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Start from the Bottom with Dreams and Hopes

Posted December. 15, 2005 08:59,   


Seoul National University (SNU) students who dream of becoming future CEOs met present CEOs. At a farewell to 2005 event of the “Korea CEO Forum,” which embarked in 2001, members of “N-CEO” (Next Generation-CEO) were invited. N-CEO was formed in 2000 by SNU students studying management, law, and engineering. The event was attended by about 70 participants including Kim Seung-yu, CEO of Hana Financial Group Inc.; Shin Sang-hoon, president of Shinhan Bank; Hwang Young-key, CEO of Woori Finance Holdings Co.; Yun Byung-chul, CEO of FT Association; Kim Han-sub, president of KTB, and professors.

“Think What My Teacher in the Country Would Do”-

CEO Yun attracted attention with his “teacher in the country” theory. Yun said, “In my 44-year career, I have been a CEO for 19 years. When the moment to make a critical judgment call came, I thought about what my teacher in the country would do," meaning that Yun searched for a solution with a pure reason. He mentioned about the controversy surrounding Hwang Woo-suk`s stem research, "This incident occurred because the research team failed to meet the minor details in the global standards." He pointed out, "The case demonstrates the result of ignoring international standards."

When the president of N-CEO Cho Jae-cheon (24, Management) asked how he handles situations when the interests of stockholders, corporations, and employees collide with each other, Yun said, "The corporate is owned by the stockholders, but it cannot exist without the manager`s balance adjustment. Thus, one needs to consider the workers’ share."

Women Need to Make the In-Laws Be on Their Side-

Female students poured out questions to the few women CEOs. Seo Soo-ah (21, Management) asked, "Is it possible for a woman to be successful in accomplishing what she desires in work, love, and child raising?" The president of EZ Digital Lee Yeong-nam (female) answered, " It is very hard to pursue a career while having a marriage and raising children. If you obey your in-laws and think of in-law matters as your own, then it will be ok." CEO Kim Seung-yu proposed, "Our company has one of the finest in-house day care program. Are you interested in working for us?"

SNU Students Need to be Patient-

CEOs expressed what they feel SNU students lack. President of Imation Korea Lee Jang-woo said, "In many incidences, SNU graduates join the company and then go back to academics. It is regretful since I feel as though the moment I finished training them, they disappear." He added, "If you want to be a CEO, it is important to work your way from the bottom. However, SNU graduates are not good at enduring this since they have a background."

Park Chul-soon, professor of Management at SNU, said, "These days, students seem to settle for safe national exams or consultancy rather than dive into a challenge or being a pioneer. This event was organized to give hopes and dreams for students who dream to be part of the next generations of CEOs."

Se-Jin Jung mint4a@donga.com peacechaos@donga.com