Talent of the Month #17: Dr. Jin Kyu Robertson, Housemaid to Harvard

“For those who want to live, the sky is the limit”. ~Dr. Jin Kyu Robertson 

http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/51sgDabL4HL.jpgAnyone who has had the pleasure and privilege of being around Jin Kyu Robertson has often been impressed by her warmth, strength, determination and ability to inspire others through her example of leadership. She is a rare individual who makes everyone around her want to be a better person.

From inauspicious beginnings, her story is about the power of perseverance.  She was the child of a tavern owner, and neither of her parents ever attended school. During her early teen years, she helped her mother with endless house chores. She also had to look after her baby brother who was a special child. She said that her brother’s condition caused her mother to turn to drinking, and that added more nightmares to her childhood. Reflecting anger for her sad fate of being a woman, mother used to yell at me, “Girls are useless! You are useless!” Over mother’s heartbreaking wails, I heard the louder voice of my silent anger: “Why? Was it my fault to be born a girl?”

http://www.virtualnaseba.com/TopSpeakerHandler.ashx?id=4525Despite all of this troubles and mental stress, she excelled in her studies, and her parents agreed to let her complete middle and high school. There was no money for college, so she worked in a factory, as a waitress and housemaid.  One day, she saw a newspaper ad for a housemaid in America.  She decided to apply for the job, over her family’s objections.

I was 22 years old, and I didn’t speak much English at all,” she said. “So what I did was, I practiced words, like ‘good morning,’ ‘good afternoon,’ ‘this way please,’ and ‘enjoy your meal,’ and those were all the words you needed,” she said.   The job she came for had been filled by the time she reached New York, but she eventually found work as a waitress and moved on to become a hostess in a Jewish restaurant in Wall Street.

She eventually met and fell in love with a guy from Korea, got married and had a kid. But, she later found out that he was an abusive husband and she was a battered wife. With all this trouble around her, she chose to escape to the US Army and ended up becoming a private.

Her English was poor and she was 10 years older than most of the other recruits.  Basic training was grueling, but she persevered, and finished first in her class of 200. She says she has always confronted her weaknesses head-on.  She was afraid of heights, so she  enrolled in an Army Airborne program that forced her to parachute from a helicopter. She found other opportunities in the military, and she pursued one she thought was tailor-made for an immigrant from Asia.

http://videos.videopress.com/Ysy9v9N7/jin-kyu-robertson-book-video-amazon-major-dream_std.original.jpgThe Army employed regional specialists known as foreign area officers, and needed one in Japan.  She applied, but was rejected.  She says that did not stop her. ” But I liked the program.  I wanted the program so bad, so I went to Washington D.C., the decision makers, and I asked them, why was I turned down?”She says, Army officials worried a woman officer would face problems in a male-oriented country like Japan.  She disputed the idea, and asked if Japanese officials looked down on Margaret Thatcher, the former Prime Minister of Britain.  Of course not, was the reply.   “So it took me one day, and they reversed the decision,” she said. Because of her perseverance, Jin Robertson is the first woman to represent the U.S. Army as liaison to the Japanese Self Defense Forces.

She also kept her focus on education. She decided early that the key to her dreams was education. She started college while working in New York.   While in the Army, she completed a master’s degree at Harvard University in East Asian studies, and enrolled in a doctoral program, focusing on relations among the United States, Korea and Japan.  After retiring from the Army with the rank of Major, she returned to Harvard to finish her Ph.D.

http://4.bp.blogspot.com/_px-5XH9V1ZY/S5an4-e05vI/AAAAAAAAB4I/nRFg_3OVFO4/s400/With+my+daughter+in+front+of+the+Harvard+Statue-2000.jpgAfter she finished her doctorate, she started getting requests to give motivational speeches. “I didn’t know I was able to speak in public, really,” she said. “Always, whenever I thought about speaking, even giving briefings in the military, my heart was pounding so badly and I was so nervous, I couldn’t even drink water.” She says again she persevered, and found her confidence growing as the audiences responded. “I found this amazing great exhilarating feeling, and I said, wow, I love this public speaking,” she admitted.

Jin Robertson says one of her proudest accomplishments was raising her daughter, Jasmin.  Also a Harvard graduate, Jasmin has followed in her mother’s footsteps and serves as a captain in the U.S. Army.

Until next time, take care and all the best from PitchYourTalent.com.

Best Regards,

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20 Responses to Talent of the Month #17: Dr. Jin Kyu Robertson, Housemaid to Harvard

  1. Maria Eve E. Sanchez says:

    That was amazing. Superb of your perseverance and bravery.
    God Bless
    now I truly believe that nothing is impossible for those who dream big and high and those who fight for their fears and ambitions

  2. FireICE says:

    Very inspiring!

  3. Ajay tilwankar says:

    Wish each one has such self determination !!!

  4. june says:

    It was really inspiring. I hope some of the people that may read this may think no to loose hope for their individual dreams may come true. It only takes courage, determination & hard work to full fill their aims in life. Its really hard on the 1st time, but don’t stop, be more aggressive for you & for your family.

  5. al-p says:

    im really proud of you, in living there’s a purpose so you made it well.

  6. thetravelingreader says:

    Stories of success through perseverance always give me hope. Thanks for sharing this inspiring tale. 🙂

  7. S.Sridhar says:

    Nothing is impossible on earth.
    Think big & dream about it always. We need to tune our mind and continue our efforts to complete the goal that is set. Once we are convinced of our goal, our mind becomes focussed. Really it is a very difficult task. Nevertheless, dogged perseverance will facilitate accomplishment. Dr.Jin Rebertson is an inspiration to me & I will follow her footsteps to achieve my unfinished goals of my life.

  8. Ma. Luisa S. Roque says:


  9. Daday says:

    absolutely inspiring story

  10. Shortbob says:

    How do people ‘just move’ to America? I don’t get it? Always wondered about that. I moved to England myself and it was a long and hard road with so many criteria to fulfil! How do you just arrive in America and stay there without overstaying visas or how do you get a work permit as a waitress in a restaurant (on a tourist visa) if you are foreign? Legally? Sorry to get off-tangent.

  11. Be Ware of the being Scammed by scammer who claimed they wanted to have a Nanny and offer a job in London , UK . They are really scammer and had has contact who live in Uk London and uses people their . In my case we did pay the 600 pound for my visa processing and after the payment they never come online and gone my employer name was Dale Lenhart.

  12. Marita C. haro says:

    I really admire people who is big dreamer, because I am one of those big dreamer. But I am not able to show my ability because of some personal reason or maybe I am lack of confidence in doing so.When I read about women who is in the middle age, I start inspired by their words. Maybe this is the time to reached some of my dreamed.

  13. Ricky says:

    Simply Superb. 1 of the best success stories i have ever read.

  14. Dominique Carter says:

    An amazing story of the human trait. Keep it rolling guys

  15. roma says:

    i hope i will be like you..

  16. everything has a purpose….

  17. But thANKS be to GOD who gives us the victory through our LORD Jesus Christ

  18. There is no impossible in this human world.In fact.that kind of story tells us and inspires us,to pursue what all we wants everything.Indeed,God is always at our side..and we always keep our faith for him,because everything has a purpose.

  19. loshini says:

    “…she has always confronted her weaknesses head-on. She was afraid of heights, so she enrolled in an Army Airborne program that forced her to parachute from a helicopter..”

    strength of character there.. @.@

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