Rob Edwards came to the Division of International Studies on April 25 to give a presentation under the Special Lecture Series. Mr. Edwards is not only the Chairman of the British Chamber of Commerce in Korea, but also Senior Vice President of Standard Chartered Bank in Korea. His first posting in Standard Chartered is what brought him to Seoul in 1978. Mr. Edwards shared his knowledge of Korea’s economy from an international viewpoint and recommended how we, as young students, can have a successful career and aid the growing Korean economy. He spoke about six main areas of competitiveness: availability of skilled personnel, regulatory environment, corporate tax regime, culture and language, quality of life, and personal tax regime. He believes that all areas can and should improve in Korea by promoting international experience and gender equity, changing to a negative law system, solving the lame-duck presidency, and by improving educational and medical systems. He praised Korea’s culture and language, which is a great example of Modern Confucianism.
Mr. Edwards taught students about the elements of success and urged students to take psychometric tests to determine whether they have type A or B personality. He also stressed that students must focus on the five values of being ‘courageous’, ‘responsive’, ‘international’, ‘creative’, and ‘trustworthy’. Being ‘courageous’ means that, “you accept accountability, take calculated risks and that you are able to challenge ideas with manners.” Being ‘international’ means that, “you must be sensitive, understand, and adapt to situations.” Being ‘trustworthy’ means that you are reliable, open, and honest; and the highest level of trust is earned when “you did as you said you would.” These values were taught to help students’ communication skills and to continue on a successful career path. He concluded with the quote: “Life is indescribably full, unfalteringly real, unfailing good.”
The guest speaker for Special Lecture Series on April 4, 2012 was Steven B. McKinney, the Founder and President of McKinney Consulting, Inc. The business, established in 2001, is an executive search firm, which has placed hundreds of bi-lingual middle-senior level executives for multinational companies in Korea and throughout all of Asia.
Mr. McKinney began the lecture by introducing himself and his achievements in the educational, business, and political field. He has an educational background of a Bachelor of Music Education and a Master of Business Administration. He has had over twelve years of experience as an Executive Search Consultant and is a Certified Master Coach since 2007. He currently serves on the American Chamber of Commerce-Korea Board of Governors and was bestowed Honorary Citizen of Seoul in 2007. He has also worked as a Senior Global Manager for well-known athletic companies such as Reebok, Adidas, and Converse.
Mr. McKinney explained that he became a successful entrepreneur in the international business community by always remembering how his father told him, “If you work hard, you’ll never go hungry.” This inspired him to always try his best in every goal he set. To help students achieve their goals, Mr. McKinney recommended 10 important steps of career planning which include “Step 3: Update your resume” and “Step 7: Invest in yourself.” He stressed the fact that competition today is tougher than before, thus planning ahead gives a competitive advantage. He also told students that his mindset of McKinney Consulting, Inc. is staying true to the “golden rule” and that it is “more profitable to be ethical.” The inspiring lecture left students with a deeper understanding of what kind of attitude to have to pursue in a career in the international field.