David Choi, 30’s
I lead and support the Operational Excellence function in Australia & New Zealand for the Boeing Company. The function sits within the supply chain side of our business that supply all the parts and components used in our product, as well as servicing the industry as a whole. My role is to drive various, continuous improvement efforts in the business and help facilitate cross-functional collaboration among different teams.
What racial, ethnic, cultural community or communities do you identify with?
When and how did your family come to the United States? Where were you born?
I was born in South Korea and spent my childhood there (lived mainly in Seoul & Busan) before immigrating to Auckland, New Zealand. I then spent much of my time growing up there before moving to Melbourne, Australia.
What are the strengths and challenges of being Asian, Asian American, and/or Pacific Islander?
The challenging part from my end was not being able to fully blend into both the Korean as well as the New Zealand (Kiwi) culture and trying to figure out my identity by selecting a culture I could associate with more. Realizing that rather than picking and associating myself with a particular culture, there was an option of blending in with both cultures which happened to be more difficult at time when I was put into a position to select only one.
By deciding to adopt both cultures and their positive aspects, this is where I have found the strength. Through the same iterative process of expanding my horizon with other cultures and embracing all other differences and societal minorities that may be regarded as different, this has really helped me to grow and learn as an individual (and also make great friends).
What is your proudest accomplishment?
Finding ways to continue to grow and learn, knowing that I can do more. Being able to share and support others with what I know.
What is one thing you learned or appreciate from your family growing up?
Values. No matter what it is that I do in life - be humble, respect your elders and don’t do anything that would harm others. These values have always kept me aligned and focus on the real, important things in life.
Do you speak your family's native language? Why or why not?
Yes. I can also speak a Korean dialect when I’m surrounded by some of my cousins and family in Korea that are from Gyeongsang Province (consists of 2 large cities: Busan & Daegu). My mum continues to speak dialect until this day.
What advice do you have for the younger generations in our Asian, Asian American, and Pacific Islander community?
There are probably times when you will feel lost, unsure of where you fit in or what you want to do in life. I found that trying, experimenting and failing were the best ways to find that alignment and to get the answers that I needed. There are no forms of learning that are useless - anything that you absorb and learn will have its use someday.
What gives you the greatest joy in life?
Family, food, and traveling.
Are there any projects you have created that you'd like to share and promote?
I do have an online platform which unfortunately is under review as the industry it focused on didn’t exactly go well with the current environment. Happy to share once it's ready.
If you would like to share your voice as a person of color, please read the directions and fill out this form here. All ages, backgrounds, and generations welcome. Thank you!
Who are we?
Asian, Asian American, and Pacific Islander voices in our communities.
This is a section for AAPI specifically because, coming from our Khmer culture, we often feel invisible in various spaces from school to the media.
We want to show the ways in which we are the same and different, and that all of our backgrounds and experiences are valuable to learn and celebrate. Let's uplift each other!
Want to share your voice?
To be featured, read the directions and fill out this form. All ages, backgrounds, and generations welcome.
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