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New Recruits Bridge Gap between Samsung’s Headquarters and Local Subsidiaries

New Recruits Bridge Gap between Samsung’s Headquarters and Local Subsidiaries

Posted August. 26, 2005 03:06,   


There are foreign students in Korea going through training to become “Korean-style” business people.

On August 23, we met with four students that were recruited by Samsung Electronics and placed in the MBA program at Sungkyunkwan University. Poland native Dominica Dor (28) and Li Ming from China have been in Korea for a year. Petr Komorik (22) left Slovakia less than a week ago, and Ding Zi (23) is from China, both just starting their days in Korea.

The foreign students make up one-third of the university’s MBA program, with 35 students in the second-year and 43 first-year students starting this September.

Samsung Electronics handpicked these well-educated students to train them for the rapidly growing markets in Eastern Europe and Southeast Asia. After graduation, these students will become the bridge between the Korean headquarters and local subsidiaries abroad.

Dor received a master’s degree in Economics in Poland and worked at Procter & Gamble (P&G) for a year before she came to Korea. She said, “I am very lucky because most inexperienced people do not receive this kind of support from businesses. I am surprised to see sophisticated Korean education and the many group activities.”

Li graduated from Qinghua University with a master’s in electronic engineering. He graduated at the top of his undergraduate class, out of 120 students. He was preparing to study at an Ivy League university in the United States, but then changed direction. Coming to Korea guaranteed him a job.

These students, receiving full scholarships and allowances from Samsung and Sungkyunkwan University, will work in Korea for two years and in their home country for another two years after graduation.

A year ago, all Li knew about Korea was the movie “My Sassy Girl.”

Ding has two degrees in Korean and economics from Beijing University. She says Korea is familiar to her. She said, “I was moved by the strength of the Korean people when they actively sold their gold during the 1997 financial crisis.”

Komorik, a business major, said, “I cannot believe that people are saying Korea is going through a long-term recession. Considering the situation in the world economy, Korea is not particularly badly off.”

Dor said, “North Korea is more familiar than South Korea to the Polish people. I am confident that with my experience in both countries, I can solve any problems which may occur from cultural differences between South Korea and Poland.”

Yi-Young Cho lycho@donga.com