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Taeho Kwak

MILR, '21
Ithaca, NY
Human Resources & Organizations

Why did you choose the MILR program?

When I was planning and implementing HR practices in my previous work, I always felt like there was a lack of theoretical backgrounds. I was hungry for strategic models that might help me convince the CHRO more easily. Lingering questions I had were “What advanced methodologies can be applied to this specific issue?” or “Are there studies already done by scholars on, for example, this assembly line workers’ engagement issue?” Eventually, I decided to pursue further education. It turned out that Cornell provides the best HR master’s program in the world.

What is your favorite class so far?

Globalization and HR Strategy! This class is taught by Professor Rosemary Batt. Reading and discussion in the class might feel tough. But, Professor Batt’s insight that guides you from the broad view to individual firm and employee level, and her way of teaching (especially her very sincere feedback to your writing) are just awesome. I really enjoyed her class.

What is your favorite part of Ithaca?

Severe weather in wintertime and the geographically isolated location are hardships to many Cornellians. But I think they actually help bond cohorts together. If we studied in a more metropolitan area, things may be somewhat different. Of course, there are many good places to hang out with friends like wineries, parks, and trails.

What advice would you give a prospective international student?

Reality is harder than you imagine. Simply taking this program doesn’t guarantee you a job. Besides, the job market often changes according to the economic situation and political landscape. I’m trying to ask prospective international MILR students “Are you ready to take that risk?” and “How are you going to overcome the obstacles you will face?”

Where did you intern during summer 2020?

During the summer I did 2 internships and 1 research project (run by ILR):

-Cornell ILR School Alumni Association: Summer Intern

-Granules Pharmaceuticals Inc.: HR Consulting Intern

-COVID-19 and Changing Workplace: Research Assistant

More about Taeho

Taeho received his undergraduate degree in Economics from Sogang University in Seoul, South Korea. Prior to coming to the MILR program, he worked at Kia Motors in HR for 5 years and Texas Instruments Korea as an HR Intern.