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Everyday Math for Everyday People: Itta Korea

Everyday Math for Everyday People: Itta Korea

Tell me about yourself, your business, and what you do:

Immigrating to the United States in my late teenage years, it was eye-opening to witness a collective effort to embrace and appreciate different cultures. Then I have served in multiple roles guiding college students and soldiers how to value diversity and work effectively with people who are different from themselves.

Coming back to Korea, I have learned that the international interest in Korean culture is growing faster than ever, and also that our society is becoming more diverse. With my passion for helping people learn about different cultures and connecting people, I started my own business, Itta. With Itta, I create learning opportunities for international folks to be more familiar with Korean culture and equip Koreans for a more diverse and inclusive society.

Why do you like what you do?

I like what I do because I can be creative when coming up with what approaches and solutions to take to bring out the best learning outcomes. Not everyone learns the same way, and many people find it challenging to learn about diversity and culture, which is why I get to try different methods and techniques to connect with others. Coincidentally, Itta, the name of my business, means ‘to connect’ in Korean. 😊

What is the most significant piece of advice you would give to someone visiting Korea for the first time?

The first and foremost piece of advice I would share is to find opportunities to immerse yourself in our culture! When you stay open-minded throughout your journey, you will find the authentic value Korea has to offer! 

What is your favorite memory of mathematics? It could be a story about your favorite teacher or activity you remember doing growing up.

When I moved to the United States, I could barely have a conversation in English. I struggled in school most of the days, but what saved me was mathematics. Math is a universal language! I did well in my math classes, and I thought I could communicate much better when I use numbers (until I took a college course in Calculus 2). My confidence grew over time because of it, and I am so fortunate to stay in touch with my math teachers even today!

How do you use mathematics in your everyday life and as part of your business? It could be calculating business costs, distances, or time to get from one place or another, angles, or something else.

First of all, I am not as confident in numbers no more (laugh). But, mathematics is essential, especially when you are setting a budget and writing down a list of expenditures. Every day, I am paying attention to what is going in and out of the business account. But on another note, I have to be particular with planning and executing programs. How long do I want the sessions to be, for how many days, and how much time I want to invest in organizing them? They say time is gold! I have to spend it wisely, and math is crucial in making that happen.

Where can people find out more about you and your business?

Please check out my website, www.ittakorea.com, if you are interested in finding out more about what I do. You can also find me on Instagram @itta_korea or @brian.in.korea to follow more updates.

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