Dong-Jae Lee, an Alumnus
“From the first semester of the first year to the graduation, I took major classes in English only to improve my English skills. Students of the SKKU’s Global Business Administration are temporarily placed in an environment where they speak and listen in English. With this English-surrounded environment, it was a natural for me to aim to join a foreign company.”
Dong-Jae is currently working at Business Solution Headquarter of Google Korea as a manager after graduated from SKKU’s Global Business Administration. As thinking back to his campus life, he said, “SKKU’s Global Business Administration provides such an appropriate educational environment where students can gradually improve their English skills as gaining ‘tiny muscles.’”
He linked his English skills to the ‘tiny muscles’ because he tends to stick to English naturally while taking regular curriculum and extra-curricular activities within 4 school years. Dong-Jae said “Most major classes of the Department of Global Business Administration include big and small team projects and I performed about 50 team projects during 8 semesters. It was very common to stay up all night with team members for 2 weeks to complete the projects. Through these processes, I’ve learned the cooperation and communication skills.”
The Department of Global Business Administration of SKKU marks its 14 years this year. It has been accumulating the cases of “student success” by producing graduates who have joined global-leading companies despite the bad situation in domestic and overseas job markets due to the COVID-19.
Q & A with Alumnus Dong-Jae Lee (Department of Global Business Administration)
▶ What kind of extra-curricular activities did you participate while in school?
From third year of university, I actively participated in international programs, provided by university. In the first semester of third year, I went to the ‘Global Camp’ in Japan. The ‘Global Camp’ is part of an extra-curricular activity provided by the SKKU’s Global Business Administration, which selects students through evaluation to explore companies in various countries, including Japan, the U.S. and Singapore during the vacation. It also provides good opportunities to broaden their view.
When I participated, we visited the Google Japan in Tokyo. I heard how a foreign company and Google work from the staff working at YouTube team. I was very impressive that Google has an organizational culture in which employees find their own work rather than doing the given tasks. I also still remember the story that they produce bigger results by gathering individuality in Google.
It was a valuable experience because there weren’t many people who work for foreign IT companies around me. It helped me a lot to make my career plan in details. The various activities offered by the department provide an experience that students cannot learn at school. Through this, I could’ve gradually concreted my goals to join foreign companies.
▶ When and where did you go for exchange student program?
In the second semester of the third year, I went to the University of British Columbia in Vancouver, Canada for the exchange program. Before leaving, I had two different feelings. On one hand, I was worried that if my English skills would be good enough to live in foreign country. The other hand, I was excited to face and experience different cultures. The department encourage students of Global Business Administration to have direct experience in foreign countries with the global mindset they’ve learned in class. They offer scholarship at the departmental level to students who participate in exchange program so that students can have various experience without having financial burden. I could’ve gained self-confidence by taking classes and making friends in Canada without experiencing language barrier.
▶ What did you choose for your double major?
From the second semester of second year, I completed taking Informatics as my double major. Sungkyunkwan University has two campuses; Humanities and Social Sciences Campus in Seoul and Natural Sciences Campus in Suwon. However, an infrastructure has been established to allow students in humanities and social sciences to take sciences and engineering classes in Seoul. Double majoring Informatics is one of the examples. Students can take programming language and data analysis classes while studying their original majors, Business Administration.
To be honest, I cannot really apply the knowledge I’ve gained from Informatics at this moment. However, when I have to study something on my own from an engineering perspective, my experience of taking double major brings me confidence. I gained the ability to make plans of what to study and how to study through my double major in Informatics.
▶ What did you personally do for your career?
One of the main activities is joining the academic society. If the Informatics was an opportunity to broaden my knowledge beyond business administration, the academic society was an opportunity to study my original major even deeper. There are many different academic societies that help students study fields of interest more deeply and actively. In the academic society, students gather together to study something new voluntarily, depending on their interests such as economics, culture, and IT.
The reason why I joined the C-ESI, I wanted to clarify my interest in ‘strategies’. I wanted to learn what strategic concerns are being made in the real business environment and know if this field fits me.
There are many students who are eager to learn in the academic society. By sharing concerns with other students who have similar interests, I could grow and received positive influence.
▶ Introduce us to the curriculum of the Department of Global Business Administration at SKKU.
The Department of Global Business Administration at SKKU teaches self-directed learning as well as how to grow up with others. As I mentioned, I performed at least 50 projects within 8 semesters. What I learned most from the team project is the way of working with team members and the communication methods needed in the process.
While doing team projects, all sorts of things happen. There may be disagreements among team members, free riders, or unsatisfied results even though you tried your best. As a team member, I consistently tried to figure out how to manage and solve the problems. In the end, people work with other people. From this point of view, the experience of doing numerous team projects improved me.
The Department of Global Business Administration allows students to experience the process of sharing the work within the team, sharing opinions with each other, and effectively conveying the team’s opinions to others, before entering the real society. And this is a great advantage of the curriculum of SKKU’s Global Business Administration.