Kevin-Jang-Lo-res
By: Danielle Staub

From a couch at Averett’s Riverview Campus, to an office in Folsom, California, Averett alumnus Kevin Jang ’15, ’17, attributes his success to three things: the values his parents instilled in him at a young age, being a student in the Averett GPS program and his work at Infinity Global.

“Never lose the hustle. If I wasn’t going to school, and working here (at Infinity Global) at the same time, I would have never developed the hustle that I have. I attribute that to the MBA program at Averett and this company. That work ethic and gumption will always stay with me.”

He calls it his transformation process in which he learned his potential.

Kevin Jang was born and raised in South Korea. As a young boy, he says his parents asked him if he wanted to go to middle school in China. At the time, Kevin dropped out of elementary school to chase his passion of becoming a pro gamer; however, Kevin’s parents were so worried that he was making such a big decision at a young age that they wanted to broaden Kevin’s perspective by giving him more opportunities in another country. Instead of questioning his parents, he trusted them, and as a 12-year-old boy he left home.

“I simply noticed the importance both countries, China and Korea, put on learning English and realized that there is no escaping it regardless of where I went. That really opened my eyes and I knew that, from my experience of learning Chinese, the best way to learn a language is to completely immerse yourself in that culture.”

Jang says all the children in China already knew the English language, something he was behind in and that made him feel inferior.

“I thought to myself, I should be able to speak English as well but at the time, I barely knew the alphabet.” That pushed him to work harder.

“My objective of going to America was quite simple: to learn the language, English. But during my journey, I gained much more than just that. I loved the freedom and the diverse education it provided. I was able to blossom in the right culture and assimilate in a positive way. I was learning English at that time, without knowing the full benefits it would bring later in my future, such as being able to lead international projects involving European, American and Asian clients, helping manage distribution centers in 11 different countries and more.”

Jang came to America in 2007. He attended Broad Run High School in Ashburn, Va. from 2008-2012. Starting high school, he could speak Korean and Chinese, but barely any English. So he enrolled in an English as a Second Language (ESL) program with other international students. He took one year of the three-year program and tested out to graduate early.

Always looking towards the next step, his higher education journey led him to Averett for its “love for diversity.”

“I received the Presidential scholarship and without that, I would not be here,” he said. “Without Averett’s love for diversity, I would not be here. After receiving the scholarship and researching the University, I found that Averett really embraced not only domestic diversity, but international diversity as well.”

“Without Averett’s love for diversity, I would not be here. After receiving the scholarship and researching the University, I found that Averett really embraced not only domestic diversity, but international diversity as well.”

He did not obtain his green card until his second semester in Averett. This was an important and timely goal for Jang, because as a permanent resident, he could obtain working status, which was crucial for him to stay and excel at Averett. He wanted to have a full-time job while being a full-time student because it was important for his family.

“This meant that I was able to legally work to finally support my parents financially. They have been struggling economically for a while and it had been weighing on my heart for quite some time. It was a huge relief for our family.”

It was in his second year when he landed his first job as a marketing analyst at a start-up company, AllergEase, which later proved to be a crucial stepping stone for his future. He said it was his academic advisor at Averett who helped him get an interview with AllergEase.

“Without this opportunity, I’m not sure where I would be now.”

Working and going to school full-time, Kevin occasionally utilized one of the empty classrooms at Averett’s Riverview Campus to catch some rest during his break.

“I often felt sleep-deprived. So during my break at AllergEase, I would walk across the street, turn off the lights and put my head down for a minute at Riverview.”

Just trying to rest one day between school work and work, on a couch in one of the classrooms, Jang woke up to a conversation that would change his life.

That’s when Carly Pearce, executive director for Graduate and Professional Studies (GPS) student services, found Jang. She realized his work ethic and potential, and offered him a job as her graduate student teaching assistant. This meant he would be able to get his master’s degree.

“The fact that I was able to earn my master’s degree without the financial burden is what really meant a lot to me personally, as my family has been struggling monetarily.”

“The fact that I was able to earn my master’s degree without the financial burden is what really meant a lot to me personally, as my family has been struggling monetarily.”

Jang started working for Pearce after receiving his undergraduate degree. Around that time, he got a new job at Infinity Global because AllergEase was leaving the area.

That summer, Jang had quite the busy schedule.

“I would work daily from 8 a.m. until 5 p.m. at Infinity Global, on Tuesdays I had class from 6-10 p.m., and Monday through Friday, I also worked as a GA from 6-10 p.m. From Monday through Friday, I couldn’t do anything. I didn’t have time nor energy to go out or network. I barely made time to go to the gym to decompress and recharge, just to get home right around midnight to repeat the same hustle the next day.

“I told myself that you have to do it, you don’t have an option. On the weekends, all my time was dedicated to working on my academics – writing papers, preparing presentations and collaborating with classmates on group projects – and catching up on sleep. I do remember going to sleep Saturday morning and waking up Sunday morning, saying to myself, ‘did I really lose a day? I’ve got to put in extra work to make up for the lost time!’ I was focused.”

It was that focus that now has Jang promoted to a new job with Infinity Global in California, working directly with the senior vice president as a business operations analyst.

“At Infinity Global, we look for people that possess three key things. We are looking for people who are hungry, humble and smart. Kevin possesses all three of these things and it is why he has been successful in his various positions at Infinity Global. Having Kevin in California allows me to work with him on a more frequent basis and will help him develop his career with us more quickly,” said Kevin Palmer, senior vice president.

Kevin’s position as Business Operations Analyst was designed to help Infinity Global improve its departmental reporting and create key performance indicators that will allow departmental managers to improve the management of their workload, their direct reports and projects.

“I’ll look back to the experience I had at Averett and will always be grateful.”

“I’ll look back to the experience I had at Averett and will always be grateful.”

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