Alumni Interview - Hwa-yong Sim (Full-Time MBA, Class of 2019)
Hwa-yong Sim (Class of 2019) graduated from the Full-Time MBA course this February. To assist foreign alumni in their job-seeking process, Sim recently launched a job support project for foreign students.
To help the Hirediversity project to succeed, SKK GSB established the SKK GSB Care Committee earlier this year, which has been actively assisting the project by providing office space. SKK GSB’s PR Committee interviewed the founder of Hirediversity, Sim, to scrutinize his project in detail.
What did you consider when applying for MBA? My primary goal was to complement my lack of knowledge and expand my network through the MBA program. SKK GSB's Full-Time program fully met my needs.
What was the most impressive class in the MBA curriculum? We all are talented individuals from 15 countries around the world. I was able to acquire a global perspective by working on projects with my fellow classmates. For example, in Professor Gokce's Creative Thinking class, I teamed up with students from Singapore and Thailand and worked for a month on problems related to Korea's daily work commute. It deepened my understanding of the traffic situation in Singapore and Thailand, as well as the way governments and citizens approach this issue. The biggest attainment is that I got to approach this topic from diverse perspectives.
Professor Tae-young Kim’s Strategic Management class was very impressive as well. From the real-world examples of creative shared values (CSV), I contemplated a lot about how to improve Hirediversity from a simple student-volunteer work to a more dynamic and efficient project.
Earlier this year, you launched Hirediversity project to assist SKK GSB students get jobs. What made you to start this project? In the process of helping foreign students with their job search, we found that there was a problem with the system. The biggest problem in the job search process was the lack of access to information. From the standpoint of foreign students, there were few reliable means to access corporate job openings. The job openings are normally shared through social networking sites such as Facebook, where information is spread without proper verification. It is almost impossible for an individual to check and search all the details prior to his or her application submission. On the other hand, from the corporate point of view, there are difficulties in reaching out to foreign job applicants. I felt the urgent need to eliminate the information dissemination problems between the two parties.
Tell us about what you achieved so far with Hirediversity. The Hirediversity project achieved the goals set during the initial planning phase. The goal at the planning stage was to increase the quality of jobs for applicants and to raise the employment rate.
To help boost the employment rate, we e-mailed about 300 companies to enquire if they were looking for foreign applicants. To improve the quality of jobs, we translated and provided "average salary" and "company reputation" to foreign students, which are not readily available to them. These efforts turned out to be fruitful; 9 out of 12 students ended up with satisfactory vocational positions.
In addition, some schoolmates have given priceless advice regarding salary negotiation; they advised to seek an annual salary that is about 30% higher than the current amount. What I learnt from SKK GSB is that communication skills and strategic thinking ability were critical in this process. Now, our aim is to resolve the visa problems for foreign students, which is by far the biggest handicap in foreign student employment.