Entrepreneurial Scholar: Joohae Yoon, Urban Planning + Design


I am a student from South Korea. I have started my degree in 2011, as an Environmental Horticulture major at the University of Seoul. I was deeply interested in urban ecology, plant remediation and urban environmental systems.
My first visit to the U.S happened in fall, 2012. I applied for several different universities in other states as an exchange student but the only acceptance letter I received was from a state I have never heard of, Missouri. I researched this place for days and nights but still wasn’t sure if I could really like this place. But when I arrived, soon enough, the world turned around, introducing me to new experiences that I would have never had.
That’s when I first encountered the concept of entrepreneurship. I have been keeping my eyes on launching a start-up business ever since. Magazines like Entrepreneur, INC magazine and Forbes became one of my favorite pastime. I am now studying Urban Planning and Design at UMKC and an active member and a project leader of UMKC Enactus, a college students’ international non-profit organization dedicated to enabling progress through entrepreneurial action. I am in the process of gaining experience needed to launch a startup business. Getting selected as a recipient of UM System’s ESI program is an honor, and will help me improve my entrepreneurial skills as I prepare to start my own business, here in my 2nd home.

UM System names first class in its Entrepreneurial Scholars and Interns Program
Students from all four campuses will have a unique opportunity to enhance their entrepreneurship skills

COLUMBIA, Mo. – The University of Missouri System today announced the selection of the first 15 students to be part of the inaugural class of the UM System Entrepreneurial Scholars and Interns program. Starting in the spring semester, students will begin taking approved entrepreneurial-related courses to be followed by a 10-week, paid summer internship. This exclusive program provides the students with a strong academic foundation in entrepreneurship as well as the opportunity to learn from a mentor or work within a startup company.

“Entrepreneurial experiences for students, at such a young age, is huge for the state,” University of Missouri System President Tim Wolfe said. “By creating this culture on our campuses—one that encourages innovation—we will produce well-educated entrepreneurs that will power Missouri’s 21st Century economy.”
The goal of the program is to create a steady stream of entrepreneurs around the state capable of taking their cutting-edge ideas to the market as new business ventures. Creating this new wave of well-educated entrepreneurs in Missouri will benefit the local, regional and national economies.
“Increasing research and economic development activity is integral to our strategic plan,” UM System Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs, Research and Economic Development Hank Foley said. “This opportunity for our students to collaborate with a like-minded cohort will be an engine for the state’s vitality in the coming years.”
The program introduces students from different degree programs on each of the four system campuses to entrepreneurial principles and practices and creates a network of connections centered on entrepreneurship. The application process was open to all undergraduate students on all four campuses. In total, 38 applications were received from disciplines ranging from journalism, environmental engineering, nursing and graphic design. Below is the list of students, their degree program and campus affiliation:
Natasha Brewer, Journalism, MU
Audrey Engel, Marketing, UMSL
Drew Forster, Agribusiness Management, MU
Teresa Frank, Business Finance, UMSL
Connor Hall, Finance, MU
Josh Jetter, Electrical & Computer Engineering, Missouri S&T
John Larrick, Finance & Real Estate, MU
Kimberly Miller, Entrepreneurship, UMKC
Andrew Neely, Business, UMSL
Erik O’Riley, Mechanical Engineering, Missouri S&T
Mary Puleo, Environmental Engineering, Missouri S&T
Nick Rollins, Information Science & Technology, Missouri S&T
Alexander Sweeney, Computer Science, UMKC
Aaron Vonderhaar, Mechanical Engineering, Missouri S&T
Joohae Yoon, Urban Planning & Design, UMKC

Excerpt from UM System press release 12/19/2014