Michelle Dong

Features Writer at Soompi, covering Korean and Chinese dramas. Writer at College Candy and COED Magazines in New York. 
Contributed to the Global Chinese Press, The Georgia Straight, JPC (London, UK). Developed marketing campaign for Mitsubishi Motors.. 
Currently working on her first book: Two Questions Every Girl is Asking Herself                            Come say Hi! @MichelleDongNYC

Latest work

# 1 in Nonfiction on Wattpad


Winner of the world's largest online writing competition - The Wattys. 


Selected from among 140,000 entries to win the 2016 Collector's Edition!! 


Every girl is wondering about two things:


1. What do I want to do with my life?

2. What kind of person do I want to marry?


As a management consultant in my twenties, I desperately wanted to figure out who I am and my place in the world. So I traveled the globe looking for answers. 


Five men. Three continents. One prophecy... And an appearance on Chinese reality TV. 


I thought fairy tales only existed in leather-bound books, until... the phone rang. 


Read full story.

 

FEATURE STORIES

You know that feeling you get when you’re browsing through tons of dramas online, but have no idea which one to pick? The angel on one shoulder says I better pick a good one; it could make or break my holidays. The devil on the other says just friggin’ pick something, I’m tired of looking at trailers!


Christmas vacation is prime time for binge-watching. Making the right pick is harder than ever.


Paging through my favorite shows of 2016, “Ode to Joy,” by far, tops the list. It’s a modern, joyful story of female friendship that will attract the whole family (even the bf!) to the couch while your eyes stay glued to the screen. The fact that this was a fairly accurate portrait of how I binge-watched “Ode to Joy” is a quick indicator of how addictive this show is. An instant hit from the get-go, the series ranked No. 1 among Chinese TV series for seven days straight, eventually reaching an astounding 10 billion views online.


Penned by screenwriter Yuan Zidan, and based on A’nai’s original novel of the same name, “Ode to Joy” is the tale of five girls who live on the 22nd floor of a building called “Ode to Joy” in Shanghai. Departing from the cliché Cinderella storyline, this series is a refreshing nod to the era of girl power. Five single women, from different walks of life, struggle with their own challenges at work and at home. They bicker, fight, and gossip, but also learn and help each other grow, forging incredible friendships along the way.


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2016 has been an exciting year for drama fans. Some of the brightest stars of K-drama returned to the small screen bearing impressive works to share: Song Hye Kyo, Jun Ji Hyun, Han Hyo Joo, Park Shin Hye, and even K-pop idol Yoona has jumped into the fray. As we near the finish line of the 12th Annual Soompi Awards, who among them will emerge the winner?


Let’s take a look at the nominees for Actress of the Year.


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Soompi Magazine

Lee Jong Suk’s charming portrayal of genius surgeon Park Hoon in “Doctor Stranger” left countless hearts fluttering. The thrilling opening episodes, the suspenseful backdrop of North-South relations, and of course, the love story between Park Hoon, Dr. Han (Jin Se Yeon), and the adorable Dr. Oh (Kang Sora) still make me nostalgic with the feels.


On the hunt for a series with the right mix of thrills and feels, I recently stumbled upon “Decoded,” a mainland Chinese drama based on Mai Jia’s bestselling novel of the same name. Drama fans are reporting a serious case of “Panda Eye Syndrome” from chasing “Decoded,” which means you should proceed with caution. This spy drama, starring Cube Entertainment trained Cheney Chen, is taking China by storm. Since its premiere, the series has already topped the charts in viewer ratings, garnering over 2 billion views.


Let’s take a look at what the hype is all about.


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         College Candy Magazine

It’s finally here: the first two whole minutes of Fifty Shades DarkerFifty Shades of Grey's highly anticipated sequel. Following the box office success of Fifty Shades of Grey, James Foley, who previous directed House of Cards, is at the helm of Fifty Shades Darker, and the next installment, Fifty Shades Freed.


Great to know we’re in such able hands. Just like Ms. Steele.


The Cinderella storyline and spanking continue in Fifty Shades Darker, but Christian Grey the masochist has softened quite a bit in the five days since Anastasia Steele ran away from his “Red Room of Pain” at the end of the first movie. But of course the lovers can’t be apart for long, soon Steele is back for more spanking. Only this time, her “inner sex goddess” takes center stage, and we almost see a role reversal. Grey doesn’t even attempt to spank her, let alone pull out the nipple clamps. Toning down on the “kinky” factor in this installment of Fifty Shades, expect to see licking and sucking involving ice cream and “sweet, gentle lovemaking.”


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         College Candy Magazine

 

COED Magazine

In the old days, getting ready for the ball is a serious affair. Aristocrats and nobility lavish great time and expense to have the right couturier come into their mansions/palaces/castles to make the right outfit for the right ball. 

Every ball is themed. Every dress is different. Sometimes they begin planning what they are going to wear as early as eight months in advance. And after the ball, instead of a thank you card, a particularly thoughtful guest would commission an artist to paint portraits of all the guests in their extravagant costumes, and have the book – bound in velvet – sent to the host as a thank you gift.



