MIN JOO JUNG: MARINE ENGINEER
Sailing the world was a dream for Min Joo Jung as a young island boy. Now, in just a matter of months, he has traveled to destinations in the United States, Pakistan, United Arab Emirates, Egypt, Sri Lanka, and Singapore.
The 2009 Mount Carmel School alumnus is a marine engineer serving as a 3rd Assistant Engineer of the Military Sealift Command, where he monitors and operates the ship’s propulsion plants and systems.
The 23-year-old Saipan native obtained a bachelor’s degree in Marine Engineering Systems at the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy at Kings Point, New York, and graduated magna cum laude last year. He also attended the New Mexico Military Institute for a year, a prerequisite to moving on to King Point.
The best part of the job, he said, is being immersed in different cultures as he travels the globe.
The perks of working on an international traveling ship did not come easy for him though. Graduating with honors and ultimately securing employment are feats he never thought he would achieve.
“The difficulties I faced mostly had to deal with the sudden need to adapt to the rigorous lifestyle and education that was set in front of me right after leaving Saipan,” he told Saipan Tribune. “I was never the brightest crayon in the box, so I had to work 10 times harder than I ever had to even be considered on the same physical and intellectual level as my classmates and peers.”
In the end, hard work was the key component to everything he accomplished. “That as all that was needed for me to be where I am right now.”
Min Joo also never dreamt of becoming an engineer. “I’ve never thought of myself as being an engineer. The closest engineering work that I had done prior to going to Kings Point is changing tires, fixing my computer, or changing the oil in my car.”
After taking preliminary engineering classes, he was instantly hooked.
“I was fascinated with all the innovation aboard a ship and all the engineering it took to manufacture and operate one. I started seeing everything around me with a new perspective and from then on I knew I wanted to become an engineer.”
Min Joo attributes much of his success to his alma mater, the island’s sole Catholic educational institution, and his parents, In Young Jung and Ae Seon Bak.
“MCS provided me excellent teachers and instructors in becoming a proper student for my college years,” he explained. “Not only were the teachers an influence in my life, but also the friends and classmates that were there with me. My friends in MCS made such a positive impact in my life to be a better person and I am grateful for each and every one of them. Without all these influences in my life, I would not have gotten to where I am today.”
He spent his entire elementary and middle school years at Saipan Community School.
Min Joo urges island youth to “always be better than yesterday” and unlock their potential.
“Whether it is—spiritually, physically, or mentally—you must always be better than yesterday. If you do that, I can promise you that you will find yourself achieving things you thought you could never achieve,” he said.”…Fulfill your potential, be grateful for what you have, but don’t ever be complacent of where you stand.”