Esther Koh is a recent graduate of Washington University in St. Louis where she studied Environmental & Energy Science and Finanace. St. Louis has been her home for 5 years now, but she was raised throughout Asia and Europe before coming to the United States. Currently, Esther works as a research biologist at AB Biotek, a division of AB Mauri and will be back at WashU in the Spring to start her Master's Degree in Chemical Engineering. Esther's love for culture shines through in her vibrant personality. Full Circle sat down with this Young & Upcoming and learned about her nomadic past and love for our diverse city.
Social Handles: LinkedIn - Esther Koh
I am some of the true diversity that people talk about. I think the biggest strength in my life is my open mindedness. I have moved around to different countries, and my family is multiracial and multicultural. My background helps me meet new people or new groups without having certain stereotypes. I think this makes me unique, and it has helped me through my journey. When I moved here I was by myself, and I really had to reach out and ask people for help. I would love for St. Louis to try to attract more people like me, people who are open to inclusion and diversity.
Well, it's my first year after college. I think that's always a special time. I'm now in the real world, and there is nothing holding me back. At first it was really difficult transitioning from a college student to a full-time working adult who has to take care of herself. The first day I moved to my new apartment I was just thinking, "I don't know what's going on, and I really hope I can make it." It was a little scary at first, but now that it has almost been a year I am loving the freedom. I feel like the true owner of my life right now, and I can build whatever I want.
To me, St. Louis is the perfect city (besides the public transportation). I love sports. Sports are a big part of my life, and St. Louis is a great sports city. I love the outdoors. Missouri overall has so many hiking trails, and St. Louis has Forest Park. The people here are just friendly. I like the art scene. I LOVE the food scene which is one of the reasons why I love the Central West End. I think there is a great combination and balance of everything that I want from a city. Some people say it's not as vibrant or dense as New York or San Francisco, but I think there's a benefit to that. You don't feel as trapped here or the pressure to be a certain way. You can be who you want to be!
why full circle?
I feel like keeping young people in St. Louis is the beginning and end of everything for the city. It's what drives the growth and innovation. Full Circle is making partnerships with corporations and connecting students which will make a big difference. I was surprised by how many great companies are in the city. I didn't find this out until I starting working on my senior project at WashU. It's essential to build the bridge between the amazing STL companies and the young talent in this city.