Three of our alumnae were selected on Global Ph.D. Fellowship by government. The Sookmyung Times (SMT) met our proud alumnae Jeong Ae Rie, Yoon Ji Yeon, and Lee Yeon Kyung to hear about their stories.
I am doing research on life science. In detail, I study on CIP2A, protein that appears in cancer cells, because this
substance could be very useful for diagnosing cancer. I have a bachelor’s and master’s degrees together. This system enables students to contract time to get master’s degrees. And fortunately, I am going on for a doctorate now, and to get a Global Ph.D. Fellowship. While I was in the process of applying for this program, many professors have helped me in various ways. They advised me in the overall ways to study, gave many feedbacks on my research plan, and of course they were willing to write recommendations.
The hardest thing in research is working in the laboratory. Some studies are done every hour, and others are done for several days, so I should be in the laboratory for a very long time. This is very exhausting at first, but it becomes okay as time goes on. In a research in lab, setting the right conditions each time is another difficult thing I experienced. Every cell and every protein should be set in a different condition. Thus, researchers should go on studying when the results are not the exact same one that they wanted. This is very complicated.
After getting a doctor’s degree, I want to continue studying as a researcher. There is no specific goal and plan yet, I want to work at an institute or lab in SMU or a foreign university. If there is a student who cannot decide to get a job or study for a master’s degree, I want to say, “Build as much experience as you can.” When I was an undergraduate student, I took some business classes to decide whether I should double major or not. And after taking some business courses, I made a decision to study for a master’s and doctor’s degree. Also, I don’t know much about other majors, but in the case of some majors that use a laboratory, there should be an intern system. This could be a very precious experience to students. Through working as an intern, students could find their aptitude and interests. Finally, if you guys have sincere dreams on studying, finding many scholarship systems in school and from the government should be very helpful.
I am studying pharmacy, and about drug delivery systems. Drug delivery systems are the methods or processes of reducing a chemical’s toxicity and administering a pharmaceutical compound to achieve a therapeutic effect in humans or animals. Especially, I focus on targeting cancer better through various particles instead of traditional ways. Different from the other two students, I am studying for a master’s degree and a doctorate. Since I didn’t go through my master’s course yet, I don’t have many experiences researching. So, professors help me from fixing the subject of study, a very basic thing. Also, my tutor professor gave me a chance to apply for this fellowship.
There are many unfamiliar things in research because I’m a beginner. Until now, I remember only results that are already proven. However, from now on, I should find the answer by myself that is not clarified yet. This is very difficult, so I continue studying and reading many technical books to improve myself. Studying continually is very boring in fact, but I’m very delighted when the answer that I expect comes out. From now on, I want to study more about my field. As a matter of fact, there aren’t many nano-particles, especially in case of organisms, that are used on clinical demonstration. This is because people’s bodies indicate organic particles as exotic substances so they could be poisonous to their body. So, I want to study more about this field; solving the problem and making new particles that can be used easily and effectively.
Lastly, I’ll just say one more thing. Manypeople stop their work in the middle of the process, since those tasks are very challenging. tasks are things that can be done if they try hard. Also, if completing some challenging project, it can become a very valuable experience whether I succeed at it or not. And, nobody knows when the opportunity comes. So, we are always prepared by doing some extra activities or studying English to catch the chance!
I am studying on the way to teach Korean to foreigners. In detail, my research is about teaching pragmatics to students who want to get higher education. Pragmatics is using adequate context accoraning to manner and situation. When I was an undergraduate student, I went to Miyajaki International school for a year as an exchange Student. A Korean professor there suggested I make a Korean Club and try to teach Korean. At that time, I didn’t
have any professional knowledge about Korean, so I worried so much. However, after a year, I could see their improvement, and I felt pleasure in this area from this experience. Also in my master’s course, I already had interest in this area. Thus, I could prepare the fellowship program easier than other students because I had some materials, and had lots of concerns already. Still, many professors helped me to set a specific research method, and gave lots of advice when my research was stuck on some problems. Different from science and engineering
studies, I researched with lots of people. This caused many difficulties, such as ethical problems. When I make a
comparative study of pragmatics, I should be concerned not only with the experimental group but also with the control group. Also, for recruiting people who will participate in research, they need continuous motivation and should get paid as well. This is very problematic if the study is conducted for long time. In my case, my tutor professor said, “It is better to study about 6 months or a year using this topic than just short term.” So, this research will be very challenging to me because until now, my maximum term was only two months. When I collect subjects, I advertise my research to foreigners who study Korean in person. I introduce my research as a
special Korean class, and tell some of its advantages. If they want to take part in it, they become my subjects. After getting a doctorate, I want to do some post-doctorate work. For example, I can go to universities in the UK or USA as a Korean lecturer and teach them Korean and Korean culture as well. Many people think investigating Korean is very easy because we always use it. However, it is not that easy because we know about Korean only by intuition. Especially, when teaching highlevel Korean learners, it is not easy to answer their questions. Adding to professional knowledge, teachers should have deep affection for humans. Finally, I think experience is a very important thing. Who knows? You may notice interest in unfamiliar areas via some experiences like mine.