HANCOCK COUNTY — Kara Miller traveled to South Korea to learn about international business, but what she’ll remember most about her experience is the people she met and friendships that developed.
Miller, 20, of New Palestine, is a junior at Purdue University studying marketing and international business, with a certificate in entrepreneurship and minor in film and video studies.
The 2014 New Palestine High School graduate traveled to Seoul in May for a job she landed after participating in the Seoul Global Internship Program at Purdue University the previous summer.
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Ever since she was a young child, Miller — who was encouraged by her dad, Scott Miller, to develop a passion for leadership — has been dreaming of doing something extraordinary with her life.
Her father told her at a young age girls can be bosses, too.
“She thought about that for a few moments and, with all the seriousness a 4-year-old girl can muster, stared out into middle distance and proclaimed, ‘I want to be a boss,’” her father said.
Traveling to Seoul on her own and working in a foreign land was an exhilarating, yet challenging, life experience, she said.
It was the first time she had traveled overseas without family, classmates or friends.
Being alone far from home and working for a fast-paced company produced some stressful moments, she said.
Yet, in the end, the experience helped her grow personally and professionally as well learn about flexibility.
While in South Korea, Kara Miller lived in her boss’s guesthouse, conveniently located in the same building as the YEP corporation office, an event-planning and coordinating company.
Miller worked every day for four weeks on a variety of projects from photography to drawing commercial storyboards.
After she finished working for YEP, the real fun began.
She traveled throughout South Korea and to Hong Kong before returning to the United States.
It was during her downtime she was able to take in the beauty of the countryside — with strolls through lavish gardens — and experience some of the native culture.
She also had the chance to visit the friends she made in Seoul from her previous travels including one who serves in the military there.
Inspired by New Palestine’s Angela Ahrendts, former CEO of Burberry and current senior vice president of Apple’s retail and online stores, Miller has big dreams of someday leading an international company and maybe inspiring young women to chase their dreams.
“It is truly inspiring to a small-town girl to hear that another small-town girl blasted through that ceiling to become one of the most influential business leaders today,” Kara Miller said of Ahrendts.
Her adventures the past couple of summers were not her first sojourns overseas.
She first studied abroad in Peru before entering her freshman year at Purdue University.
Then, in the spring of her freshman year, she went on a Krannert School of Management study abroad trip to Taiwan over spring break.
“That is still one of my best experiences,” she said.
She also is involved with people traveling to the United States through a group in West Lafayette that helps acclimate foreign students to the Purdue University campus.