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Alumni Spotlight: Iris Kuo

Days after graduating in May 2007, Iris Kuo (BS, BA, ’07), former editor of The UT Dallas Mercury, landed herself the "experience of a lifetime" as an intern for The Wall Street Journal Asia in Hong Kong.

Kuo's story began while she was working as a reporter for Voices, covering a convention in Honolulu, Hawaii. Working endlessly, Kuo had little time to explore Honolulu or network with other journalists. Her hard work paid off, though, when she impressed Aric Johnson, editor of the Arizona Republic, who then introduced her to a recruiter from The Wall Street Journal. Interviewed and tested on the spot, Kuo snagged a position as an intern for The Wall Street Journal Asia. She interned for the summer and was then hired on as a full-time staff member.

Kuo says that working in Hong Kong was daunting. During her internship, she worked alongside a team that recently won the Pulitzer Prize. She also had the opportunity to travel across the continent, reporting on a wide range of topics, from the tea speculation in China to tourism in Asia. The "tea speculation" story helped Kuo hit another milestone in her life – a front page story on The Wall Street Journal Asia .

Kuo acknowledges that she has been fortunate to achieve the success that she has had in the news industry.  At such a young age, she was able to accomplish something she didn't think she would accomplish until 10 years from now. She's had the chance to work in Hong Kong where there is "a melting pot of cultures," and is constantly meeting interesting people, "from tea collectors to shrewd businessmen." She encourages students and alumni to "think about what you want and prepare for it. Use all your resources. Use the Career Center. Be persistent and creative." And lastly, she encourages all of us to "live in the realm of possibilities."

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Erin Dougherty, MPA, '03 '07
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