MINERVA VOICES

A Conversation with Minerva Graduate Student Jinkyo

This is part of a series of profiles introducing Minerva’s Master in Decision Analysis (MDA) students from the Class of 2023.

December 18, 2021

This is part of a series of profiles introducing Minerva’s Master in Decision Analysis (MDA) students from the Class of 2023. If you would like to learn more about the MDA program, please visit minerva.edu/graduate/.


As the co-founder and Director of Startup Ecosystem Development at Next Challenge Foundation, a non-profit accelerator in South Korea, Jinkyo Choi understands the importance of effective collaboration and decisive decision-making. With both her own employees as well as the startup entrepreneurs she mentors, the ability to work well with others and to make tough choices are often the key characteristics between success and failure. One piece of advice she offers is, “When you work in an organization, you need to work as a team and show your best performance. No matter how talented you are as an individual, it is not helpful to the group if you can’t work with others.”

However, this practice is not as easily done as said, especially when you know your colleagues personally. For example, when Next Challenge grew from six employees to 15, Jinkyo noticed difficulties began to arise between team members, many of whom were her friends and former university classmates. She began to examine the team dynamics and realized that some members were not working well with others, which affected the entire company. Faced with this challenge, she made the tough realization to let go of those who were struggling to collaborate with other employees in order for the company to succeed. While it was difficult, Jinkyo knew that teamwork was critical to success, and knew she would continue to need to make critical decisions as Next Challenge grew.

Jinkyo began to look for graduate programs that would help her grow as a leader but found many institutions in South Korea to be too traditional. “The professors are not necessarily experienced in startups, and instead focus more on academics and theory. However…textbooks don’t always apply directly to the real world,” she explains. When she learned about Minerva’s Master of Decision Analysis, she was immediately intrigued by the curriculum, which focused on teaching foundational concepts and transferable skills that could be applied to students’ specific industries. Minerva’s flipped classroom model and active learning pedagogy, facilitated by the Forum learning platform, also stood out as she found traditional lectures to be ineffective and impractical. Rather than memorize exact scenarios and static facts, Jinkyo believes Minerva’s curriculum will help her become a better leader as she often needs to make quick decisions that are each unique and complex.

Now, as a member of the MDA Class of 2023, Jinkyo has been able to experience the benefits of active learning education herself and is already applying her knowledge in her job. For example, New Challenge launched a new startup program in Korea to condense the startup acceleration process into a systematic four-year curriculum. After her first semester, Jinkyo feels better prepared to make crucial decisions about this large project and has applied principles of the science of learning to the start-up program’s structure. She is excited to share these insights with her classmates and colleagues and looks forward to learning even more as an MDA student.

Quick Facts

Name
Country
Class
Major

Cognitive Science and Economics & Political Science

Social Sciences & Business

Business & Computational Sciences

Business and Social Sciences

Social Sciences and Business

Computational Sciences & Social Sciences

Computer Science & Arts and Humanities

Business and Computational Sciences

Business and Social Sciences

Natural Sciences

Arts and Humanities

Business, Social Sciences

Business & Arts and Humanities

Computational Sciences

Natural Sciences, Computer Science

Computational Sciences

Arts & Humanities

Computational Sciences, Social Sciences

Computational Sciences

Computational Sciences

Natural Sciences, Social Sciences

Social Sciences, Natural Sciences

Data Science, Statistics

Computational Sciences

Business

Computational Sciences, Data Science

Social Sciences

Natural Sciences

Business, Natural Sciences

Business, Social Sciences

Computational Sciences

Arts & Humanities, Social Sciences

Social Sciences

Computational Sciences, Natural Sciences

Natural Sciences

Computational Sciences, Social Sciences

Business, Social Sciences

Computational Sciences

Natural Sciences, Social Sciences

Social Sciences

Arts & Humanities, Social Sciences

Arts & Humanities, Social Science

Social Sciences, Business

Arts & Humanities

Computational Sciences, Social Science

Natural Sciences, Computer Science

Computational Science, Statistic Natural Sciences

Business & Social Sciences

Computational Science, Social Sciences

Social Sciences and Business

Business

Arts and Humanities

Computational Sciences

Social Sciences

Social Sciences and Computational Sciences

Social Sciences & Computational Sciences

Social Sciences & Arts and Humanities

Computational Science

Minor

Computational Science & Business

Economics

Social Sciences

Concentration

Cells and Organisms & Brain, Cognition, and Behavior

Applied Problem Solving & Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence

Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence & Cognition, Brain, and Behavior

Designing Societies & New Ventures

Strategic Finance & Data Science and Statistics

Brand Management and Designing Societies

Data Science & Economics

Machine Learning

Cells, Organisms, Data Science, Statistics

Arts & Literature and Historical Forces

Artificial Intelligence & Computer Science

Cells and Organisms, Mind and Emotion

Economics, Physics

Managing Operational Complexity and Strategic Finance

Global Development Studies and Brain, Cognition, and Behavior

Scalable Growth, Designing Societies

Business

Drug Discovery Research, Designing and Implementing Policies

Historical Forces, Cognition, Brain, and Behavior

Artificial Intelligence, Psychology

Designing Solutions, Data Science and Statistics

Data Science and Statistic, Theoretical Foundations of Natural Science

Strategic Finance, Politics, Government, and Society

Data Analysis, Cognition

Brand Management

Data Science and Statistics & Economics

Cognitive Science & Economics

Data Science and Statistics and Contemporary Knowledge Discovery

Internship
Higia Technologies
Project Development and Marketing Analyst Intern at VIVITA, a Mistletoe company
Business Development Intern, DoSomething.org
Business Analyst, Clean Energy Associates (CEA)

Conversation

This is part of a series of profiles introducing Minerva’s Master in Decision Analysis (MDA) students from the Class of 2023. If you would like to learn more about the MDA program, please visit minerva.edu/graduate/.


As the co-founder and Director of Startup Ecosystem Development at Next Challenge Foundation, a non-profit accelerator in South Korea, Jinkyo Choi understands the importance of effective collaboration and decisive decision-making. With both her own employees as well as the startup entrepreneurs she mentors, the ability to work well with others and to make tough choices are often the key characteristics between success and failure. One piece of advice she offers is, “When you work in an organization, you need to work as a team and show your best performance. No matter how talented you are as an individual, it is not helpful to the group if you can’t work with others.”

However, this practice is not as easily done as said, especially when you know your colleagues personally. For example, when Next Challenge grew from six employees to 15, Jinkyo noticed difficulties began to arise between team members, many of whom were her friends and former university classmates. She began to examine the team dynamics and realized that some members were not working well with others, which affected the entire company. Faced with this challenge, she made the tough realization to let go of those who were struggling to collaborate with other employees in order for the company to succeed. While it was difficult, Jinkyo knew that teamwork was critical to success, and knew she would continue to need to make critical decisions as Next Challenge grew.

Jinkyo began to look for graduate programs that would help her grow as a leader but found many institutions in South Korea to be too traditional. “The professors are not necessarily experienced in startups, and instead focus more on academics and theory. However…textbooks don’t always apply directly to the real world,” she explains. When she learned about Minerva’s Master of Decision Analysis, she was immediately intrigued by the curriculum, which focused on teaching foundational concepts and transferable skills that could be applied to students’ specific industries. Minerva’s flipped classroom model and active learning pedagogy, facilitated by the Forum learning platform, also stood out as she found traditional lectures to be ineffective and impractical. Rather than memorize exact scenarios and static facts, Jinkyo believes Minerva’s curriculum will help her become a better leader as she often needs to make quick decisions that are each unique and complex.

Now, as a member of the MDA Class of 2023, Jinkyo has been able to experience the benefits of active learning education herself and is already applying her knowledge in her job. For example, New Challenge launched a new startup program in Korea to condense the startup acceleration process into a systematic four-year curriculum. After her first semester, Jinkyo feels better prepared to make crucial decisions about this large project and has applied principles of the science of learning to the start-up program’s structure. She is excited to share these insights with her classmates and colleagues and looks forward to learning even more as an MDA student.