Sookmyung Women’s University (SMU) is supporting its students to enter a profession to fit each Sookmyungian’s aptitude for a particular kind of job. In this context, SMU founded Career Development in 2002. The Sookmyung Times (SMT) in this issue met Ham Eunsun (HAM), the chief of the Career Development Center, and heard advice for Sookmyungians to what kind of help Sookmyungians can get to find a right job.
SMT What are the main services that the Career Develop Center provides?
HAM We have a blueprint for Sookmyungians which is constituted of four steps to their successful employment. The first step is self-exploration which is appropriate for freshmen. In this step we provide a program such as an aptitude test. The second step is self-designing, which consists of programs such as actual training at companies and mentor programs. The third step is self-competence. In this step, students can get an education of skill needed to fulfill their duties. For the last step, we have a job research period which is usually done by seniors. The point is students have to be concerned about what steps they must be in according to their grade. For example, it would be inappropriate and too late if a senior would take part in a career pathway test, because it has to be done in their first grade. For this reason, please always pay a attention to what kind of program you can take. For the juniors and seniors, internship programs are becoming more important to their career. Enterprises these days take great consideration about their experience as an intern. If students never had an experience in a company, it would be a weak point to them.
SMT Is their any strong point that differentiates this program from those at other universities?
HAM The strongest point that makes us different from other schools is the Sookmyung Mentor Program. SMU is the first university that introduced a mentor program within the country. Now, there are 58 professors and about 500 students who are participating in the program and through this, they could improve their career by receiving advice from professors and specialists who are already successes in their career and sharing information between students. Another point is a class for employment preparation. Although other universities have clubs or employment, we are the only school that has a class for each major’s that is, each department has a class. The Career Development Center can’t manage each major’s special qualities, so it is a more effective way to do this. Through this, each department’s class can meet networking and we will provide the part that each department can’t provide.
SMT Do you have something to say to Sookmyungians?
HAM It would be useless if students don’t understand and don’t participate with a positive attitude, no matter how good a program is provided by people. For example, we offer a resume-clinic program in the way of first-come, first-served, for there is a great demand. Some Sookmyungians are late and even miss their appointment. If the plan falls through by students’ mistakes, the rest of people are damaged by missing their chance. In addition, the experts from other companies would be given a bad and unfavorable impression, and also expense is paid. I know each student has their emergency circumstances, but I ask earnestly to let us know if you are late or you can’t participate. We make a program not just for having a program, but we want to give each student a chance to find their best way. Some alumnae who are at work through our help are ready to support because they also got support. So, please be positive and participate now!
Do You Have a Mentor?
In Greek mythology, Mentor was a most reliable friend of Odysseus. When Odysseus left for the Trojan War he placed Mentor in charge of his son, Telemachus, and of his palace. Today mentors provide expertise to less-experienced individuals to help them advance in their careers, enhance their education, and build their networks. Sookmyung mentor program, the first mentor program in the country, provides information about careers to students. There are three mentor programs in SMU.
-Outside Advisor mentor program:
Leaders of all socialstandings— CEOs, employees, professionals— are mentors. Eight to ten students are mentees. They meet regularly and have on-the-job training. Mentees who complete the course receive a diploma. It is open for registration at the beginning of each semester. You can participate only two times while in college.
-Alumnae Advisor mentor program:
Leaders who graduated from SMU of all social standings are mentors, so seniors build relationships with juniors. Mentees who complete the course receive a diploma. This program supports students to prepare for entry into society. It is open for registration at the beginning of each semester. You can participate only two times while in college.
-Professor mentor program:
Professors are mentors. Ten students who want to break into the field are mentees. Mentees explore the field and analyze the trends with their professor. They also visit the company with their mentor. This program is a regular subject, so you can get one credit unit on culture selection. During the registration for classes, you can take the course. The record evalution is based on Pass or Fail. It is also limited to two times while in college. Students can only enroll in one mentor program in a semester. These programs are based on trust between mentors and mentees, so your positive attitude is very important. As you know, where there’s a will, there’s a way. Do your best to make your dream come true.
Do You Have a Mentor Program?
Now let’s look around and see how it is going at other universities. Nowadays most universities have a Career Development Center. Each center runs a variety of programs. Basically, they provide daily employment information, and they often hold orientation or clinics for careers. What else do they have?
KyungHee University: They have a special magazine about jobs which is made by students. In the magazine, students share experiences with one another. They operate ‘Employment school.’ Students have to take a course which is helpful for their career. They also have a test which examines one’s job ability.
Seoul National University: They have a subject ‘Global internship.’ This course is designed to help students understand the relationship between the university experiences and future professional roles by facilitating them to gain hands-on work experience and field experience at private and state-owned companies, and non-governmental organizations in Korea. They also have a ‘Project mentoring’ program through which third and fourth-year students make relationships with alumni mentors. Moreover, they have a special mentor program, ‘Girls Inter-Empowerment.’ Through the program, 7~10 girls get guidance from a female professor. They share experience and concerns, so that they can improve their leadership.