Lee aims to build upon her previous advanced degree and gain the analytical toolkit to further her research in international politics and development policy.
Headshot of  Hyeyoon Lee
Hyeyoon Lee

"The resources at Harris—academic and personal—are one of the strongest assets Harris has," said Hyeyoon Lee, an  MPP student from Cheongju, South Korea. As her time at Harris marks Lee's first study abroad experience, she said these resources have been especially invaluable.

“For example, there are networking opportunities every week, which is very different from  South Korean graduate school. There, we had fewer social events and opportunities for people to engage with each other, which is why I am trying to be active in this area and take advantage of the benefits I have here as a student.”

Lee said during these weekly networking opportunities, she has really come to appreciate the diversity of Harris' student body. "You not only meet people who have lived and worked in different countries, but you gain a greater appreciation of the breadth and value of cultural experience.” Lee also noted that the diversity of the student body is especially valuable for someone like herself, who wants to work internationally.

With dual bachelor’s degrees in political science & diplomacy and economics from Hankuk University of Foreign Studies in Seoul and a master’s in international development from Yonsei University in Seoul, Lee’s academic pursuits led her to Harris. “I wanted to explore international conflict further, and graduate school seemed like the logical next step."

Harris’ blend of economic rigor and political insight, Lee said, drew her in. “I appreciate that I can use analytics and coding to focus on economics, international politics, and conflict. This triangulation allows me to use comparative politics to analyze international conflict in a different light. For example, I could research why one country becomes ‘poorer’ than another and try to predict trends or factors that influence a nation’s wealth. Coding and quantitative skills are crucial for this type of research, as it allows for easier analysis of more data, which will be helpful to my future research.”

Lee said she also appreciated that Harris offers a specialization in international policy and development as well as research centers like The Pearson Institute for the Study and Resolution of Global Conflicts. “Plus, there’re a lot of collaborative partnerships at UChicago that address international policy.”

Looking beyond her year at Harris, Lee is contemplating two different paths: “I’m considering pursuing a PhD related to political and diplomacy issues so I can further my research in international politics. I’m also considering working in an international development, conflict, or a human rights organization, such as an international institution or think-tank.”

On a personal note, Lee added that she's been very conscious about her time outside of school. “I want to make sure I’m balancing my academic and personal experiences, so I want to be sure to spend time with my friends, travel a bit around the US, and basically make the most of the opportunities I have outside of Harris!”