TELECOMMUNICATIONS – This spotlight series features T. Howard Foundation (THF) alumni working in Telecommunications.
Soon Kwon (THF ‘05)
Studio Director – Design / Creative Service, Showtime Networks, Inc.
What do you enjoy most about your company?
What I enjoy most about Showtime is the team that I work with. I have met some great people over the years and we have supported each other through the good times and bad – they are basically like my second family. Being surrounded by people you trust, are inspired by and respect not only promotes a more compassionate and productive workplace, but it also offers a chance for personal and professional growth while developing lifelong friendships along the way.
In what way did this type of work interest you and how did you get started?
I have always wanted to work in TV, having developed a love for movie trailers and making videos at a young age. In college, I took production classes in addition to my Telecommunications major courses, wanting to understand both the creative and business side of the industry. I got my first taste of network life when I landed an internship with T. Howard at Showtime, and the rest is history!
Has your career path been linear or non-linear?
My career path has been non-linear and I’ve worn many different hats over the years (Production Assistant, Coordinator, Graphics Studio Manager, Marketing Producer, Senior Writer Producer). Even though I started in this business wanting to be a creative, I discovered my passion for leading and helping others when I stepped into my current role as Studio Director for the in-house Design team, managing over 20 artists and producers.
How has your affiliation with the T. Howard Foundation influenced your career?
When I landed my first internship in 2005 at Showtime, I could never have imagined that it would be the opportunity of a lifetime (so far, Showtime has been the only place I’ve ever worked – 17 years and counting). From the orientation to the workshops and networking events, T. Howard always supports and empowers their interns and alumni to be the best version of themselves. I am very proud to be affiliated with an organization that is dedicated to promoting diversity in media and entertainment. As one of the newest members to join Showtime’s DEI Council – People & Culture Committee, my goal is to continue fostering a more positive, authentic and inclusive workplace experience, especially for the underserved and underrepresented communities within our company.
What personal attributes have been essential to your career success?
I think my success can be credited to a few personal attributes. Compassion: as a leader, it’s important to not just sympathize with others but also feel motivated to help alleviate the problem. Adaptability: life can often be unpredictable, so one needs to always be flexible and embrace change, especially in our ever-evolving industry. Open-mindedness: don’t be afraid of the unknown and say “yes” to new opportunities. Even if it’s not exactly what you were looking for, there’s always something to be gained from the experience. I am proof that you can take a few detours on your career path and end up doing something unexpected that you love.
Are you extroverted or introverted? How does this show up in your professional life and how has this trait benefited you professionally?
I consider myself to be an introvert who tries to be more extroverted. Professionally, I have found it beneficial to be both. As an introvert, I’m a good listener and efficient communicator. I am self-sufficient and able to work independently, which was a huge asset being remote during the pandemic. The traits that I admire most about extroverts is their confidence, sociable nature and easy ability to form relationships with others. These are important qualities to have when you are in a leadership role or work in a team setting.
Soon’s Piece of Advice: I’ve learned many important lessons over the years, but here are a couple I’d like to share with you:
- Take time to invest and develop meaningful relationships with your colleagues. I met some of my best friends at work and we have supported each other through the good times and bad. Being surrounded by people you trust, admire and respect not only promotes a more compassionate and productive workplace, but those connections endure even after someone leaves the company, opening the door for new networking opportunities.
- Say “yes” to new opportunities. Even if it’s not the exact position or company you wanted, there’s always something to be gained from the experience. We’ve witnessed firsthand how unpredictable life can be so don’t be afraid to take a chance! I am proof that you can take a few detours on your career path and end up doing something unexpected that you love.