UNM Rainforest Innovations

Dana JungUNM Rainforest Innovations, the technology-transfer and economic development organization for the University of New Mexico (UNM), has a student internship program that teaches UNM students about university technology transfer and the intersection of business, science, and law. Over the years, UNMRI has trained over a hundred students and the internship program is comprised of a student office assistant, accounting intern, student intellectual property & disclosures assistants, and several innovation interns.

Our featured intern this month is Daeun (Dana) Jung who currently works as an Innovation Intern. “I was born and raised in Seoul, South Korea… but when I was nine, I lived in Bloomington, near Indiana University for two years. Ever since then, I developed an interest for international subjects and was able to expand my thoughts beyond the country I was born in.”

Later, Dana decided to attend a foreign language high school in Korea. “…(It’s) a special high school where you learn foreign languages in depth and learn more about the global world. There, I was able to learn English and Spanish and about different cultures that I did not get to experience in Seoul.”

When she was ready to attend college, Dana enrolled at the Ewha Womans University in Seoul and is double majoring in international studies and business. “I came to UNM as an exchange student because I knew it was my only chance to live and study abroad as a college student in Korea. It was a must for me since I wanted to surround myself with new things and learn more about different lives and about myself in the process.”

“For the exchange semester at UNM, I mostly took business classes but also film classes because it was something I was always interested in and I wanted to explore new fields during my time here. At my home university, it is difficult to take classes outside my major, so this was the only chance for me to try new things and learn more diverse things…I am liking it very much so far.”

When asked how she discovered the internship, it was a former intern who recommended it. “I wanted to make the best out of the semester here at UNM so I searched for jobs or internships that would grant me this opportunity. Through Simon (Majewski), who had previously worked as a student intern at UNMRI, I was able to find out that such a program existed… Now that my semester here is coming to an end, I realize how lucky I was to have found out about this internship and get the chance to work here.”

As an Innovation Intern, Dana is involved in a lot of different projects and tasks relating to technology transfer. When asked what she enjoys the most about her job, she said: “The most attractive part about my job is that most things were very new to me… like drafting NCS’s (non-confidential technology summaries), conducting mailing campaigns, and market research… Every week, I get to explore new topics, from lung infections to inorganic pigments. Being involved in the process of these new inventions and helping them (find) ways (to) be used to the fullest felt rewarding in itself.”

When Dana isn’t busy with school and work, she especially enjoys traveling and visiting new places. “During my semester here, I visited most places in Albuquerque and New Mexico, and also went out of the state to LA, Las Vegas, Chicago, Orlando, and New York. I enjoy looking into how each city is different and getting glimpses of how people go on with their lives there. I also find joy in making things; from baking and drawing to taking pictures. I especially like taking photos with my film camera. The capturing of things I see and then seeing the results weeks later is a fun process for me.”

Dana will be leaving UNM Rainforest Innovations next month and we wish her all the best on her next pursuits. As for what’s next, she is looking forward to exploring new avenues. “I am still trying to figure out what I want to do most after graduating, but for now, I want to find a job related to marketing. I want to be in an area where I can constantly challenge myself and create new things. It would also be great if it will allow me to visit new places and explore new things since that is what motivates me the most.”

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