College Athletics and Korea WEST: Mutually Beneficial

When Hayoung Noh began her internship with the athletics department at Binghamton University in New York, she had big shoes to fill as the department’s fifth intern through the Korea WEST program. But as with the other interns who came before her, Hayoung ultimately overcame the cultural and language barriers of being in the U.S. to exceed all the expectations of her role.

Thanks to her work, a video collaboration between Binghamton and the PR staff of the SK Wyverns baseball team in South Korea was published in the spring of 2017. The video consists of a two-part interview with Binghamton alum Scott Diamond, who signed a contract to play with the SK Wyverns of the Korean Baseball Organization (KBO) after a few years with the Minnesota Twins.

The fact of a Binghamton athlete signing with a South Korean baseball team is interesting but all but overshadowed by the story of the video’s creation and the fact that it would not have been possible without Binghamton’s continued close ties with the program.

The work done on the video was a wonderful demonstration of international cooperation. Interview questions were written by the communications team in Binghamton. Hayoung conducted the initial outreach to the Wyvern’s PR staff in Korea and also edited the video. A key aspect of the project was having a former Korea WEST participant, who had previously interned at Binghamton, actually conduct the interview on-site with Diamond in South Korea.

The fact that a Binghamton alum based in South Korea was interviewed by a Korea WEST program alum who interned at Binghamton in a video edited by a current Korea WEST intern at Binghamton truly makes it seem like the cooperation between the University and exchange program has come full-circle.

The video project itself is merely the latest example of this successful cooperation—success which is set to continue as Hayoung prepares for round two of her internship. “I think it will be very valuable for her and also wonderful for us that now we can count on her in the office and her contributions,” says John Hartrick, Hayoung’s supervisor and Associate Athletic Director for Communications at Binghamton University. “Now, after all these months that she feels so comfortable, she’ll be able to do even greater things.”

In a nutshell, Hayoung’s case provides an excellent example of what we hope to achieve through international exchange—increased international cooperation leading to better and greater things.

Watch Hayoung share her story in the video above, courtesy of the America East Conference.