Aaron Ku - Hong Kong

Thoughts on My Senior Co-op

Posted by LIM College on Wed, Jan 21, 2015 @ 04:31 PM

As I am closing in on my final year at LIM, I thought it would be nice for me to give you a peek into my reflections of such an exciting time. To be honest, I was quite anxious when my senior year started, but at the same time, I thought there would be plenty of time to look for my Senior Co-op placement. Of course those couple of months went way faster than anyone could have imagined, especially when you’re waiting for emails about interview opportunities.

BestIntern

I was actually thinking about doing an internship during the fall semester to gain more experience before heading to the Co-op, but I am glad I didn't because there is quite a lot of work that goes into perfecting your professional profile to ensure getting the ultimate internship opportunity that you dreamed about. At least that’s the case for me since there are many other students who participate in internships during the fall. The months of October and November were definitely some very stressful times, especially during the latter months when the deadline was closing in. November went so fast and so slow at the same time.

I learned a lot from my past internships and I understand exactly what kind of opportunities I was precisely looking for in my Senior Co-op. I was looking for a very specific internship in terms of industry, field, company and office environment, as well as responsibilities. I will admit that I was quite picky when I was looking for opportunities, but I am a firm believer in not committing to a position that I don't love 100%  because I will have to intern at that company for four days a week for almost four months. It is a much bigger commitment than any of my previous internships. It was such a relief when I finally landed a PR Intern position at Make Up For Ever. The details of the internship are very close to my criteria. I am very much looking forward to what this last internship opportunity will bring for my career path!

Until next time…

Xoxo

Aaron

Topics: Senior Co-op, international students, marketing, senior year, Aaron Ku

A Marketing Day

Posted by LIM College on Mon, Jan 12, 2015 @ 09:30 AM

ku_011215My day as a LIM College student majoring in Marketing has truly varied throughout the time I’m studying here. I have actually added more and more online and hybrid classes as each semester passed. The reason was that I realized it’s the best for my overall schedule, especially if I am factoring in time to intern two days per week.

I try to plan my schedule with classes on Monday and Wednesday, and keep interning to only two days a week. I know many companies tend to ask students to go in at least three days a week but I personally want to leave one free weekday for myself to run errands, and luckily companies that I have interned with previously were all very understandable.

After all these years at LIM, I think I have gotten very used to and comfortable with having a weekday off. It’s just really nice to take a stroll in the city without bumping into people and crowds on the weekends. Soho or the West Village at 11:30 in the morning is truly a blessing, especially if you are up for shopping quietly.

I have also grown to function and work a lot better on the weekends, locking myself in my apartment and knocking all my weekly assignments off seemed to go much faster than it did on weeknights. (But of course many of the online and hybrid classes required participation and online discussions during the week.)

My Senior Co-op semester will definitely be a wake up call for me to get ready to be back in the real world. A jam-packed schedule with four days of interning and one day of school will certainly have me missing those quiet Tuesday afternoons grocery shopping in Trader Joe’s with no line.

           

Until next time…

Xoxo

Aaron

Topics: LIM College, international students, marketing, NYC, Aaron Ku

The Internship Talk

Posted by LIM College on Mon, Nov 17, 2014 @ 12:33 PM

Hey there! I can't believe it’s my last year here at LIM! I am currently in the midst of looking for my final internship for the Senior Co-op class. This is probably one of the most intense times I have experienced at LIM, mainly because of the very limited timeline and how much I want to make this an amazing experience for myself.

ku_111714

The Senior Co-op Internship is very different from what I’ve done before. It is very full on and requires four days of interning per week. I want to make sure the internship is something I am truly interested in, and I’m not just going to be spending time at some company where I am only gaining experience. After the internships I’ve had in the past, I have come up with some tips and perceptions based on my experiences.

First, I truly think the difference between interning two days a week and four days a week is tremendous. Your role is a lot lighter and you have less responsibility when you’re at a workplace for just two days. I think it’s completely worth it to do it as an experience or experiment to find out if a particular field or industry is the one for you because you’ll only be exposed to very surface layer tasks and responsibilities. But if you know your way around and are ambitious enough, you can see a lot of things that can further confirm your feelings toward the field.

To be honest, that’s really how I got into PR. Before I even started looking for a PR internship, I was warned in a friendly way by some of my older friends and classmates that the PR field was tough on interns and there was a lot of real work involved. But I knew I was really interested so I decided to try it out and explore it because I had nothing but free time during my sophomore year. (I adapted my proficient classes scheduling skill from my boarding school days, so I only had two days of classes almost every semester since sophomore year at LIM).

