#WeAreElliott: Sunny Kim

#WeAreElliott: Sunny Kim

Sunny Kim smiles while sitting down. He is wearing a baseball cap backwards and is wearing a blue button up shirts and blue jeans in front of a bridge model in Thailand. Sunny Kim, M.A. In International Affairs 2025, #WeAreElliott

Sunny Kim is a recent graduate from the University of Connecticut. He earned a bachelor’s degree in political science and a minor in history. He was born in New Jersey but grew up in South Korea. His involvement in leadership roles included various students’ organizations like Korean Student Association, Model UN, and the Pan Asian Council. He also worked at UCONN Asian American Cultural Center as an event coordinator for the Global Gateways program. He plans to study International Affairs and concentrate in Asia, focusing on democracy and dictatorship.

What made you interested in your graduate program of choice? 

I was always interested in international relations and taking courses related to international relations as an undergraduate made me want to further my study. I decided to focus on the Asian regional concentration as I am interested in democracy and dictatorship in Asia and the path forward for Asian people. The International Affairs program will give me the knowledge I need to have a successful career.

What skills do you hope to pick up or further develop at the Elliott School? 

One skill that I am interested in picking up is knowledge of writing policy briefs and other professional skills. I had the opportunity to write a policy brief for one of my classes in undergrad and I realized that I needed to practice that set of my skills more. I also want to further my knowledge of regions of Asia and their languages to become a regional expert. 

If you could have anyone in the international affairs field serve as your personal mentor through grad school, who would you pick and why? 

I would choose the former United States President Barack Obama. Barack Obama inherited a nation that was facing a financial crisis and two wars. He also had key programs that he wanted to implement in the United States and failed. What I want to learn from him is the way he kept his ideals and tried to implement them while also negotiating with the other side. There were also many global incidents during that time that he had to react to, and that knowledge would be great.

Why did you choose to commit to the Elliott School for your graduate program? 

I decided to commit to the Elliott School because of the network and opportunities that are available due to the great alumni network. The school’s status as an elite international affairs school is also something that attracted me to this school. I also saw the school as a place where I can meet people that want to go on similar paths as me and to learn from people that are working in the field that I want to work in the future

If you could recommend one city outside of the US that people should visit, `which city would you recommend and why? 

Seoul is a city that is worth visiting. Seoul is a place where the traditional and the modern city is blended. If you want to see traditional Korea, you can go see the old palaces and sleep in traditional Korean homes. It is also a modernized city with a lot of fun attractions and things to do. It is also a great place to try out the diverse Korean food. 

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The #IncomingElliott profile series is managed by the Elliott School Office of Graduate Admissions and highlights newly enrolling students to answer common questions posed by prospective and current students. For more information on this series or to submit questions, e-mail the Office of Graduate Admissions at esiagrad@gwu.edu.

The views expressed by students profiled do not necessarily represent those of organizations they work for, are affiliated with, or the Elliott School of International Affairs.