People say that self-PR (Public Relations) is the current trend. It means that you should actively promote yourself, instead of waiting for others to recognize you. Nowadays, self-PR is no longer just a personal matter. These days, many universities in Korea also actively use self-PR to attract suitable high school students. In order to keep up with this trend, students of the University of Seoul (UOS) have come together to promote the UOS. We call them ‘Irumi’, promoters of the UOS. I met with three members of the Irumi, Lee Tae-hee (School of Economics, Junior), Ju Young-gwang (Department of Transportation Engineering, Junior) and Hong In-pyo (School of Computer Science, Senior), and heard their stories as representatives of the UOS.
Irumi means ‘dreams come true’ in Korean. There are two interpretations for the word ‘dream’ in this context. From the perspective of the UOS, ‘dream’ means an improvement of the school and from the perspective of high school students, it means admission to a school. Irumi was founded in 2005 by the Office of Planning and Research. The 6th Irumi team is made up of 12 members. They have an executive team, a promotion team, an inside and outside cooperation team and a contents planning team.
One of their main responsibilities is leading campus tours for middle and high school students. It includes presentations about the UOS and information about the entrance examination. Other major activities are Oh-neul-eun-na-do-dae-hak-saeng (Ohnadae) and Your S. Ohnadae is university life experience program for high school students which means ‘Today, I am a University student.’ in Korean. Your S is a mock interview program for the admissions officer system. High school students respond to these programs very well as applications exceeded three times more than can be accommodated. So these programs are the best way to promote the UOS.
So why did they join Irumi? They answered frankly. Tae-hee said “I was interested in being an honorary ambassador of some company. Coincidentally, my classmate happened to be one of 4th Irumi members and he recommended joining Irumi to me. There is no company that I am directly loyal to yet, but I can concentrate on my school and Irumi. Therefore, I thought being an Irumi member would be a pleasant experience.” In-pyo said “By joining Irumi, I expected not only to experience outside activities but also to see my photographs in magazines. So I applied to Irumi enthusiastically although I was quite unqualified because I am a senior.”
What are the merits of being part of Irumi? The three interviewees said they can meet good people in various majors. Also by participating in the Association of Student Ambassadors Korea (ASA-K), they can network with other university students. As a bonus, they also can add their presentation experience and get a uniform and a business card. Above all, the main merit is becoming a representative of all the UOS students.
However, not everything is all well and good. They do experience some difficulties. They are sometimes troubled by the campus tours, because the tours have to be run on the days requested by the middle or high schools. When the tours were in great demand, they would do the campus tour twice a week. However, because the campus tour is their main responsibility, they cannot neglect it. Therefore, they have to do the tours during class time and even the day before examinations.
How much have their attitudes changed since becoming Irumi members? They said “We have certainly changed.” “We know the strong points of the UOS better than others because we have been informing others about them. It makes us realize how great the UOS is. We are proud of the UOS and have grown love to our university.” In-pyo said, “Because we are representatives of the UOS students to middle and high school students, we make an effort to create a fine image.”
What Irumi thinks are the strong points of the UOS? They answered that they want to boast about the inexpensive tuition fees as well as the great welfare policies for the students. There are many programs for students at the UOS compared to other private universities. This point particularly makes middle and high school students more interested in the UOS. Irumi said “In a word, the UOS has a comfortable atmosphere.”
As mentioned earlier, everything does not always go smoothly for Irumi. Young-gwang explained that “Sometimes, when we are doing campus tours with high school students, some of the UOS students would tell them ‘Study even harder, and go to better university than the UOS, the so-called SKY schools!’ When that happens, we turn red with shame. Among the high school students, some of them eagerly want to enter the UOS and others want to learn and feel something from touring the UOS. When some of the UOS students talk negatively like that, we feel like we are losing one of our own.” In-pyo added “We hope that the UOS students have more affection for the UOS and are proud of themselves as a student of the UOS.”
Finally, they said that they will be recruiting new Irumi members in early November. They are particularly interested in recruiting members who are good at creating content, because they will strengthen the Social Network Service (SNS) promotions in the coming year. Only sophomores and juniors-to-be can apply. You should refer to the Facebook pages of Irumi or the UOS community for more information. Tae-hee said “Only those who are responsible and can cooperate well with others should apply. Some people apply just to build up their resume. Being a member of Irumi has many difficulties as well as many advantages. Therefore, take it seriously.”
Do you have a great affection towards the UOS or want to do something worthwhile for the UOS? Then how about applying for Irumi? They said “It is not an authority, but something special”