Jin Soo Han '08

In his VIth form year at Millbrook, Jin Soo convinced Ms. Havard, academic dean, that it would be quite beneficial for him to take on an independent study in economics rather than play a 4th season on the boys junior varsity soccer team. This opportunity became a defining moment for him and, ultimately, changed the course of his life. 
This was the beginning of his love of economics, as he took the opportunity in the fall of 2007 to study for not one, but two (micro and macro) AP Economics exams, which he passed with high scores the following spring. After graduation in 2008, Jin Soo began his college career, majoring in economics and graduating from the University of Chicago with an honors degree. To do so, he completed research under the guidance of Nobel Laureate Professor James Heckman and wrote a thesis paper on his findings on the drop out rate of high school students and the impact on their subsequent earnings. He admits that while he was well prepared, his course of study was incredibly challenging: 

“The biggest struggle, particularly in the beginning, is that all of your peers are just as intelligent and hardworking as you, if not more. Then, it becomes difficult to stand out. So, in a setting where you get a small reward for your work, you need to be self-motivated to pursue your dreams. For me, I pushed myself to take more advanced math courses, and I found that I could borrow ideas from math and apply them to economics at the graduate level.”

Accepted into the graduate program at both the University of Chicago and Wharton at the University of Pennsylvania, Jin Soo made the switch to Wharton in order to focus on industrial organization, earning his master’s degree in this subject in 2014. He is currently in his final year of a PhD program at Wharton, examining how competition within an industry affects consumers, focusing specifically on the US electricity market and how power plants make investment decisions.