Dabin Park’s life is guided by one principle: to meet the highest ideals. Now, that compass has led him to the South Korean military.
Park, a Western Washington University alumnus and Omega Beta chapter member, recently suspended his MBA studies to move home to South Korea and join the military. He hopes the military experience will prepare his mind and body for a career in journalism, which he said might be the most dangerous field of them all.
After a stint in the military, Park wants to pursue freelance work, allowing himself the freedom to travel and report on various issues around the world, such as world hunger and human rights violations as well as their causes.
“The professors were excellent, and I had good relationships with the deans and the staff, and yet something didn’t feel right about pursuing an MBA,” Park said. “At the same time, personal challenges during the time made me realize that I feel strongly about truth and honesty. With the current atmosphere around free press and journalism, I wanted to transition myself to be a part of a field where the values I hold close is one of the main motives for the field’s existence.”
“As MLK stated, ‘Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.’ I want to go where justice is being violated and share the facts to the world as a journalist,” Park continued.
Journalism is quite a career shift for the 24-year-old. Park graduated in 2017 with a degree in business administration, something he had always gravitated toward because of his belief in a business’s positive impact on economic development. He entered Willamette University’s early MBA program to focus on finance and marketing, working to become a successful capital manager.
On this new path, Park will spend time as a mandatory service enrollee before committing himself as a professional soldier to one of the seven special forces brigades in the South Korean military. He hopes to improve his Korean language and enhance his cultural knowledge through this experience as well.
“(It) seems like I threw away comfort and practicality for idealism, knowing ahead of time that I will probably come up short,” he said. “What keeps me confident on this track is knowing that this is the path of highest ideals for me, and even when we know we’ll come up short, we should strive for it anyways, right?”
Because Park does not have formal journalism education, he plans to use this time to
experiment with photo and video journalism and build relationships.
Park joined Alpha Kappa Psi in 2016 for a sense of community and professionalism. He was also a 2016
“The experience of spending time with brothers from all over the world was incredible. There were brothers from
every part of the US and a brother from the U.K. as well as India. Learning and bonding in beautiful and humid
Indiana for a week with those brothers (at the Academy) is still a sweet memory I look back on,” he said.