So my first PR internship experience leads to my second tip or observation. The workplace or working environment matters just as much as your interest in a field. I wasn't too happy about my first PR internship because the working environment wasn't very comfortable for me. I found it difficult to get along with some of my colleagues, but I still have gotten a lot from that internship. I took away a basic understanding of what I am getting myself into regarding the PR industry and also, most importantly, understanding how crucial a fun and energetic working environment is for me. That may not be at the top of your list of qualities for an internship or even a job, but to me that is a significant element.

I don't regret any of my career decisions so far. I believe everything has led up to what was supposed to happen, and if you’re reading this, I hope that you’re feeling the same. Every opportunity and internship is another experience for us to learn what works and what doesn't, which is why I am very appreciative toward LIM’s flexible scheduling that makes us able to intern and attend school simultaneously. I know it’s tough but what better way to gear ourselves up and figure out (okay it might only be a little bit, but that’s a start, no?) our career choice and path before heading into the real world?

 

Until next time…

Xoxo

Aaron

Topics: fashion school, international students, public relations, internships, NYC, Aaron Ku, experiential education

Direct Marketing: Making Connections

Posted by LIM College on Mon, Sep 15, 2014 @ 04:18 PM

Having an internship often gives us the opportunity to be able to understand the material we learned in class better, especially when we see it used in real-life business situations.

One of the electives I took in the spring semester was Direct Marketing. Each week we learned about different formats and strategies used in direct marketing, such as social media, email and search engine optimization.

These terms and marketing methods came up often during my internship. It was quite interesting to hear people talk about Instagram and Twitter in such a serious business way in the office, while most of the time they are just another social media app we fashion students use to connect with friends, pass time, or even procrastinate (to be honest).

Social media is such a prominent marketing tool in today’s business world. As students, we definitely have a slight advantage in this area, as we’ve grown up in the social media bubble.

The Direct Marketing class I took at LIM College definitely showed me there are endless ways to do marketing, and I am glad I can make real-life connections to them as well.

Until next time…Xoxo Aaron

Topics: direct marketing, social media, Instagram, Twitter, internship

Making a Good Friend in NYC

Posted by LIM College on Mon, Sep 01, 2014 @ 10:51 AM

New York City might not be the easiest place to form many meaningful relationships. Not because of the people, but rather the time and place. We don't have a traditional college campus and the flexibility of our schedule might also be a reason, as we can’t meet as often, especially if my friends and I don't have the same class. Our internship schedule plays a part in this as well.

Yet all this makes the friendships I have formed that much more sincere.

I met Maggie when I was still a freshman living in the residence hall. She lived on the same floor in a room just down the hall. Thinking back, it was College Algebra that really brought us together, if I remember correctly.

Aaron and Maggie

I wasn't naturally gifted in math, but Maggie was, and when I discovered how close our rooms were, I suggested I would pay her a visit for some extra help. Those mini-tutoring sessions turned into endless chats where we really bonded and became good friends. And now, after 3 years, we live just 10 blocks away from each other and those endless chats are still going on.

Topics: friendships, bonding, bff

Being a Real New Yorker 101

Posted by LIM College on Mon, Aug 18, 2014 @ 10:39 AM

NYC skyline

Whenever I am home, friends and family ask me what it takes to be a “New Yorker.” I don't think I ever thought about that as something I needed to do. As international fashion students, we all just catch on to it when we start to live here. But here are a few tips to “act like a New Yorker.”

  1. One thing a New Yorker never does is look up. Sure the Empire State Building is spectacular and the Chrysler Building might remind you of the King Kong movie, but we are just too busy for that, which leads to another tip.
  2. New Yorkers are always on the move, particularly forward. We live in such a fast-paced city that we always know where we are heading and what our destination is, unlike the lost and wandering tourists.
  3. New Yorkers are constantly trying to catch a train or subway, and we have our own subway etiquette. This includes letting people get out of the train car first and taking a seat (even if you are not elderly or pregnant) when the passenger in front of you gets up because this creates more room for incoming passengers, especially at rush hour.
  4. Finally, embrace 99 cent pizza – eat like a real New Yorker and a champion!

Until next time…Xoxo Aaron

Topics: act like a new yorker, New York City, NYC

Chic Yet Practical: New York Style

Posted by LIM College on Mon, Aug 04, 2014 @ 03:45 PM

Living in one of the world's fashion capitals, New Yorkers dress to live up to that title. They are very expressive with their clothing choices. And there are many vintage stores in NYC where they can find their own unique statement pieces.

New York City building

New Yorkers are also very fast-paced human beings, so they try to keep their chic outfits practical. I think this style can be seen most often in the winter. With the amount of walking New Yorkers do on a daily basis, it is important to put on a fashionable look that also has wind sustaining and snow/slush conquering abilities, especially with footwear.

