News in English

KPAI, ‘ Teaching How to Fish’ to G2(Second Generation)

Hosting Career Development Seminars in Novi

Two career development seminars sponsored by KPAI were held last Sunday evening at Sheraton Hotel Novi. The seminars targeted to strengthen community networks by helping high school and college students prepare for college or job interviews. Over 200 pre-registered parents showed great interest in attending the seminars. Successful Korean professionals with backgrounds in business, medicine, and politics were invited to the seminars to serve on panels.

The President of KPAI, Ki Suk Chang, expressed that he was prepared to make an attempt at reducing conflicts between the first and second generation, and to learn from the mistakes the first generations had made.

Things to consider when choosing careers

The panels of the seminar included: Soo Jin Koh, the Admission Director of the University of Michigan’s Ross Business School; Skye Suh, a lawyer; Tony Yoon, a Plastic Surgeon; Jin Kyu Koh, a Dykema Gossett Law Firm partner; Hoon Yung Hopgood, a Michigan State Senator; and Victor Kim, a restaurant owner.

They shared their experiences from when they were students. Su Jin Koh didn’t like Michigan and she promised herself not to marry a Korean man, but now she is a wife of a Korean man and she still lives in Michigan.

Plastic surgeon Tony Yoon grew up in the rural town of Greenville, with a lack of social skills and nothing to do but study. He worked hard to overcome his inadequacies and he started appearing on Rachael Ray’s show, “Dr. 90210”, on CNN.

Overcoming the hardships that come with being an adoptee, Hoon Yung Hopgood became a Michigan Senator.

Rerouting his life from parents’ expectations to be a doctor, Victor Kim became an owner of four great restaurants.

All of their stories were full of lively experiences and the speakers weren’t shy to share their fruitful advice with attendees.

Among their many precious advice, some of them are listed here.

1. College majors and future employment does not necessarily match, so have an open mind when searching for a job.

2. Take care of all the career-necessary tests, such as GRE, GMAT, and the LSAT before graduating college.

3. Set your priorities in life. Ask yourself what’s the value that is most important to you? What is the dream that you want to pursue?

4. Keep your ears open to advice from the ones around you, such as family members and friends.

5. Make yourself available even to low-paying internships and part-time jobs that could help your career.

6. There are various fields to pursue in the world. Do not stress out too much about which career you want to pursue. Remember to broaden your horizons.

Caveat on interview preparation

After the Q & A session between the panels and the attendees, the actual process of an interview was led by the lawyer, Skye Suh.

Even students with a high academic achievement cannot succeed in social life without having good interview skills.

Skye Suh says, “You will undergo numerous interviews throughout your life so it is very important to familiarize yourself with interviewing skills.” Before a job interview, prepare a powerful resume that can differentiate you from the rest. Having good relationships and networks is also a must have.

In addition, the most important thing in interview is the first impression. A study shows that it takes only first 7 to 17 seconds of the meeting to finish evaluating an interviewee. Good manners and etiquette are important, and adequate attire and gesture are expected.

It is advantageous to be the first or the last interviewee. Do not plan any additional schedule during interview day, and never be late to the interview. During an interview, make sure your cell phone is turned off, do not glance at the clock, do not ask how long the interview will be, make sure your hands aren’t sweaty when you shake hands, and make sure you go to the bathroom before the interview. Try to give a good impression as much as possible.

Research the company in websites before the interview in order to be confident and to have background knowledge. Following-up the interview by sending a thank you email is highly recommended.

One of the attendees, Hye Yoon Chang living in Rochester, appreciated the opportunity to meet the panels and to learn good tips. She says she hopes to attend another seminar like this.

The first generation of immigrants usually work hard to try to provide a better education for their children. After graduating from college, many youngsters leave Michigan to settle down in other cities but the panels were the ones who came back to Michigan to build up their career. Teaching their know-how to the next generation was very memorable and inspirational, and the goal of the seminar was greatly achieved.

Translated by Tack Yong kim

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