From South Korea to Surrey

Hear the perspective of a current South Korean student

Let’s Prepare for Placement Year!

Before joining this University, I had absolutely no idea about placement year or even how to prepare an internship. To start off, I did not even know where I wanted to work. From an outside perspective, International Hospitality and Tourism can be a stereotype of either hotel or tourism related jobs and at least that’s what I thought too. However, after about six month at Surrey, my ideal picture changed completely. I got to know there are much more to think about. In a positive feedback I had more options where I could consider various chances further.

As an international student, finding a placement position brings hardship. You will also need to burden twice more time and effort than anyone around. One thing I can say for sure is making into a habit brings less stress which later can save more time. Writing an outstanding CV and cover letter requires multiples of overlook and editing. Show it to your friends, professors, visit the Student Careers’ Office (next to the accommodation building) and more on. I guarantee it does get better every time you take 15~30 minutes to open, read through and edit few words. Especially writing a CV is complete opposite of 3000 words assignment you may have took a night to hand in and got 80% last week.

Okay, so when is the perfect time to start looking for a job? Personally, I started from September 2016. At the time, I had a strong vibe I should just give up if I don’t end up getting in. That continued until January 2017. I took a break back home then I could think straight. I sat down and thought why I only ended up getting one interview offer from October to January. (Later, even for an Interview with Toyota, I was not able to answer simple questions given. The worst thing was I did not feel bad about the situation, which I should have)

I discovered plenty of issues within my attitude and approaches which I can narrow into three main problems. First, I only applied three firms therefore, it was obvious I had less chances of getting back. Second, my CV looked dreadful. It must have been because I put no effort to show anyone nor to enhance it any other way. Last was my mindset. I did not know where I wanted to go, so I only applied Auto companies just because I liked cars. Hence, I was not that serious about this situation. I remember getting stressed out and upset for rejections but thinking about it now, I think the only person I should have felt bad was myself for not trying.

The first thing I’ve done was to rewrite the resume. Then booked an appointment with the Career’s Centre, visited my personal tutor, emailed to some PhD students for a feedback. After about six main editing, it was March. I thought it was too late for anything. Yet it is true that the options decrease in March than in November. For me, I decided to apply three more places where I truly desire with my very best effort. Within two weeks, I managed to apply Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts, Hilton and Ritz Carlton. Hilton was the first to get back and within two days Four Seasons replied with not available but some positive feedbacks. I made into Hilton’s interview and I got the position wanted. Luckily, I also managed to get to the next stage of Ritz Carlton’s recruitment process. However, the University warned it was against the law/rule to do so. Even though both the firms are situated in UK  with an Intern position, one was in F&B and the other was HR. Regardless, in everyway I could not be more than happy to sign the contract and prepare for a placement year within three months.

The journey gave me a message to always enjoy the situation with the best attitude. Anyone reading this post may or may not be in a same major or even in a similar situation. No matter what it is, I wish you could all enjoy the journey and make the most out of it.
-Won Ji Chung

Useful Links:

Tractatus Philosophiae Discipulus: Introduction Part (2/2), 학생 철학 논고: 초문(2/2)

2nd part of the Introduction, (Korean verison underneath) To try and attain something that is unattainable is a concept lacking of motivation, and full of motivation simultaneously. Therefore, the purpose of human life is a doublethink concept. The subjective ‘truth’ may indicate a specific purpose, yet one cannot logically prove that the indicated purpose is […]

학생 철학 논고: 서문, Tractatus Philosophiae Discipulus: Opening Words

3월 30일날 올린 ‘우주정거장과 물 한컵’ 의 초고는 2016년 4월 8일에 쓰여졌다. 대략 1년후 공개한 저 글은, 그때부터 지금까지의 감정을 허황되고 쓸 때 없게 표현한다고 생각한다. 1년간 나는 많은 것을 느꼈다. 느끼기 밖에 더한 게 없다. 그리고 ‘우주정거장과 물 한컵’에 나오는 ‘위대함의 추구 속 발현되는 친구 관계의 문제점’의 해결책 중 사람과의 인연을 끊고 혼자 살아가는 […]

우주정거장과 물 한컵, A Glass of Water over Space Stations

English Version Underneath. 믿는 것은 쉽다. 여기서 믿음의 정의는 나의 신뢰를 어떠한 존재 또는 어떠한 가치관에 두는 것이라고 전제를 두고 예기를 하자. 이 전제 속에서 믿음은 누구든지 쉽게 할 수 있는 것이다. 우리가 무엇을 믿는 이유는 그 가치관 또는 그 존재가 우리를 초월하기에, 또 나의 이상이기 때문일지 모른다. 그렇기에 사람이라는 존재는 믿음을 가질 수 밖에 […]

새장에 갇혀 노래하는 새여, Why the caged bird sings deliberately.

새장에 갇혀 노래하는 새여, English version underneath. Inspired from the poem ‘Sympathy’ by Paul Laurence Dunbar 이 편지는 새장에 갇힌 모두에게 바치는 글이다. 열심히 노래하는 그대에게, 새야, 새야, 작고도 작은 새야, 저 멀리 창살 밖, 그리고 창문 밖에 들과 바다가 보이지 않는가? 너는 가슴이 터지도록 울부짖고, 또 피나도록 날갯짓한다, 이미 너의 눈은 파란 하늘과 푸른 […]

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