What’s you name?
Kristina Y. Cho
Where are you located?
Currently in South Korea.
If you could describe what you do for a living on your own terms, what would you say?
I am a full-time wife, a director of a counseling center, a school psychologist (in a few months), a researcher, a writer, a calligrapher, and a flower enthusiast. :)
Aside from your given title, would you say there are any other titles or hats you wear in this position?
In all the titles, I am an intercessor.
Is this what you always wanted to be when you grew up?
I did want to write as a child, but had no idea I would get more involved in therapy and counseling. But my here and now is much more than I would have ever imagined.
Can you put into words your career history to date?
Personal experience of pain fueled me to relate with, and connect with the pain of others. This launched my intense studies in psychology, which led to constant researching positions and graduate school in counseling and clinical psychology here in Korea, in my second language. I was privileged with the opportunity to conduct therapy at my school's counseling center for undergraduate and graduate students, where I realized the therapy room was where I felt most alive and where God used me the most powerfully. One open door led to another where I was offered an opportunity to help launch a counseling center while also given the opportunity to be a school psychologist at an international school here in Korea. I've always valued moments to breathe, and during the in between moments, Pg7inc was birthed.
If there was ever a time where you weren’t working for yourself, how did you make the leap from working for someone to working for yourself? Was it an easy transition?
It wasn't easy but I worked under the mantra of "being faithful in the small things." To be thankful for the small and humble beginnings. When I realized how every job had a purpose, including the seemingly very menial and humbling, it gave me a reason to work with all joy and thanksgiving.
Coming back to the present, (haha) what is your morning routine before you start the day?
I wake up 30 minutes earlier than my husband to prepare him breakfast. Normally it includes some sort of freshly squeezed vegetable and fruit juice. We enjoy a short breakfast together and then he goes off to work.
Describe what you do between stepping into your work space and then calling it a wrap at the end of the day (Basically, your average work day):
I haven't started working as a school psychologist yet, so currently I am my own boss. Before my husband comes home, my average work day looks like this: I clean the house, do the laundry, water my plants, and buy groceries if need be. On most week days I study and prepare for graduate school applications, dive into all sorts of reading, nap, zone out in calligraphy, read the Word and journal, and blog. On Fridays, I go to a counseling center for weekly sessions with my client.
What is your favourite part of the day?
Early mornings. Before any demands of the day commence.
How do you define internal and external success in all that you do?
If my every movement (both internal and external) is in sync with the Lord's.
What has been the biggest success so far and why?
My biggest success has been moving forward in my career passion and ambitions despite extreme physical ailments and circumstantial hardships. It was approximately 10 years marked by perseverance - committed to God, fueled by the Holy Spirit, tender to the love of Jesus.
With all that success there’s bound to be some overwhelming moments, how do you overcome the bumps along the way?
Definitely. I am a feeler with a most complicated mind. Overwhelming moments cause me to initially respond and react emotionally. I cry, I cry, and well, I cry. But I channel the crying to my journal to be able to sort my thoughts as well as speak to myself that which is true. I allow my closest of people into vulnerable moments. And then the next day I wake up, alive, strengthened, and re-positioned to walk forward in peace and confidence.
Ok, so you’re sitting at a cafe across the table from your biggest career inspiration, who is it and why?
To be completely honest, I have yet to find a career inspiration. My envisioned career inspiration is an unapologetically God-fearing psychologist who has plethora of professional skills and equipping with a specific vision for the mental health of a nation. My envisioned career inspiration brings Kingdom to the realm of psychology and health of the soul in a refreshing, loving, and unprecedented way.
Now, someone new to the career field is sitting across the table from you, what advice do you give them?
Just because you are unable to talk about Jesus explicitly in an academic setting or non-Christian therapy center, does not mean God cannot work through you and through that time and space. God is so much bigger than we could ever imagine, enjoying every avenue in which we allow Him to use us in. Kingdom does not have to come through familiar and explicit means. Life and light can be breathed and brought through every here and now.
Would you go back and do any of it differently or just the same?
Just the same. All that has happened only divinely and intricately places me to where I am today.
So if that little kid you used to be before looked at you now, do you think they’d be excited to grow up?
I think so. I think they might be scared by the crazy ride, by the unexpected and terrifying struggles. But I think the kid in me would see the fruit, the dynamic aspect of life and maybe see that it might be worth it.
What do you want to do next?
Immerse myself into different projects with pg7inc. Further my studies in psychology. Be a voice and advocate of those in Korea who need the time and space to just breathe and process themselves.
What is your favourite saying/inspirational quote?
"For the present is the point at which time touches eternity." - C. S. Lewis