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Title Advice from predecessors-Professional MBA 2017
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Date 2018-05-08 Hit 520

Deputy Director Kim Sung-Hyun (Alumnus of SKK GSB Professional MBA 2017)

Q1: A brief introduction of yourself?
A: Hello. I am Sunghyun Kim who graduated from SKK GSB Professional MBA course at Sungkyunkwan University in 2017. Prior to entering MBA School, I was responsible for personnel management for Amore Pacific and LS Nico Bronze Smelting for approximately 12 years. After graduating from SKK GSB Professional MBA, I have served as a human resources manager at a local global clothing export company that handles global clothing brands such as Gap, Old Navy, Banana Republic, American Eagle, and Levi's.

Q2: What made you decide to pursue MBA Degree?
A: I have worked in the field of personnel management for about 12 years prior to acquisition of my MBA degree. Having had a long career in a particular field, he became a professional senior manager in that area, but he often felt he lacked the knowledge to fully understand the business as a whole. I decided to go to college because my MBA is the most suitable course for getting professional knowledge of the overall business.

Q3: Why did you choose SKK GSB Professional MBA amongst various MBA programs at home and abroad?
A: Firstly, I was introduced SKK GSB Professional MBA course at Sungkyunkwan University by my Chief of Personnel (CHO) at that time that it is an international MBA program. I felt confident that it was a program that CHO recommended. 

It was also attractive that it was the only night MBA program offered in 100% English of all the courses in the ROK. Having advanced-level English skills was very important for my future career management since I was working at a foreign company. 

Lastly, I liked the fact that it is an MBA course that comprises a number of foreign business executives and employees. It is not that difficult for employees of large/ midsize domestic enterprises to get involved in various educational and industrial events. However, opportunities to interact with employees at multinational and foreign companies are more of a rarity. SKK GSB Professional MBA was a perfect course that had English classes and dual degree tracks overseas, enabling myself to mingle with a variety of multinational corporate executives including Coca-Cola, Boeing, ING Life, Standard Chartered Bank and Citibank.

Q4: What is the most significant change after SKK GSB Professional MBA program?
A: First of all, the way I view business management has been greatly widened. While I considered mainly human resources related issues before the MBA program, I now closely scrutinize the company performances, corporate brand growth details, accounting issues, and market conditions collectively in addition to personnel management situations. This is indeed very helpful to me, especially since it enables me to see the big picture during business discussions with the management leadership. 

My department employees often tell me that I have changed. In consultation with other departments, such as accounting, sales, and strategy, they were impressed by the way I use the terminology and macroeconomic approaches learnt from MBA program to anticipate future developments.

I gained a profound knowledge in various business fields thanks to SKK GSB's practice-oriented, well-segmented MBA curriculum. I had been trained by MBA education provided by my company before I joined SKK GSB, yet I felt what I wanted to learn was insatiable, even though it comprised lectures given by prominent Korean professors. I was in doubt of the effectiveness of MBA program even after the decision to join SKK GSB. However, the SKK GSB Professional MBA program has wiped out the concerns of mine with professional contents with rich business practices.

With specialized MBA courses in accordance to categories, I was able to gain a wide range of professional knowledge. For instance, in the human resources field alone, a variety of courses are provided – from organizational and personnel management to leadership and corporate ethics. The Finance classes were also in-depth courses on swaps, options, gifts, derivatives, and so on.

Q5: What was the most helpful curriculum from the SKK GSB Professional MBA?
A: Firstly, the finance subjects were the main catalysts for the most noticeable changes. Since the company where I was in charge was dealing with a global metal mining, smelting, and trading business, call options, foot options, gifts, and hedge related issues were often mentioned. Even for employees of a human resources department it is paramount to understand the whole company issues, but since the finance field is difficult to comprehend, it often resulted in leaving an uncomfortable feeling with Finance. Yet, I haven't had to face such difficulties ever since I took Finance classes at MBA program.

I was especially satisfied with the Financial Risk Management class given by the Dean Lee at SKK GSB. The lecture was very impressive in that it helped us to gain a thorough understanding from the financial perspective of the causes and developments in the real world of financial events, such as Lehman Brothers and the Kiko crisis.
HR related classes are not always the most useful for its managers. For instance, after completing courses in marketing communications and branding management, and used the knowledge I gained to promote recruitment for talented individuals. I have over a decade of experience in human resources management, but I have learnt to organize and verify my scattered knowledge via HR modules. I used to write notes at work and in class to write down what I wanted to remind myself of.

Q6.What do you think can be gained other than the regular curriculum through MBA programs?
A: First of all, the English ability. SKK GSB Professional MBA program is offered in 100 % English classes and therefore has many opportunities to give out English presentations. I also attended English conversation classes and got professional English composition correction services from my school, which resulted in developing the habit of speaking, writing and even thinking in English as a result. By the time I graduated, my English was a lot improved, and I could easily speak in English with less hesitation.

The company I work for now has many overseas manufacturing bases and a high share of communication with foreign business partners. Passing the English interview for my re-employment of this company, the English skills I learnt in my MBA program played a major role.
I also got a big assistance in getting the human networks I needed. The SKK GSB Professional MBA program is rather small in a size of around 60 people, and this resulted in having people within each cohort familiarized with each other, creating a strong bond. Particularly, it was more than nice to have a multinational corporate network, which is difficult to obtain prior to joining into this program.

Q7. Lastly, could you give me some advice for those who are considering going to MBA schools?
A: I would like to tell you to start first, and then give a thought about it. Alike any other choices in life, it's much better to use obtained experiences to fit the reasons you chose after a challenge, rather than trying to think about them too much before starting. Similar to the case of mine, there are three main reasons for considering joining Professional MBA.

Q8. Did it help you regarding employment, re-employment, starting a business, and raising your salary after graduation? 
A: In my case, after I graduated from MBA program, I have successfully had myself employed to the current company, and my salary has been increased significantly over the years. I am very satisfied that I got to see quantum progress not only in my personal capability but also in my career.


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