Born: I was born in Korea, and I was adopted to Norway when I was 2 years old. I’m still surprised every time I look at myself in the mirror that I don’t look more Norwegian than I do. All my memories are Norwegian. I don’t think Korean, I don’t feel Korean, I don’t have any memories that are Korean I grew up on a nice little farm in the eastern part of Norway by the Swedish border.
Education: Master’s degree in electrical engineering from Iowa State University
What was your first job?
My first proper job, I was picking strawberries in the summertime. I remember I took great pride in doing that. I’d set myself a target I had these quarts, and I’d count how much time I had for each basket of strawberries. I was very diligent and effective. For three summers in a row, I picked strawberries, and the fourth year they wanted me to pick cabbage, and I decided to do something else. I was in seventh or eighth grade. I grew up on a dairy farm. I did a lot of work on the farm, as well, but I didn’t feel like that was work work.
As a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?
The first aspiration I had in terms of a career was to be a carpenter. My father was always building houses. I remember when I was younger, he took me to his construction site where he was building a house, and one day, there was nothing there but materials, and then just a few weeks later, there was a house there in front of me, and I was so proud. Because of that, I wanted to be a carpenter. I wanted to do that all the way into high school.
What’s the best advice you’ve received?
I don’t think I actually got advice that really made a profound impact on me. I think my father as a role model had been a good influence. My father is a very humble man with little schooling I think he has five years of schooling, but he is a very hard worker and takes a lot of pride in his work and everything he works on has impeccable quality and superior standards. I have a great admiration for his understated pride and commitment to quality.
What’s your favorite movie and why?
I don’t know if there’s a favorite movie, but one movie I just recently saw with my kids was ‘Avatar.’ I can’t say it was a favorite movie, but it was an incredible movie from the perspective of it moved me in terms of awareness of nature and we have to look after the world around us, and it made a profound impact on me much stronger than ‘Inconvenient Truth’ or any other movie.