Begin main content

Joh Myohan Oh 15'

Academics / Departments & Programs / Global Development Studies / Careers & Outcomes / Alumni / Joh Myohan Oh

Joh graduated from Calvin in 2015 with a major in GDS and a minor in business marketing. He now works for World Renew in West Coast Regional Relations. One of his main responsibilities is to connect with churches and NGOs in the United States, working primarily in the West Coast region. He is also in charge of World Renew's conferences, events, and is involved with climate change work.

What sparked your interest in international development?

One of the reasons why Calvin University was so attractive to me was because of its GDS program. Growing up as a missionary kid in Bangladesh, I was exposed to a lot of people involved in development, such as my parents and my friends’ parents who worked with different NGOs. As a result, development seemed like a natural choice for me and has always been a passion of mine.

Describe your path since graduation.

The month that I graduated from Calvin, I became a part-time employee at World Renew with a year internship already under my belt. Four months after my graduation, I started full-time. My journey since then has been quite exciting. One of the highlights was attending the United Nations 70th Anniversary Conference where I was able to meet with the UN Secretary General (Ban Ki-Moon) and the South Korean Ambassador to the UN (Oh Joon), both of whom I greatly respect. A few months later, I attended Paris COP21 where I was able to interview delegates around the world and witness the historic Paris Agreement. And earlier this year, I took a trip to Kenya, to observe and learn first-hand the work World Renew was doing and, also, to witness how Kenyans are being affected by climate change and hear their personal stories. Currently, I am working closely with the West Coast Region in the U.S. and I am getting more involved in the climate change issue.

I am definitely blessed to have had these amazing opportunities to experience and learn so much since I graduated from Calvin College. I am looking forward to what God has planned for me in the future.

What is your most memorable experience in the field?

I had many memorable experiences at World Renew but I would say going to Paris for COP21 would definitely be one of the most memorable. As part of the Climate Witness Project Team, we attended COP21 to address climate change and report daily to both Canada and the United States on the results of the meeting. One of the team’s goals was to witness to others at the event that climate change, though it is also a scientific and policy issue, is fundamentally a religious and moral issue. We also met and interviewed delegates from around the world, hearing their stories and seeing their passion to find a solution to climate change, which was undeniably encouraging. Out of the many delegates I talked to, an interview with the delegates from Maldives stood out to me. They were attending COP21 to be one of the many voices, but a voice of warning. It was hard to hear them admit that it was already too late for Maldives, that their islands will soon be under water within a few decades due to the sea level rising rapidly. Therefore, they came to show how urgent this issue is, to warn us so that other islands and other developing nations would not meet the same disastrous fate. COP21 really educated me and showed the reality of nations being affected by climate change every single day. And, at the end, it was amazing to witness the achievement of a legally binding, universal agreement on climate change by all of the world’s nations. There is still a lot of work to be done but it was promising to see 196 nations present at COP21, signing the Paris Agreement, a powerful statement that commits them to several key steps to work together to address the challenges of climate change. This is truly a big step as it is the first time that all nations of the world have agreed to common strategies to reduce the harm caused by climate change and to find solutions to the problem of climate change.

How has your faith influenced your work in development?

I had many memorable experiences at World Renew but I would say going to Paris for COP21 would definitely be one of the most memorable. As part of the Climate Witness Project Team, we attended COP21 to address climate change and report daily to both Canada and the United States on the results of the meeting. One of the team’s goals was to witness to others at the event that climate change, though it is also a scientific and policy issue, is fundamentally a religious and moral issue. We also met and interviewed delegates from around the world, hearing their stories and seeing their passion to find a solution to climate change, which was undeniably encouraging. Out of the many delegates I talked to, an interview with the delegates from Maldives stood out to me. They were attending COP21 to be one of the many voices, but a voice of warning. It was hard to hear them admit that it was already too late for Maldives, that their islands will soon be under water within a few decades due to the sea level rising rapidly. Therefore, they came to show how urgent this issue is, to warn us so that other islands and other developing nations would not meet the same disastrous fate. COP21 really educated me and showed the reality of nations being affected by climate change every single day. And, at the end, it was amazing to witness the achievement of a legally binding, universal agreement on climate change by all of the world’s nations. There is still a lot of work to be done but it was promising to see 196 nations present at COP21, signing the Paris Agreement, a powerful statement that commits them to several key steps to work together to address the challenges of climate change. This is truly a big step as it is the first time that all nations of the world have agreed to common strategies to reduce the harm caused by climate change and to find solutions to the problem of climate change.

How had your faith influenced your work in development?

Simply put, I am committed to living a life in Christ and, through God’s grace, I hope my life will be a testament of His love and mercy. My faith has influenced my work in that God has put the materially less fortunate on my heart. Growing up in Bangladesh, I was always painfully aware of the material blessings the Lord had given me. He really put a desire in my heart to reinvest the opportunities and material wealth that He had given me back to the poor. I am committed to faithfully use the blessings He has given me for the sake of the poor and those who are suffering. I also believe that we need more than materialistic things, we need spiritual help. As Christians, I believe that spiritual help is vital in development. Therefore, I always try to make sure that the people we are working with are also developing spiritually and encourage them that our real home is in heaven.

What is your favorite aspect of Calvin and what do you wish you would have done differently while attending Calvin?

My favorite thing about Calvin is the amazing professors they have. While the education I received at Calvin prepared me for the professional world, the relationships I built with a number of professors have had a huge impact on my life.

If there was something I could have done differently, it would be to network, network, network. You really never know who you might meet in the professional world. I also would have started my internship a lot sooner.

What advice would you give to current GDS students?

Go out and experience as much as you can! Get out of your comfort zone and try new things, meet new people, be open. Experience is everything!

Keep learning and strive to learn as much as you can. Learn specific skills. Developing nations around the world need people with special skills such as business people, biologists, doctors, economists, etc. Wouldn’t it be great to have people with an GDS background who also have a variety of skills to help those in need around the world?

When you do get a job, try to do more than what you are given to do. Try to go beyond and maybe accomplish other tasks that were not given to you.

Go for a job that you love. You can fail at any job, a job that you love or hate. So why not go for the job you love?

Take the next step:

SOCIAL MEDIA

The latest sights & sounds | #calvinuniversity

Female student wading in Plaster Creek, examining a sample of water, holding it up to the sky.

ACADEMIC OPTIONS

With over 100 majors and programs, you’re bound to find something you love.

Browse by category

× CLOSE DRAWER
A dramatic view looking up at the Calvin's Crossing bridge, with a perfect blue sky overhead.

Apply to Calvin

It all starts here! We accept applications on a rolling basis throughout the year. All completed applications receive equal consideration.

Start your journey × CLOSE DRAWER
A female and male student walking side by side down the Calvin's Crossing bridge, conversing with each other.

Visit Calvin

Find the visit option that works best for you and get a taste for life at Calvin!

Browse Visit Options Launch the virtual tour × CLOSE DRAWER
Students huddled around, lighting sparklers with a beautiful evening sky behind them.

Request Info

Learn why Calvin’s dedication to faith and discovery have earned it the rank of #3 among regional midwest universities.

Loading...
× CLOSE DRAWER
Graduates in their robes, tossing their caps high into the air, laughing.

Costs & Financial Aid

Families from all economic backgrounds—many just like yours—are making Calvin work. Scholarships, grants and loans are the tools that make Calvin possible.

Explore financial aid & Scholarships How much does Calvin cost? × CLOSE DRAWER
Top