn and I am studying PPE, as well as pursuing a dual degree with Wharton. This summer, I will be at MMTC-PAMP in New Delhi.
Since middle school, I have wanted to travel to India, so when I first heard about the student program with the Center for Advanced Studies in India my freshman year, I saw an opportunity for me to not only experience a different culture but also gain meaningful work experience. My summer after freshman year, I worked for the Environmental Crimes section of the Department of Justice in Washington; it was an extremely fulfilling experience, but once finished, I soon began thinking about the kind of work I wanted to do in the summer of 2017. After talking to many former CASI interns, attending CASI-hosted events, and introspecting deeply, I decided to apply for the internship in New Delhi with MMTC-PAMP, a precious metals organization, focusing on finance, digital marketing, and corporate social responsibility.
Issues about the environment are especially important to me; I am also in the Epsilon Eta environmental fraternity, have served as an Eco-Rep for the school’s Sustainability Office, and am the new Vice Chair of Events and Outreach for the Student Sustainability Association at Penn (SSAP). It came with some irony that I was applying for a gold and silver refining company because the extraction process for precious metals is known to be highly environmentally damaging.
Writing the essays for the application made me think critically about the concrete reasons I wanted to work in India and question any idealized notions I had about working abroad. Additionally, I questioned more the effectiveness of global development, as well as modern forms of colonialism and imperialism that I had previously ignored. I want to be conscious of the social and political environment I am entering so I can understand the nuances of business in a global context. The application process itself usually strengths my desire because I am able to understand my goals and my vision for myself more clearly.
During spring break, I checked my email and was excited to find out that I had been accepted into internship at MMTC-PAMP, but realized I had a lot of preparation before I could start. The visa application was stressful, and since this is the first year that MMTC-PAMP has interns in Delhi, finding housing was initially a struggle; I found myself, in the middle of midterms, sitting in GSRs and scrolling through airbnbs and trying to sort out all the details of my trip. However, after getting all the logistics sorted out, I realized that I let myself get too caught up in the details and caught in a sense of false urgency. At the end, everything was sorted out.
After 25 hours of airports and airplanes, I arrived at the Indira Gandhi International Airport at night and met up with my fellow CASI interns in Delhi. I hope to come back to Penn with new knowledge, not only about the world, but also myself.