News | USC Marshall Freshman Paul Park joins METRANS Student Team

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by Hong Sheng "Clark" Hsu, USC, IPPAM 2023

Paul Park is a freshman at USC in the Marshall School of Business. He is a Korean American who came to USC from Tennessee and is starting his USC journey with METRANS by taking the key roles of Graphic Design and Content Specialist, working closing with the events and web teams.


Paul Park, USC, Marshall School of Business


Hi Paul, you are a freshman coming to USC all the way from Tennessee – almost coast to coast. Could you share with us how you decided to pursue USC?

Hi! I think that USC provides a great community and great opportunities both in terms of extracurriculars and career-wise, something which was obvious to me even way across the county in Tennessee. There’s so much going on all the time, and I’ve been able to try out activities I never had the chance to back home. I hadn’t originally planned on moving so far from home for college, but I don’t regret my choice! 


How do you like your major so far?

I’m a Business Administration major (planning on pursuing marketing). My classes have been great! The material is really interesting and I’ve been working on learning to best manage my time better, especially now that we’re finally going to school in person again.


Welcome to the METRANS Student Team! What triggered you to join us? What is your work about?

I first heard about the team through the virtual work fair, and I thought the team aspect of things and the jobs we do were both very interesting! I’ve always had an interest in urban sustainability (I’m actually taking the sustainability thematic Writ 150 class right now), and so I talked with the student panel from METRANS who was at the work fair, and luckily, I was invited to join the student team! I’m currently on the Website Team as Content Manager for the METRANS TSA website and on the Events Team leading the graphic design of our promotional materials – flyers and the like for the many exciting upcoming events we are hosting!


Is this your first time in LA city? Is it a lot different from your hometown?

I visited LA once when I was in elementary school, but this is my first time really experiencing living in LA. LA is definitely a lot busier than I am used to, but I am finding I enjoy living in a bustling urban city and walking/taking public transportation as opposed to driving everywhere, as we did in my hometown Nashville. It’s a welcome change of pace. And personally, as a Korean American, it’s nice having such a large Korean community with places like K-town; I really appreciate the diversity in LA. 


Have you explored the city yet? What transportation here do you usually take, and do you think it is convenient to get around?

I’ve had a few chances to explore K-town and some places near campus. I’ve been using the Metro (Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority, commonly branded as Metro, the agency that plans, operates, and coordinates funding for most of the transportation system in Los Angeles County), and it’s fairly convenient actually. Before I arrived, I had heard that the public transportation in LA wasn’t the greatest, but I find the system to be clean and easy to use so far! I had expected that getting around would be difficult since I don’t have a car, but so far, so good! Of course, there are still areas to improve on in LA transportation (and pretty much everywhere, I bet) which is what we’re all working towards here at METRANS!


I know you have been visiting South Korea from time to time. Do you enjoy living there, and how is their transportation system different from the US?
For sure! Public transportation in South Korea is well developed and maintained, so getting around the entire country on my own is easy to manage. I think the biggest difference is that because so many people rely on public transportation in Seoul, the capital, there are a lot more physical trains and buses for each line/route (you’d typically only have to wait at most 5-7 minutes for the next car to come to your station/stop), which makes the system very convenient. 


How is campus life so far? Any goals you want to achieve in your freshman year?

I’m really enjoying my time here at USC so far, it’s great to have that “campus” feel again after finishing high school online. Making new friends and having that sense of community is such a nice change from staying inside all the time quarantining, so I’m glad we can all be here in person to start off my college experience. I think my main goal is to explore the city a lot more. There are still so many places I want to see, so I’ll be sure to try to check them all off my list by the end of this year!


About Author:

Hong Sheng “Clark” Hsu is a first-year graduate student majoring in International Public Policy and Management at the USC Sol Price School of Public Policy. He is a member of METRANS Student Team, specializing in news writing and publication, and enjoys basketball, working out and music.