Bobbi Lambrecht Scholarship Recipient Spotlight: Anne Joo

Posted December 23, 2014 | By csponline

Bobbi Lambrecht Scholarship Recipient Anne Joo

Concordia University, St. Paul recently awarded three incoming students a $5,000 scholarship. The awards were given in honor of best-selling author Cheryl Strayed’s mother, Bobbi Lambrecht. Bobbi returned to college to obtain her bachelor’s degree at age 40, making her a great example of CSP’s commitment to education at any age. Inspired by Cheryl’s speaking event at CSP, the scholarship is part of our commitment to offering students like you an affordable, achievable education.

More than 50 people applied for the scholarship. Recipients were chosen based on their application materials, an essay about why continuing their education was important, and an interview with the scholarship committee. Here is one winner’s story.

Anne Joo grew up in Dubai, where her father was a missionary and pastor. She moved with her husband to St. Paul about two years ago. With this move, Anne decided to pursue human resources because of the chance it gives her to help others. The following is her winning scholarship essay:

At the age of forty nine, my father decided to pursue a Ph.D. Everyone in our family discouraged him. We were financially incapable of it. But amidst the protests, he applied, studied hard, and graduated at the age of fifty two. And now, at the age of thirty two, I have decided to pursue a master’s in human resources (HR) management. Although I may not be as old as he was, I understand why he chose to go back to school. He has always had a passion for education and I share this passion. But more importantly, studying at Concordia University, St. Paul will help me realize my dream of obtaining an American education. It will also provide me with the skills necessary to serve others professionally.

It has been a dream of mine to study in an American institution. My interest in the United States developed at a young age. I attended an international boarding school in India from the age of nine to 17 and was heavily exposed to American culture. Many of my teachers, dorm supervisors and fellow students were American. I watched all of the blockbuster Hollywood movies. I had Mariah Carey cassettes on repeat until I memorized the words. I read Seventeen magazines. Many of my friends attended American universities and I had dreams of attending a school in the U.S. However, at my parents’ request, I went to a school in South Korea to learn about my birth country and its people.

Over the course of my undergraduate years, I felt that something was missing in my life. I felt incomplete. And this feeling persisted. I realized what was missing only after I moved to MN in July 2012. It was an American education. There are numerous things that I admire about American institutions. I value its structure and methodologies. In addition, I admire the freedom of thought and discussion. Moreover, I admire the extensive resources and up-to-date materials American institutions offer. Finally, I value diversity that Concordia offers. I grew up in a diverse environment and thrive in it. So, I believe an American education will not only fill that gap but also provide me with the knowledge and skills necessary to provide exceptional service to people on a professional level.

After obtaining my undergraduate degree, I started a career as an English teacher in South Korea. After seven years of teaching, I was ready to move on to the next stage of my teaching career. My husband and I however, moved to Minnesota to be closer to his family. It was very difficult to leave my family and friends. But nothing compared to the challenge of starting a new career. Finding a decent job in the U.S. was hard enough for my American husband, let alone a foreigner like me who had been educated outside the U.S. Although I did find a job, it was a temporary position. This meant I could be let go at any time for any reason. The feeling of losing a career and struggling to start a new one sent me on a downward spiral.

Then, one morning, I decided to ask myself some questions. What did I enjoy about my teaching career that I could find in another professional field? What made me excited about my temporary job? The answers poured out. Meeting new people. Interviewing them. Training them. Helping them with their questions. I realized I enjoyed serving others professionally. And I realized HR was the field that best matched my answers. I was so excited about this new realization that I put all of my heart, soul, and energy into finding an HR job. After months of applying to numerous HR jobs, I was eventually hired as a HR Projects Assistant by Minnesota Public Radio. It was a short but great experience. And this experience solidified my desire to serve others through HR.

I will use the knowledge obtained from my degree to help colleagues and my employer be more efficient. I know firsthand that an efficient organization can provide exceptional service to its clients. Next, I will continue developing the skills that I obtain from working to become the best leader possible. I want to be challenged. I want to solve the hardest problems. This education and the work that I will be able to obtain will help me improve my strategic thinking. And eventually, it will help me become an innovator who can find solutions for the company and its workers.

Lastly, my passion to serve others began at a very young age. My parents have been missionaries in the Middle East since 1987 and their life of service is what I grew up witnessing. Throughout high school in India, I served as a representative on various committees. In addition, my classmates and I devoted many weekends to visit schools for the blind or the physically handicapped. We visited orphanages for Tibetan refugees. We went to local slums and played with the children. These experiences shaped me as a person. Not only was I humbled, but I found this was the direction I was headed.

In closing, I want to share a conversation I had with my father. I was extremely discouraged from the financial struggles I was experiencing in America. I asked him why God would have me suffer so much. My father replied, “I know it’s been difficult but you must find a way to better yourself. If you need to reach out to others, do so. Don’t be afraid to ask for help. But make sure you return the help you receive by giving back to your community.” My father’s words resonated with me. I truly want to make a positive impact on people’s lives. And this essay is me asking and reaching out for help so that I can obtain an outstanding education and ultimately serve people both in my personal and professional life.

If, like Anne, you are passionate about achieving results through people, earning a degree in human resources is a great way to turn your passion into a career. At CSP, we offer both a Bachelor of Arts in Human Resource Management and Master of Arts in Human Resource Managementso that you can choose the program that’s right for you. Both degrees are offered fully online, so busy adults can study on their own schedule. Learn more about our online human resources programs today to get started.