Kim Hye-jin, a project manager at Roblox, shared her experiences of failed job interviews as one of the 10 guest speakers for the “Koreans in Silicon Valley 2022” hosted by Startup Alliance Korea at NAVER Green Factory on Tuesday. Themed around three keywords – career, trend, and entrepreneur, the event shared the stories of Koreans working in Silicon Valley and their ideas about entrepreneurship and startups, as well as building career and adjusting to the corporate culture at global IT companies.
Kim, who majored in education and English literature in Korea, used to dream of becoming an English teacher. After getting married, she flew to the U.S. along with her husband, who was seeking his doctorate education abroad. In the U.S., Kim studied information and nursing science to find her aptitudes. She found her passion after attending a coding bootcamp but failed at job interviews as she was not prepared.
“At interviews, I always stressed my industriousness and loyalty because I thought it was important to be cast as flexible enough to meet their demand, but that was the main reason for my failed interviews,” Kim explained. “I found a perfect fit for me as I began to understand better what I can offer and what the company needs.”
Another speaker named Kwak Soo-jeong, a music editor at Meta, shared the communication culture in Silicon Valley. Communication is considered a key value because different members of various sectors must put their heads together for a shared project. “The Silicon Valley companies offer abundant dialogues opportunities,” Kwak explained. “Once you successfully build trust with colleagues, that can make you a key player in other networking environments.”
“It is also important to explain to your manager how much contributions you are making to a certain project and what specific goals you are setting down the road,” she added. “I played many successful roles in different projects, so I expected a promotion. But there was no news, so I asked my manager, and the manager said they had not realized I wanted promotions.”
Proactiveness is the biggest virtue in Silicon Valley. “Educational background matters, but culturally, you can enjoy second chances, and it is the result that matters the most,” said Ha Dae-woong, the head of Product Management at Amazon Web Services. “They value how much passion you have and the zeal to blaze a new path for your life.”