Anna Kook: ' I hope to become an international reporter, delivering powerful stories to help the powerless.'

April 26, 2017

Anna Kook

Government & China and Asia-Pacific Studies

Born in Seoul, South Korea, grew up in Singapore

What is your main extracurricular activity? Why is it important to you?

Since freshman year, I have committed myself to NK Focus, a student organization that focuses on humanitarian suffering in North Korea. Having personal connections to North Korea, ever since high school I have been passionate about learning and raising awareness of human rights oppression in North Korea. As the media wholly concentrates on reporting about the political climate and nuclear program in North Korea, I feel responsible to disseminate information on human rights issues that cannot go ignored.

Who or what influenced your Cornell education the most? How or why?

My participation in The Cornell Daily Sun as a staff news writer and multimedia producer was influential in molding me as a multimedia journalist. As a student-run but professional newspaper, The Daily Sun was the perfect platform for me to explore my interests in multimedia journalism. I launched a project on my own called "Election Watch" where I scripted, filmed, produced and edited weekly episodes delivering relevant information on the 2016 presidential elections to the Cornell community. This was one of the most difficult accomplishments I undertook, but it was also the project I enjoyed most. This played a huge role in confirming my passion for journalism.

If you were to offer advice to an incoming first year student, what would you say?

Just do what you love and worry later. Don't waste any time and just do everything that you think you might be interested in. Don't worry about what other people might think of you because, frankly, that doesn't matter in the long-term. Don't worry about failure or disappointment because that itself is valuable education. What lasts a lifetime are the countless experiences and challenges you took advantage of at Cornell. Once your four years are up, you won't get more time in a vibrant community like this one. Live with no regrets.

What are your plans for next year; where do you see yourself in 10 years?

Next year, I plan on spending a little more time in China before committing to graduate school for journalism either at Northwestern or Columbia University. In 10 years, I hope to become an international reporter capable of connecting with diverse people and delivering powerful stories to help the powerless.

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