She was a former contestant in the survival reality shows Produce 101 and MIXNINE where she placed 84th and 36th places respectively.
2016–2018: Produce 101 & MIXNINE
In 2016, she participated in Mnet's survival television show, Produce 101 as a trainee representing Star Empire Entertainment. She was eliminated in Episode 5 with her final rank being 84th place.
In October 2017, she auditioned for survival reality show MIXNINE. Having passed the audition, she made until Episode 10 and was eliminated with her final rank being 36th place.
On September 16, 2019, Star Empire's affiliate label, Rising Star Entertainment, announced that Empire Girls would be officially debuting under the name ARIAZ in October. The next day, YunJi was the fourth member to be revealed through a teaser concept photo.