By Jin Hee Bae, Community Affairs Manager, Microsoft Korea
Korean students are not strangers to the importance of academic credentials, whether to secure a place in their preferred university or to apply for their dream job. While this focus on academic achievement has helped raise education standards in South Korea, an increasing number of youth are finding it hard to keep up with the competitive demands of today’s job market.
Recognising that many young people are in need of career guidance, Microsoft and our nonprofit partner Hope to the Future Association recently launched the “Reimagine the Future” campaign to support Korean students in planning their own career paths.
What better way to reach out to the student population than to hold the events at their own campus? The campaign was rolled out in conjunction with TechForum@University, our on-campus programme aimed at providing practical tips and advice on IT skills relevant to future employment. More than 300 students attended the inaugural event in November, which was held at Sogang University and featured industry leaders who shared their views on career advancement.
Seong Bae Lee, a broadcaster from Munhwa Broadcasting Corporation, told the crowd how to hone their communication skills and showcase their capabilities more effectively. Public relations practitioner Yong Hu Park seized everyone’s attention with his lively speech on why students need to be open to new ideas and “think differently” in order to succeed in their career progression.
We were delighted with the healthy turnout, and I was particularly encouraged by how the students were actively engaged in conversation with the guest speakers—taking the opportunity to learn how best to truly differentiate themselves from other job seekers.
As part of the campaign, we signed an MOU with Chung-Ang University to integrate our software into a customised Microsoft Fusion Capstone Design Course, tailored to spark creativity in its students. I am optimistic that these activities will help inspire more students in Korea to pursue career opportunities in the IT field.
Our journey to inspire young Koreans to “reimagine their future” has only just begun. Moving forward, we will ramp up our efforts to empower every student in Korea—to take charge of their own learning and career development through technology.