According to a request from a reader of the Sookmyung Times (SMT), SMT met Ms Park who is engaged in the financial world. She has been working in KIUP BANK. Let’s all gather and meet her together, those of us who want to be involved in the same world or are simply curious about it.
SMT : When you were a student at Sookmyung Women’s University, what did you do to try to get a job in the financial world?
Park : As my main major was actually not Business but Chinese Language & Literature, I didn’t prepare to get a financial job for a long time. However, I led a stirring life not only in my scholastic performance, but also in campus and extracurricular activities. For example, I took charge of an original language theatrical academy of Chinese Language & Literature. I had to give up my long vacation and prepare the play. During that time, opinions differed widely among my seniors, juniors and friends. Even though we sometimes had disputes, we got ready for the play while shedding tears during touching moments. I could also meet various people and simultaneously take pride in my campus through my activities as a Sookmyung Student Ambassador on the campus. Since I was also displayed as a KTF mobile futurist, I could exchange information with other friends who were not Sookmyungians and indirectly experience social activities. Consequently, I had a chance to experience Japanese culture as a prize of the activity. All of which led me to get a job in finance even though I didn’t prepare for it systematically. That’s why I am telling you about my campus activities. I believe that my various activities had a more significant effect than my academic record or TOEIC score.
SMT : What does it mean substantially to work in a bank?
Park : There are many divisions and branch offices. Also, the situations of the teams are very varied. After joining the company, I was first trained for about one year in business like deposits, funds, conferences for VIPs and common clients in individual finance. Latter, I was trained in other areas like foreign exchange service and extending credit in financial enterprises. To work practically in such affairs, a variety of knowledge is needed, such as tax law, real estate law, ability of risk management, and so on. Therefore, it is necessary to study these ceaselessly.
SMT : After getting the job, what was different between the reality and your expectations?
Park : Actually, it was difficult to guess the activities of a bank except for simple receipts and payment when I was just a student without much experience. On the spot, I was surprised into observing that money is accomplished in more diverse affairs that I could ever have thought. Also, I had to face colleagues, inside customers, and clients who had various needs. At first, the relationships were not easy for me, so I went through a long process of trial and error.
SMT : What are the advantages and disadvantages of the job?
Park : One advantage is it is easy to access information relating to the economy which is everyone’s matter of primary concern. Second, the welfare system for employees is good. For example, for women employees, three years’ childcare leave from office is guaranteed and there are more chances for promotion than in other jobs. Third, annual salaries definitely don’t fall behind that of similar jobs. On the other hand, one disadvantage is that office hours are somewhat long. Second, it is difficult to secure personal free time because studying to improve your knowledge is continuously needed. But, I consider that the second disadvantage can be a remedy or poison, depending on the person.
SMT : After getting the job, what was the hardest thing you had to go through?
Park : When I was the new recruit, I was in charge of a division that managed the entire stock of money. But, no matter how I concentrated, the amount of money never quite added up after closing. Even though now it is just a memory, I was very distressed that the bank clerk might be seriously concerned about my aptitude. However, it was a good chance that made me learn about the overall flow of money.
SMT : Please advise those Sookmyungians who hope to get a job in finance.
Park : As in my case, I think that it maybe difficult for my juniors to guess at the obscure business of the financial world. Regardless of one’s major or academic aptitude, if you like to meet people and are a person of fixed vision and a service-oriented mind, you had better take on the challenge of the financial world without hesitation. Also, I recommend all juniors to use the Career Development Center (CDC) on campus. To tell the truth, it was awkward for me to go the CDC at first because I didn’t go there until my third year. However, I paid a visit to the CDC with the thought that its service was more important than my instantaneous bashfulness. Whenever I had a question, I asked the teachers of the CDC and they would consult and advise me. In particular, the crash courses of the CDC were very helpful, such as the mock interviews and camps. I believe that you can get much more valuable information about getting a job, through those chances.