 
PICTURE THIS: five years down the road, you’re slaving away in a cubicle. The only thing you remember about college isn’t Calculus 101, it’s that semester abroad in Amsterdam. Where the food in grocery stores is disturbingly cheap, and high-end hookers beckoned you with a “you know you want it” sensuality.

Interview with James Wallman, Author of Stuffocation


James Wallman, trend forecaster, speaker, and author of the new book Stuffocation – a work which the Sunday Times calls “The Tipping Point meets Freakonomics”, raises the alarming statistic that we’re suffering from the clutter crisis not much different from the obesity crisis.

More stuff is making less people happy. This shift from materialism to experientialism is the biggest trend of the 21st century.  


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Our inaugural Brand Amplifier alumna - Ronke Ige, founder of Emi & Ben – recently appeared on BBC The One Show alongside Oprah Winfrey. 


Oprah came to the UK to promote her new film ‘The Butler’ and was honoured for her global role model status as an inspiring female entrepreneur. 


Since graduating Brand Amplifier, Ronke has emerged on the UK entrepreneurial scene as a leader in promoting young and female entrepreneur programmes. 


Post Ronke’s claim to fame, we sat down with her and BA founder Jeannette Pritchard at our Piano House studio to talk entrepreneurship, Oprah and brand amplification.

 

Aptly named, Ecosystem is a green solutions innovator that specialises in retrofitting existing buildings to increase energy efficiency and creating new eco-friendly structures. 


Under CEO André Rochette’s leadership, Ecosystem has grown from a basement startup to a flourishing industry leader with offices in Quebec City, Montreal, Toronto and New York City. 


The firm’s trademark out-of-the box thinking and holistic approach to energy management have generated more than $150 million in savings for its diverse range of public- and private-sector clients.


We were able to catch up with André, Winner of Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year, as he shared with us how his fresh-out-of-school “naiveté” led to an innovative business model in energy efficiency.

 

Forbes 30 under 30 for 3 consecutive years, Brian Wong, CEO and co-founder of Kiip (pronounced “keep”), is one of the youngest people to raise venture capital in the world. 


Kiip is a category-creating mobile rewards network that is transforming mobile advertising through an innovative platform that leverages “moments of achievement” in games and apps to simultaneously benefit users, developers and advertisers. Backed by IPG, Hummer Winblad, Relay Ventures, True Ventures, Digital Garage and others, the company has raised $15.4 million in funding to date. 


We have Brian with us today to talk about how Kiip is redefining the new generation of interaction in mobile marketing.

 

The first BA 2014 workshop kicked off at our Piano House studio last Tuesday. In anticipation for this year’s BAs’ arrival, we completely redecorated our 50’s retro kitchen, transforming it into a cozy living room complete with projection screens, dim lighting, leafy greens, and of course, wine. It was practically a page out of House Beautiful.

 

Brand Amplifier's 5th edition of brand strategy masterclasses kicked off this week at our Piano House studio. 


25 amazing young female entrepreneurs have won the “Golden Ticket” to tour JP’s brand factory, and learn straight from the source, the secret sauce to manufacturing some of the world’s most iconic brands. 


The lamps are lit, the wine glasses laid out.


1 month to hone and amplify their brands with their new found skills, who will impress the judges with her elevator pitch and walk away the winner?



 

Simon Dighton, our resident middle-weight Graphic Designer, has made 3D space design for BT showcases across: Tokyo, Singapore, Sydney, Dubai, Kuala Lumpur and Hong Kong, just to name a few. 


Simon started his design career at JPC as an intern 3 years ago and has risen up in the ranks of our Creative Services team. He lives in Brixton, London, a 10-minute-walk away from our beloved Piano House studio.

 

Coinciding nicely with Global Entrepreneurship Week, Imperial College London has recently launched its biggest-ever campaign in support of student innovation with its Create Lab Venture Catalyst Challenge.


The ‘Invent the Future’ make-a-thon workshops and university-wide pre-accelerator challenge kicked off this month at Imperial College’s new Digital Media Lab – ThinkSpace – in White City.


What is a make-a-thon, you might ask? It’s just like a hack-a-thon but for start-ups instead. Think startup-making in hyper speed. Imperial students could go from ideation, to prototyping to business planning in a single afternoon.

 

Laurence Kemball-Cook, CEO of Pavegen Systems, kicked off the event with tales of his own entrepreneurial journey, noting, “Starting a business can be like crawling on your hands and knees through glass in the dark, and while I mean that somewhat in jest, it is more akin to jumping off a cliff and learning to swim on the way down.” 


Kemball-Cook recently went on a state visit to China with David Cameron with the aim to boost UK’s clean tech products alongside his own ground-breaking clean-technology company which generates electricity from the kinetic energy of footsteps. 

 

“2013 is coming to an end, which means it’s time to bid farewell to Emerald and welcome Radiant Orchid - Pantone’s colour of the year for 2014.


Also known as 18-3224, the purple hue has been named the shade de rigeur for fashion, interiors and graphic design in the year ahead by Pantone, which says it has spent a year combing the world for colour influences.”