Eminent Person Interview Reflection

Although I didn’t get an interview for my Eminent Person project, I managed to learn a lot about a wide variety of topics. Heading into this part of the project I was pretty anxious and from the very beginning, questioned if I would be able to get an interview. I doubted that there would be experts on Jang Yeong-Sil (my eminent person) due to the scarcity of information on him online.
I didn’t want to give up on all hope though, as I believed there had to be at least one expert that I would come across. For most of the time, it felt like my hope was rather foolish and that I would never get close to obtaining an interview. This doubt was justified in my opinion, as I failed to find an abundant number of contacts to request an interview. Even the requests I made were unfruitful, so I frankly didn’t know what to do next. I thought the best thing to do was to ask Ms. Wasstrom for help and see if she had any suggestions as to whom I could contact. After I explained the situation, Ms. Wasstrom recommended that I look into Global Asian Studies courses at SFU and UBC, which I did. Finding contact information of experts on the university websites didn’t prove very difficult at all, which was a refreshing change for me. From there, I sent interview requests to the Global Asian Studies director at SFU and UBC. While the due date for the interviews was already fast-approaching, I was determined to try and get an interview, albeit a little late. In the end, while I didn’t get an interview, I managed to receive papers on Jang Yeong-Sil from the director at SFU.
As mentioned above, I struggled to get an interview and ended up not being able to conduct one. However, I certainly did learn a lot from this experience and look forward to doing better next year. This year, I learned how to conduct an interview and ask meaningful questions through practice interviews. I also learned how to write an e-mail that is professional and polite with good structure. Speaking of e-mail etiquette, I learned how important it is to properly address someone using their proper titles, distinctions, awards, and pronouns. There were certainly many learning moments for me during this project so far, and next year I plan on considering local organizations and schools as a serious resource. I found that I was naturally inclined to turn to larger groups and people, especially those outside of Vancouver. While I do think part of this may be because Jang Yeong-Sil was Korean and I wanted information about Jang from a Korean, I still find it regretful I didn’t think of local schools earlier. Overall, I learned a lot from this experience and hope to improve on my mistakes from this year with next year’s EP project.