Most students in Korea seem to rely on their academic records at high school for deciding which college to apply in. However, I do not think the academic record takes significant effect on their life. The academic career - though many people think it is important - never guarantees success in life.
The real success depends on rich experience they get during their college life, not the academic career.
I was in the US during my adulthood, living in a residence hall called Family Housing. Married student couples aiming at acquiring master’s or doctorate degree lived in the same hall.
Some students were Korean. And, needless to say, not all Koreans had great backgrounds. Many were graduates from local universities in Korea. In many cases, ironically, students from places other than Seoul studied harder than those from Seoul. Besides, students with no economic support acquired their desired degree in a shorter time than the others, thanks to the remarkable scholarship system in the university.
Do you know why? It’s because they did not waste their time on meaningless activities. And having a clear goal, they knew exactly why they were there. So, they can study sincerity. Their will was so strong with knowing the handicap in Korea much better than students from Seoul.
I often hear CEOs saying that there is no competent person to employ. On the other hand, workers complain that there is no attractive workplace. Such a word as “whole-life employment” has become a past reality. And, you will know, that the competent person that I mean is not an unprepared person, who has just graduated from the university located in Seoul.
Today the traits that most companies look for among potential employees are spirit of adventure, potential, leadership, confidence, challenge and resolution. Once I saw a scene on TV in which many people was standing in line all night to register an institute that helps prepare for the public official admission exam. Why do young men want to be public officials?
One reason is that they think that it guarantees a more stable life to work for a public organization. That’s true. If a person makes it through the admission exam, he or she will have less worry about early retirement. Of course, I’m not advising against being a public official. But, the part I can’t understand is why so many young people want to be public officials.
Youth must have spirit of challenge and adventure, in my opinion. That is the Youth.
First, watch the world curiously and make a habit of challenging and adventuring. When you are young, you look so wonderful even in torn jeans.
It is a great time to experience something, because you have enough time and passion. Be an energetic youth; do not act like an old person. Fall in love with passion and study hard. And travel the world for your heart’s content.
If you have fear going on the trip alone, make it with your good friends. You will be awakened to a new world that you have never imagined and you also could get a chance to think about yourself deeply through the traveling. Be a person with warm heart, not cold brain only and be a person with both love and courage. Do not forget the fact that only a challenging person will get a better chance than others.
Second, be the only one not the best one. You are living in an era of Personal Brand Name. To get Personal Brand Name, you have to be the only one, not the best one. Personal Brand Name (PBN) means, in short, to find your merits or advantages, and publicize them effectively. You can make your PBN by just finding it out in which area that you can be an expert and confident that you also like, and make it the brand name of yourself.
Let the people know your talent, ability or whatever else you think is excellent about yourself. This is the way you exist in the world. If you do not have any competitive power, you cannot say that you are alive. Don’t be the first, but be the only one. That is the key word of this, 21st century.
Third, try to have varied experiences during your vacation. Participate in a tournament of stock investment and advertisement, or make a homepage of yourself, instead of browsing TOEIC books during whole vacation.
Do a part-time job in a field that you want. What is important in your age is having a field experience, not how much you earn. Money means nothing. And make relationships with experts in that field. It will be useful to select your own job someday. Last, gain confidence through reading many kinds of books.
Not only textbooks, but various books will make your knowledge wide and deep. Get knowledge about your works as much as you can. Gain deep knowledge and big confidence. Such a confidence makes you positive, and a positive attitude brings about success.
Most of employment experts says that nothing is more important than confidence.
So, let me give you, college students, a few piece of advice.
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Translated by Baek Woo-jin firstname.lastname@example.org