Meet our newest intern, Justin Joe!

Hello everyone!

jkj_photo1I was born and raised near the Texas Gulf Coast in Lake Jackson. The town may be small, but being near both Dow Chemical and BASF oil plants, I got to meet many families who would transfer in on business. My family worked in-depth with the school district. My mother was and still is a teacher and my father was a clinical psychologist for the schools and probation systems in Brazoria, Wharton and Matagorda County. As a result, my family life revolved around education, and it is a subject that makes me feel the most at home. Both my parents are also musicians, and my father self-recorded and produced two full-length rock albums. I often remember certain periods in my life according to the musical phase I was in at the time. There’s not a lot of music I haven’t heard or can’t tolerate!

The strongest element of my family is my cultural heritage. I am a biracial Asian American and fiercely proud of it. Although my dad made my mom and I huge snobs when it comes to Chinese food! When I entered college in the fall of 2010, I was able to turn my fascination with cultural identity and diversity into an academic and professional adventure. I find public relations, marketing and mass communication in general very fascinating because of the interdisciplinary nature of the work. I’ve yet to meet someone in this field whose passion is exactly the same. In the sense, I feel there is room for growth as a professional and as a person. The highlights of my collegiate career have come from my relations with the Public Relations Student Society of America (PRSSA), of which I am president of Texas State’s Chapter.

Old Main at Texas State

Culturally speaking, Texas State is a heavily Hispanic university, so our Chapter has had the privilege of working with many culturally diverse students and organizations. With PRSSA, I have had the opportunity to hold events for Spanish media and documentary filmmakers, as well as draft the first hurricane warning system for the Gulf Coast’s Spanish-speaking population. I have lately concentrated my studies towards East Asia, primarily with personal interest, but also because of the similarly in the growth of the two regions’ media.

Skyline of Seoul, Korea
My dear Seoul, I shall visit you again very soon!

I compounded my two passions, music and Asia, and recently published my honors thesis discussing the cultural phenomenon known as the Korean Wave in South Korea. My ultimate high point in college was when I visited Korea’s capital, Seoul, for a brief period of observational study. I specifically studied Korean pop music–K-Pop–and discussed how it has become one of the key marketing mechanisms for South Korea’s national brand. This thesis also examined K-Pop’s movement to the West and how it has and might be received in the future. Since I was young I knew music had power, and this was just too perfect an opportunity to pass up! I intend to continue my studies of the Korean peninsula into graduate school.

I joined Ketner Group because I saw a kindred zest for branding and communications, the same elements I saw in my research. I hope to gain insight on B2B communications, an area that largely ignored in collegiate curriculum. I’m looking forward to a fun and productive stay with Ketner Group!