[Alumni Interview] Kim Dong Won (Indiana-Kelley-SKK GSB Executive MBA, class of 2021)
I have worked in various global corporations such as the American Chamber of Commerce in Korea, Pfizer, and Philip Morris International for over 20 years, primarily in roles related to international cooperation and policy. Currently, I serve as the Executive Vice President for External Affairs at Moderna, a global pharmaceutical company producing COVID-19 vaccines using mRNA technology.
There were three key reasons for choosing this MBA program. Firstly, it was particularly appealing because it was the only EMBA program in Korea conducted entirely in English. Given the necessity of English communication skills in building a career in multinational corporations, I believe that Kelley – SKK GSB EMBA, with its 100% English instruction and a majority of foreign professors, would be immensely beneficial. Secondly, compared to the usual two-year MBA programs, it offered the advantage of obtaining a world-class MBA degree within a relatively shorter period of 1.5 years, which was crucial for executives balancing work and career management. Lastly, the Dual MBA aspect was pivotal. Being able to attend classes from both Sungkyunkwan University's SKK GSB and Indiana University's Kelley School of Business professors while based in Korea had a decisive impact on my choice.
Looking back three years after graduation, it was a truly excellent decision. Over 70% of my fellow graduates, who embarked on this journey with me, have achieved remarkable results, either by securing better positions at new companies or receiving promotions within their current organizations. This clearly demonstrates the significant contribution of the Kelley – SKK GSB EMBA program to the career development of its students.
In my case, I successfully transitioned to new roles twice after completing my MBA and received promotions each year for the past three years. My salary has also seen a significant increase in proportion. The Kelley – SKK GSB EMBA program played a substantial role in these achievements. Firstly, the MBA credential itself created a highly positive image during job interviews. It was not just the name value of Kelley – SKK GSB EMBA but also the perception that completing an MBA program while working demonstrates commitment and dedication. Secondly, the MBA network was invaluable. I received substantial support from my MBA peers and alumni in terms of advice and references during each job transition. This aspect becomes even more influential as you climb the corporate ladder. Lastly, the program provided continuous motivation. Before entering the program, I was already on an executive track and wasn't actively seeking new challenges or opportunities. However, during the MBA journey, I couldn't help but be inspired by the highly capable, passionate, and diverse individuals I encountered. After working in the same field for over two decades, it's natural to become complacent and lose sight of new dreams and opportunities. The EMBA period allowed me to meet experts and professionals from different fields, engage in discussions, and constantly strive to set higher goals for myself.
One of the most rewarding aspects of completing the program was the friendships I formed with 32 colleagues who share similar values and goals, and these are friendships that will last a lifetime. In fact, just last weekend, I went on a 1-night, 2-day trip with four of these families. Unlike other connections, MBA classmates, who share similar objectives and thoughts, quickly form strong bonds. The network I gained during this journey holds exceptional value.
The Kelley – SKK GSB EMBA program is an ideal choice for professionals looking to take their careers to the next level. It is particularly appealing to executives and CEOs in multinational corporations or major domestic companies. Among my fellow graduates, some have relocated to overseas headquarters or ventured into new fields using the knowledge gained from the EMBA program. I highly recommend this program to those who seek to meet a 'better version of themselves.'.
Original Article (Korean): https://www.mk.co.kr/news/special-edition/10837477