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He’s all ready to start engineering

By Staff | Nov 5, 2017

Hyunmyeong “William” Goo is Faribault County’s new public works staff engineer.

The Faribault County Public Works Department recently hired Hyunmyeong Goo as their newest staff engineer, but according to Goo himself, you can just call him William.

Goo began his new position within the county on Oct. 25. Originally from Gwang-Ju, South Korea, Goo first set foot on American soil as a foreign exchange student in 2009. Interestingly enough, the 23 year-old did so at the urging of his mother.

“I would have had no problem just staying in Korea,” Goo revealed. “I didn’t want to leave because I had friends there, but mom just told me to go there for a year because it would be a good experience, so I just left.”

Goo was not the first of his family to leave the Far East. His older sister Sarah came to the United States a year earlier as her goal was to study abroad.

An extremely fluent English speaker, Goo says he only knew simple English phrases when he first arrived in the United States. He learned the foreign language by simply reading outloud and practicing his speech on a consistent basis.

The first stop in Goo’s long expedition to America was at Southwest Minnesota Christian High School in Edgerton. As a high school exchange student, he spent one year at Edgerton before deciding to make the Midwest his permanent home.

Coming from another country, Goo admits it took some time to get used to some of the customs of middle America. In particular, the wide spread use of chewing tobacco was something that took the young exchange student completely by surprise.

“They just do that everywhere,” Goo chuckled. “They just spit it out in a bottle and they carry that dirty spit around. I got used to it after a while, but it was pretty shocking at first.”

After high school, Goo took his scholastic aptitude to Dordt College, in Sioux City, Iowa. Unsure of his future plans, he originally decided to major in business.

Goo decided to make the switch to engineering after being exposed to the subject by a college friend. Before too long, the energetic exchange student had found his true passion.

“I didn’t really want to do business anyway, so I just started walking around with engineering people because my friend was going for engineering,” Goo said. “They’d show me bridges and other stuff, and I thought it was really cool to study the design work.”

Once Goo had settled on engineering as a career path, he became enthralled with learning as much of the material as possible. In particular, he recalls how fascinated he was when his college professors would give presentations and lectures on bridge construction.

“The professor would show us different historical incidents with bridges that weren’t designed properly,” Goo explained. “Some bridges swing and some would collapse, and I just wanted to know more.”

After earning his bachelor’s degree in 2017, Goo served as an intern with the city of Worthington for two months and also worked full-time in Windom with MnDOT before moving to Blue Earth for his latest position.

During the hiring process, Goo’s passion for engineering and his desire to continue learning are qualities that made a lasting impression on the county’s public works director Mark Daly. The youthful exuberance of his newest employee gives Daly plenty of confidence moving forward.

“I’ve interviewed a lot of people, and I ask open ended questions,” Daly said. “William just seems like a young man that is hungry for the opportunity.”