New Yorkers really bring the shoe game, both in terms of style and the distance we are able to achieve. If there was a 1500m-sprint race in a pair of 5-inch Louboutins that pitted New Yorkers against residents from other fashion capitals, New Yorkers would win. New York style is truly unique.

Until next time…Xoxo Aaron

Topics: NYC fashion, vintage, Winter fashion, NYC style

My New York Food Crave 2

Posted by LIM College on Mon, Jul 21, 2014 @ 01:05 PM

Round 2 of my favorite spots to eat in the city! Go check them out!

Spot Dessert Bar

I don't even know where to begin with my sweet tooth, and Spot Dessert Bar has to be one of my favorites. Their Green Tea Tiramisu is so silky smooth. The green tea flavor is just right and there isn’t any bitterness to it. This dessert bar is a great place for a couple of friends to gather to have a little sweets retreat.

Spot Dessert Bar
13 St Marks Place, New York, NY 10003

 Aburiya Kinnosuke

The address of this Japanese restaurant might seem familiar, because it is literally right across from LIM College’s Maxwell Hall. It is a Japanese barbeque restaurant, but they also offer a wide range of traditional Japanese dishes. My favorite has to be their grilled chicken thighs. They really have some of the most tender and juiciest chicken I have ever had. The vibe in the restaurant is perfect for dinner with friends.

Aburiya Kinnosuke
213 East 45th St, New York, NY 10017

 BCD Tofu House

BCD Tofu House is one of my wintertime staples here in the city. It’s a delicious Korean restaurant in K-Town that serves all sorts of tofu soup in a hot stone bowl and it’s open 24 hours. Yes, I said it, they’re open 24/7. That's another reason I love this place, you can just go whenever the craving comes, or when you just need a hot bowl of spicy Korean tofu soup to warm you up. Also, they are super fast at serving, and that’s particularly good when you stumble in starving.

BCD Tofu House
5 West 32nd St, New York, NY 10001

 The Smile

Going to brunch on the weekend is literally like a ritual here in New York City. I love this little rustic restaurant that has some of my favorite brunch items, such as the Cheddar Scallion Biscuit and Butternut Squash Quinoa with Poached Eggs, Sour Cream & Sriracha. The location of this restaurant is perfect for brunch because you can walk right down to SoHo for some Sunday shopping afterwards to walk off all the food you just consumed.

The Smile
26 Bond St, Manhattan, NY 10012

Until next time… Xoxo Aaron

Topics: Spot Dessert Bar, Aburiya Kinnosuke, BCD Tofu House, The Smile, favorite spots to eat

International Students Meeting

Posted by LIM College on Mon, Jun 02, 2014 @ 10:37 AM

A few months ago, I was invited to an International Students’ meeting at which LIM College’s administrators and faculty sought comments from us and wanted to discuss our experiences here.

When I first started here at LIM few years back it wasn’t easy to spot an international student. Most students are Americans. Now, there are more international students from a variety of nations and I met many of them at the meeting.

As one of the students who has been studying at LIM, and in the United States, for a longer time, it was such a good experience being at the meeting. We all got to share the advantages of, as well as our struggles with, being an international student -- such as the application process for internships, student life, or apartment rental issues.

Since the city of New York is our campus, the chances of us bumping into each other are low unless we have class together. This meeting was such a great opportunity for all of us to get together and help each other out. I never met that many International Students at once here at LIM until I went to that meeting.

city streets

We have made some great progress in letting the school understand the experience from our standpoint and hopefully we can make the lives of international students at LIM in the future better and easier – and that could mean you!

Until next time…Xoxo Aaron

Topics: International Students' meeting, advantages and disadvantages

All-Access: The Life of a Fashion PR Intern

Posted by LIM College on Mon, May 19, 2014 @ 10:30 AM

If you have been following my blog for a while, you would know that I interned in Diane Von Furstenberg's PR department last spring. It really sparked my interested in the fashion public relations field.

So I found an internship at a PR firm this semester to continue with what I am passionate about. My experience at the firm has been great. Working for an in-house fashion PR department is definitely different than working at a PR firm, where they handle multiple brands and companies. I even got a chance to participate in New York Fashion Week this season, not as a volunteer in the front of the house, but as part of the production crew backstage -- and I had an all-access pass.

empty fashion show

It was incredible. I worked at the Tadashi Shoji and Rebecca Minkoff shows. It was quite surreal to work throughout the show - ushering celebrities, bloggers and editors and handling the press backstage. Those were such crazy days, but there is nothing better than experiencing all of this first-hand and getting a glimpse of the reality of the fashion business.

Until next time…

Xoxo Aaron

Topics: public relations, Diane Von Furstenberg, New York Fashion Week

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