Going global as Mason Korea’s first computational and data sciences graduate


Traveling abroad has been part of Jimin Jeon’s life for as long as she can remember. She traveled with her mom during every school vacation, which allowed her to visit 23 countries by the time she was a college student. Being exposed to different cultures from a young age helped her develop a desire to pursue her college education abroad. That brought her to Mason Korea after 12 years of Korean public school education.

Jimin Jeon at the Washington Monument
World traveler and Mason Korea grad Jimin Jeon in Washington, D.C. Photo provided

“While the thought of studying abroad was exciting, I felt burdened by the language barrier to study abroad in the U.S. right after graduating high school,” Jeon said. “Mason Korea was an alternative to ease that transition by improving my English skills in a more familiar setting in South Korea.”

Jeon was part of the first cohort in the newly established Computational and Data Sciences Department at Mason Korea. Although her frequent travels around the world prompted her to major in global affairs, she had her mind set on the world of big data since high school. Thus, after her freshman year, once the new major was opened, she made the jump to the STEM field.

Jeon found she had direct opportunities to engage in data analysis. Her favorite part of Mason Korea was the Career Development Center, which allowed students like her to be exposed to opportunities in data analytics to gain technical hands-on experiences. Her first work experience was through the center as a data science intern at a real estate AI valuation startup during her junior year.

 “It was a special opportunity to see how the knowledge about programming languages I acquired in the classroom be applied in the real workforce and identify the areas that I need to continue to improve to be a more competent data scientist,” said Jeon.

Transitioning to the Fairfax Campus in the fall semester of 2023, Jeon stayed true to her goal of diversifying her experiences. Her last semester at George Mason included working as a teaching assistant for the Computational and Data Sciences Department in the College of Science, performing data cleaning for an on-campus project, and helping students practice their Korean through the language exchange program. She took advantage of the language environment so that she could build her English skills.

Jeon is now a proud graduate in computational and data sciences, one of the few who enrolled in the major in 2020. She is excited about the job opportunities she has and wants to encourage all those who have just closed their four-year journey. 

“For students just like myself, who have spent their whole life in the Korean education system, going to Mason Korea alone is a challenge,” she said. “Learning about various topics at a more sophisticated level in a language that you are not familiar with was also not an easy task for me. Yet, the four-year voyage of diverse experiences and success itself shows that I can take on any challenge at any point in my life.”