On Friday, February 12th at 5 o’clock, we had an interview with Professor Kim Jong-youl, who is also managing a company named ‘ChangUp Way’. All the other employees had already left for the day. Even though it was the day before the New Year’s Day holiday, he greeted university reporters like us with a big smile. Offering us a cup of tea, he introduced himself. He had worked in Moodys which is an institution for estimating credits. In addition, he has consulted over 200 companies, and also he is a professor in Konkuk University. He tried to make us comfortable and not to be too formal.
Professor Kim suddenly started to give us a lecture about world history. What he said was the country which was holding the power has constantly changed over the years, starting form Greece and Rome, to France and England, and finally to the USA and Japan. First, we wondered why he was giving us a history lecture when we want to have an interview about starting a business. But soon enough, we found out that he was trying to say that we need to see the current situation of the world. That way we can predict what kind of occupation will be popular and what kind of industry will be improved.
Nowadays in Korea society, a lot of university students spend most of their university life in studying for a job. After they get a job, they just wish that it would be the life-long term job for him or her. But sadly, later in reaching their majority, they are forced to give the company more and more benefits. The more they stay in a company, the more they get stress from others. Professor Kim said, “It is easy to see our tragic future if we just want to depend on company. It is time for us to think wisely and think about starting a business in the future.” It is true that there are various ways in the world, and studying is not the only way to success. “Do not think that studying is the only thing to achieve your dream and getting a job in a company is the only way to live your life. You need to live a planned life which consists of meeting a lot of people and experiencing a lot of things not just spending the most time in making what we usually refer to as ‘spec’.”
“So consider working in a company as an experience. Not a place to stay forever.” Professor Kim Jong-youl added. “Starting a business right after graduating school is not a good idea, because we need to learn to manage and experience through working in a company, and it also helps us to find a great idea to start a business.” Professor Kim said that the most important thing to successfully starting a business is finding the right idea. “As I already mentioned, we need to have a vision to see the current situation of the world, and by this we need to pick an idea which is right for the period.” He added that we need to be able to see what kind of idea or what kind of industry is just going to be in fashion. He also said that stable and continuous ideas have more possibility than ideas which would only last a short period. “Also we need to consider about the main customer and what it is that they can’t live without. This will lead to success in a business.”
He suggested the University of Seoul students several things. First thing is to live our life with a passion. “You are young. Live your young life! Plan your life and execute the entrepreneurship in you.” It is just like what we needed to hear. Yes, there are various way to life but most of us are thinking about just getting a job in a company. It’s like just following other people. we should be diligent and search for our own way!
Second, he offered us to go abroad. Have a wide vision. Look at the bright side and think globally. “Korean market is already full with a lot of competitions. Turn your sight from it and go abroad. Also, to achieve it, live a planned life and prepare for it.” Saying this advice which is to be a global person, Professor Kim emphasized again the importance of understanding the current of the world situation.
It was already 7 o’clock, and dark when we walk out of Professor Kim’s office. Looking up the sky and the tall buildings in Gangnam, we felt a feeling like an excitement. And we determined to arrange our life again and live a planned life with a passion. “We don’t want to live just same as other people live. And we are not going to depend our life on company. We will dig our own way and live a meaningfull life!” We pledged ourself as we walk out of the office.