Before I start posting for this blog I thought a self-introduction would help. My name is Sung Ho Paik and some of you might know that a name divided into three parts like that indicates that I am an Asian. I am in fact a Korean. Until I went to the U.S.A. for my high school education, I lived in Korea with my family. I am currently a rising senior at Cornell University studying Hotel management–specifically a Managerial Leadership concentration and Real Estate minor.
You might wonder why someone like me would spend his precious summer time working in an internship (that is, not a regular paid summer job) in Kumily, India. The answer is simple. Because I CARE. Because my education has taught me that the world that I am living in is not just about me. The whole world is somehow all inter-connected. Yes I do believe in the butterfly effect. Not to the extreme but I believe that the amount of land–specifically natural forests–that we preserve reduces the relative amount of pollution in the world.
Part of the reason I am pursuing a great education is so that I can give back to the community, and the community is not just my country but the whole world. I had an incredible opportunity, growing up in one of the fastest growing countries in the world for the past 20 years. Korea developed very well technologically but missed some important aspects. For example, by developing furiously and carelessly, Korea lost many of its traditional houses and natural scenes. After realizing its mistakes, Korea started to pay attention to its natural environment; but once it’s dead, it is very hard to revive it. In the past, animals like tigers were seen in most of the mountain areas of Korea, even in the mountains of Seoul. One way to stop little children from crying was to tell them “If you keep crying the tiger will come down from the mountain and hunt you.” However, all existing tigers are in care of the zoos. Bummer.
When Crist first introduced me to this project, he told me the location was Kumily India. I did not really know where Kumily, India was but when I heard India, the first thing that came to my mind was ‘one of the fastest growing countries in the world.’ However, unlike what I would expect from a developing country, this internship was about conserving the nature and sustainable resort operations; things that Crist wanted me to work on were not just hospitality but social enterprise. I was fully aware of what this meant with my relevant course at Cornell, Sustainable Global Enterprise in Hospitality. From this course, I got to research all initiatives that either small or large corporations had. These initiatives were very fascinating and I wanted to become part of it. So, when Crist mentioned the interests of the project, I realized that by participating in this internship, I will finally be able to give back to my community and show that I CARE. During my stay in Kumily, I look forward to be part of the social enterprise and will post about anything interesting to the blog.