picture of Avery Ha

Avery Ha


Journey of a Digital Arts Major

Avery Ha (Seunghyeon Ha) is a visual storyteller, whose journey has taken her from South Korea to the United States. Upon her return to South Korea in December 2023, she brought home valuable learning and life experiences, as well as some new skills.

Avery, who is from Ansan, South Korea, was inspired to become a digital arts major because of her interest in creating content with stories. She values detail in her art, because she feels it helps people better understand and connect with her work.

“I think every single little detail can make a significant difference in artwork,” said Avery, who also noted, “Art has the power to move people’s minds.”

Avery initially joined the Marywood Marketing team as an intern with the encouragement of Dr. David Kang, Associate Provost for Global Education, who asked her to do an internship in addition to her practicum experience. Marketing, she felt, would be the best fit, and she also was persuaded by the Marywood Marketing team’s stellar reputation, and welcoming team.

Dr. Kang reacted positively to the news of Avery joining the Marywood Marketing team, stating, "I was very excited when Jim (Brown) agreed to interview Avery for the Marketing Intern position and have been even more pleased that it worked out extremely well for all parties involved—especially Avery.”

Avery noted her experience as a Marketing Intern has inspired confidence in her, making her feel “assertive and respected.” She described the Marketing Department as nice and kind, noting, “When there are people looking forward to my work, it makes a significant positive difference in my work.”


Avery felt supported and useful while working on projects, such as motion graphics, 3D artwork, site design, and designing headers for emails. Additionally, she gained opportunities to work with the Marketing team in staff meetings, learned how to make small talk, and further developed her English communication skills.

Most importantly, she had the opportunity to learn invaluable life lessons from Jim Brown, Executive Director of Marketing at Marywood University. She spoke highly of Jim, claiming he is her “Mentor Coach in America.”

Jim praised Avery as “friendly, smart, funny, committed, with a strong work ethic, coupled with a willingness to learn and to try new things.”

Jim observed, “International students bring us an interesting perspective that we don't have. In addition, they come to us well-trained, with a strong work ethic, which translates into a very productive and valuable individual.”

Of course, hiring an international student comes with distinct opportunities and challenges. Among the many opportunities, students add positive contributions to the Marketing team. The biggest challenge is that English is their second language, which has not been a big problem, but there needs to be awareness, so that the students and the team can practice communicating with one another.

Jim agreed to hire Avery as an intern because, “I immediately saw that she would fit into the team, get along with everyone, and be able to contribute from day one.”

He also stated that hiring Avery was a great decision. Marketing leaders seek individuals with certain qualities, such as those that Avery possesses, including, he said, someone who is “smart, willing to learn, willing to try new things—someone who wants to be part of the team and is not afraid to take a different path to learn.”

While Avery faced some challenges with learning English and some other culture shocks along the way, she overcame each one with greater understanding, including basic language issues, like learning vocabulary and having real-time conversations. Since she learned the language based on context, if anyone spoke too fast, had an accent, or used sarcasm, she would have trouble understanding. Her team members learned to recognize and adjust to this, to make effective communication easier.

Additional cultural aspects also shaped her experience. Avery was surprised when she came to the U.S., because she needed a car to go everywhere. She explained, “In South Korea, everything is within walking distance.” She also had to get used to the cultural norms of greeting others, because, “People greet everyone in America, but, in South Korea, people only greet those they know.”


Avery’s interests outside of her major and internship include: playing violin, traveling, listening to music, and reading books. Her philosophy is that the best and most important thing in life is the people we meet, because we learn from others.

Avery hopes to work as a 3D Environment Artist in the Video Game and Animation industries. She advises students who want to pursue a similar path as hers to “try to get out of your comfort zone—it’s less scary than you think.