As time goes by, anxiety levels build. ‘Which road do I take? Can I get a job at a good company? Can I even get a job?’ Sometimes, these types of questions cannot be answered by friends, nor does their sincere words of encouragement or parents' wisdom help. It is at these times in life you need a professional mentor. SMT reporters knocked on the door of the ‘Career Development Center for Creative Economy’ for a consultation about the future.
Guidance for Dreamer: The Beginning
Last year, President Moon Jae-in announced his plan to create more jobs. However, the unemployment rate has been steadily increasing. According to the National Statistical Office (NSO), the unemployment rate for young people rose to 9.9 percent. In other words, one in every 10 people is jobless. However, the percentage does not include young people who are studying at graduate school or working part-time, so the precise unemployment rate for today’s younger generation is approximately 22.7 percent if we include these other groups.
Along with the government, Sookmyung Women's University has implemented its own policies aimed to lower its alumni jobless rate. ‘Snoway’, a student career development system, guides students to career management by focusing on their competencies as defined by Sookmyung Women's University. On the website, several programs help students track their university life activities and plan for the future. It aids in establishing a vision for the future, helps one select a career path, develops one’s job skills, and provides job information and consulting. Students should pay attention to these two items in particular, career planning and job counseling. Students who visit the Center have the opportunity to speak with a counsel who has job information and knowledge that can help direct a person towards the career that is right for them. On the Snoway website look for the link ‘counseling’ and log on. There are a variety of counseling options. Students should then click the career counseling section on the webpage and choose the date and time they would like to meet a counselor.
Since the activities are supported by the Ministry of Employment and Labor, students must also register for a subscription to WorkNet, separate from reservation made on Snoway. A forewarning, however, it takes time to register for a consultation because there is the need to get a real name certificate. The reporter would like to see the procedure for enrollment simplified and is sure if that were done, more students would take advantage of the program.
Review After Career Counseling
Case #1: Song Yoon Heejeong (Sophomore, School of English '17)
The Career Development Center for Creative Economy at Sookmyung Women’s University offers career counseling for first and second year students and job counseling for upper year students. After making a reservation on Snoway, students attend counseling sessions in an assigned consultation room. The counselor basically introduces jobs associated with the person’s major and provides career guidance materials that, they believe, will best benefit the student. After this, students are free to voice worries about future employment or careers and ask questions throughout the 50-minute session.
As a second year student, this reporter wanted to know how to create a career roadmap rather than get advice on immediate employment. After hearing the reporters work, activities, and initial plans for the future, the counselor informed her of relevant episodes that the counselor had heard or experienced before. During the session, the counselor emphasized accumulation of various experiences through diverse activities because no one knows for sure their path in life. Also, the counselor emphasized how seemingly unrelated activities could be connected and benefit us later in life. For instance, she recommended joining activities that only women’s university students are able to take advantage of or events that only first and second year students partake. In terms of vacations, the counselor said those were precious because students have the opportunity to participate in activities that they were too busy to try during the semester, and it is also a time when students should be seriously thinking about their future. When drawing a career roadmap, it is important to plan big at the beginning and add details along the way. The counseling session gives students the chance to discover new possibilities, things they may have never considered but suit them. Counselor Kim Hyerin said, "During your lower school years at university, it is more important to engage in a wide range of extra-curricular activities than to worry about employment or academic performance." She added that it is better to record the activities than create a portfolio.
The Center’s counselors are aware of your major and academic school year, but they don't know about your interests and preferences, so this reporter recommends to bring additional material with you to the session, things that show who you are. If, after the consultation, you are still concerned about something, you can investigate personal recordings of job interview by people in the field that you are interested in to learn more about how to enter that specialty field. It would also be helpful to listen to stories of individuals already in the profession you are interested in joining. Your fantasies about a job and the actual work might differ greatly, so it would be good to clear up misconceptions. To get help about finding your forte and possible future career choices, make a reservation and talk with one of the Center’s counselors.
Case #2: Han Lee Hyebin (Junior, Department of Information Technology Engineering ‘16)
The counseling program at the Career Development Center for Creative Economy prove its real worth for upper year students. The Center provides counseling services about employment, job applications, and interviews. The job clinics are officially sponsored by the Ministry of Employment and Labor, so participation requires registration with the WorkNet website. Also, in order to qualify for future consultations, students must complete a satisfaction survey at the end of a program. This SMT reporter is a third year student, so she applied a general consultation on all aspects of employment. Before the counseling session, the SMT reporter printed her transcripts and wrote up a list of activities that she had participated in throughout her first two years at Sookmyung. It was hoped that this information would ease the effort to explain her situation to the counselor and provide concrete data on her life. Counselor Lim Jihyun said she was grateful for the organized information because it helps to materially grasp and analyze a person faster.
This reporter's main concern was about which 'spec’1) she should do. The counselor said the reporter’s SMT experience and major would surely raise eyebrows but could also, if not presented properly, be taken as showing inflexibility. She highly recommended this SMT reporter join more 'active' activities like participating in a marathon. Noticing the shocked look on my face, Lim went on to explain how that kind of activity could show one's passion, physical stamina, and tolerant mind. It was interesting to hear herself being described by a third party, someone who knows almost nothing about her. Also, this SMT reporter sought advice on admissions to graduate school. Being just a third year student, she felt unprepared to enter the workforce and thought maybe more study would help. With only a vague notion that more wisdom could be obtained by entering graduate school and having gotten no clear answers from close acquaintances, the SMT reporter asked the counselor about it. The counselor understood her concern and offered some advice. She told the SMT reporter to stop pondering whether graduate school would provide more knowledge and increase her employment chances, but instead to think about her major seriously. Once employed, IT companies often offer their workers the chance for subsidized graduate school study. The SMT reporter had not considered that. In just one hour, the counselor provided a lot to think about and recommended the SMT reporter return after reflecting on the session. This SMT reporter will definitely register for another session.
Knock and the Door Will Open
Many university students worry about their future and don’t know where to start. However, the government and universities are there to help. Currently, there are a number of ways students can get help on their path towards a career and be introduced to the best direction down that path. These SMT reporters obtained both career and job counseling. While each individual experience will differ, we are confident the Center has something for all Sookmyungians. Besides the online counseling that is available to students, six counselors await expectantly to meet you in person at the Center. Sookmyungians, take advantage of this great chance to think and draw your path in life. Keep your eyes open for more Sookmyung Women’s University school programs.
1) spec: a newly coined English word made and used in Korea to refer to the special activities of students. Individual specs are written on job applications as work experience or can be used as material for letters of self-introduction. (e.g. internship at a broadcasting company)
Han Lee Hyebin / Editor-in-Chief
Song Yoon Heejeong / Culture Section Editor
Kim Lee Daye / Cub Reporter