In many cases, students meet professors in classes they take, and most of the classes are provided with a one-way lecture by the professor except for some that are problem-based learning classes. Usually, active discussions are limited as there are too many students in a class. To compensate for this problem, there are alternative small group tutorials lead by the professor, which broadens knowledge and gives students a chance to intercommunicate with professors. The Sookmyung Times (SMT) met three of these groups and found Sookmyungians who enjoyed the new experience in studying.
The importance of ‘Human Resource (HR)’ has been raised as it plays an important role in each corporation and it has distinguishing characteristics that other resources don’t have. It can be said that every single issue in this society is related to HR issues. In Sookmyung, there is a study group which focuses on HR issues called ‘The Center of HR.’ SMT met Professor Kwon Sun-won (KWON), the mentor of this group and his students. The interview who majors in students was answered by Geum Jin Ryoung (GEUM) who majors Business Administration.
SMT : Please tell me about ‘The Center of HR.’
KWON: It’s a group studying and discussing many cases of human resources and organization management done by prominent companies through foreign journals like Business Week, Fortune, New York Times, Newyorker and other academic journals. Also, this group offers a chance to get certificates related to this field. Moreover, this study group does various activities including visiting companies and learning, and many extra activities to get closer among group members.
SMT : What have you learned through this study group?
GEUM : It’s not easy to study both subjects school curriculum and English in-depths, but I do both through this study group. While reading English articles, I tried to understand the overall context rather than focusing on every single word. Also, while dealing with a broad range of issues, I was able to broaden my knowledge in business administration and trend of worldwide problems.
SMT : What made you apply for this mentor program?
GEUM : There are two reasons why I applied for this. First of all, I wanted to feel a sense of belonging. As many other people do, I had a difficult time not enjoying the school life without a sense of belonging and then I found it. Secondly, I found it interesting in studying human resource, so I thought this study group would offer me information on my career. I’ve joined this group for five years and thinking back, these two were satisfied. Every senior and junior tried one’s best to be helpful each other, building network together, and professor and all the graduate seniors do their best to support this group. Most of all, this program itself was beneficial for me, guiding what to do in the future.
SMT : What is the difference between general lecture and mentor program?
GEUM : I was somewhat disappointed of the way of lecturing, which was not that different from that of high school. Students discuss when they are given incentives, and there is little studentoriented activity in class. However, the mentor program consists of a professor and a small number of students who was willing to join in and leads to active mutual communication, which is the biggest difference.
When you write in a guest book in Cyworld, do you worry about what type of font you use? Do you have any experience of downloading an e-book to your cell phone or electronic dictionary or reading a book by using a machine? If your answer is ‘yes,’ it proves that fonts and e-books are now becoming a part of your life. There is a class now offered at Sookmyung called ‘Fonts and Electronic Books,’ a mentoring class led by Professor Soon Bum Lim (LIM), of the Division of Multimedia Science. SMT met him and questioned him about the class.
SMT : How did you begin mentoring this program?
LIM : I worked in a software venture company named Human Computer, inventing the Human font series. Regarding the established electronic publishing combined with XML (Extensible Markup Language), I have kept studying and establishing the standards in this field for more than 20 years. I’ve wanted to deliver this further information to students, but it is so hard to deal with expert skill and knowledge in class. I often mentioned it, but it was not enough, and that’s why I began to be a mentor along with the broad personal network I am concerned with.
SMT : What is the goal for this program?
LIM: For me, I would be happy if I discover talented students who will succeed my achievement. If not, however, it’s another joy to see students gain deeper knowledge and interest through this program, which is not boring like a class. For this, I designed this program in the form of ‘visiting and enquiring,’ except for the first week in which I lecture on what fonts and e-books are.
SMT : What are the effects of this different way of teaching?
LIM : Most of all, students prefer this way of learning as they learn something apart from lectures. As many other mentoring programs do, this program offers an opportunity to experience something related to field in which they want to work, so it is natural for a mentoring program to arouse students’ interest. After the activity, I let students write essays on what they learned, to improve their writing skills. It’s very meaningful to publish an essay collection and photos in the end. The mentoring program leader, Jung Kyunghee, a student in the Division of Multimedia
Science, said, “I learned that fonts which I usually use are created through elaborate and delicate methods from this class. Also I can broaden my scope through what the professor taught me; for example ‘publishing media’ which is at the vertex of the most advanced technology such as e-Ink.”
In these spring days, don’t you really have a longing for outdoor classes under the sunshine? Here is a class which has an outdoor lecture every two weeks, with a small group of students. It is the mentoring class named ‘Exploring Seoul and Taking Pictures’ by Park Jong Jin (PARK), a professor of Korean History. SMT met him and asked about the class.
SMT : What was the purpose of making this class and how do you teach students in the class?
PARK : I thought that students majoring in history need to have something beneficial and interesting to do continuously after their graduation. I think this can be it, ‘Exploring Seoul and Taking Pictures.’ That’s why I made this class.
The class progresses in the following order: learning about basic information of the site we are exploring, visiting and taking pictures at that place, and lastly appreciating pictures and making comments. Also, students will present on the Art of Photography and fundamental knowledge about it this semester.
SMT : I know you and your students have already explored some places. What were the students’ reactions after going?
PARK : We couldn’t go Hyochang Park because of bad weather, and we visited Inwangsan on March 21st. It was harder to climb Inwangsan than I had expected but the students climbed the mountain pleasantly together. Even though we had to give up looking down at the view of Seoul due to the cloudy weather, students really liked it.
SMT : In general, people don’t know about places steeped in history and where they are in Seoul even if they have lived in Seoul for a long time. Is there any way that Sookmyungians can become familiar with Korean history?
PARK : First of all, I recommend you visit sites which are close to your home and that are very famous with a joyful and light heart. Seo Yeoun Joo, a student in the Division of Humanities, said, “People usually think that history
is difficult and it is hard to find in our life. However, there are lots of places with history in Seoul; for example the places we visited, Inwangsan and Gyeong-bok Palace. Through this class, I am learning about history, taking pictures and meeting nice people. Isn’t it good enough?”