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International Trade career path: interview with Yeonhee Jung, KISDI

International Trade and Investment is one of the concentrations that the graduate department of international studies at Ewha GSIS offers as a major and a minor. Some of you might wonder what lies ahead in the career life of graduates in ITI major. The possible answers can be numerous. But, to answer this question, at least some parts of the whole picture, we interviewed the alumna of the Master’s program in ITI major, Yeonhee Jung, who is now working as a researcher at Korea Information Society Development Institute (KISDI).

Could you please introduce yourself?

I graduated from Ewha GSIS in February 2017. The admission year was in 2012 (Spring semester). I spent five years at Ewha GSIS having various experiences. Compare to others, it was a long period as a student. I am currently working for KISDI (Korea Information Society Development Institute) as a researcher. 

What does your organization do, and why did you choose to join them?

KISDI is a global ICT policy research institute in Korea. While I was seeking a job, I could find the recruiting post regarding my major (International Trade Law) and the research area (ICT Trade) attracted me to do it.

What are the responsibilities in your position? Could you please explain briefly about your daily life at work?

The main tasks are to research and analyze trade issues in ICT services. The research area is specific but the scope is quite broad; studying the negotiation strategies of trade in ICT services, examinations of accordance between ‘domestic policies and regulations’ and ‘international trade rules’, providing policy suggestions by analyzing ongoing trade issues and forecasting its impacts, and so on which is everything of ICT Service Trade.

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What are the enjoyable things in your career life?

This job itself fits me very well since I can build up research capacity and practical skills with respect to my major. Also, I constantly do and enjoy studying and I believe that it is essential for working as a researcher. Above all, I have a keen interest in studying International Trade Law. While most research institutes prefer to recruit economic majors, our organization needs legal experts. Working space and conditions are also helpful to focus on my research and they are valuable elements at work.

What are the challenges of this career path?

As we all know, the national economy is highly dependent on global trade. In many cases, it faces legal challenges on trade-related issues including international trade rulemaking, trade dispute settlement, etc. It means that we need many experts in international trade law. As I see, it is not sufficient to meet the friends whom I can study on various trade issues with. I hope that the number of students who study international trade law will be increased.

How studying at Ewha GSIS help you prepare for your current job, especially the courses in ITI major?

The merit of the GSIS is to learn many things widely. All classes related to ITI majors at Ewha GSIS were practical. Since graduate school allows Credit Exchange, I took the courses of Graduate School (in the department of law) and Law School. Also, I could meet many people and receive a variety of information. Lastly, I can say that completion of the master’s thesis was obviously helpful, even though it is not mandatory for graduation. I am exceedingly grateful to my thesis advisor as always. With her great patience and consideration, I could finish the dissertation which is required to be a researcher.

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What are your favorite courses at Ewha GSIS?

I liked all classes at Ewha GSIS that I took, especially major-related (ITI).  

Do you have any career advice for the current students in ITI major?

As much as you can, please try to diversify life in order to pursue your dream having consistency; credit exchange inside of Korea, exchange student program outside of Korea, having practical working experiences, joining in circles (related to hobby or academic), participating in the WTO Moot Court Competition, etc. I believe that these will make your plan to be actualized.

I think that graduation at a very fast speed is not necessary. Life is so long. Making money is not easy. We need great perseverance, sincerity, diligence, etc. to continue work life. It is important to strengthen these elements through various challenges and learning from others.

What is your future plan?

To be a genuine expert in international trade law, I will keep going on working hard and studying hard in various ways, and sticking to the “work and life balance” principle at the same time.

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Published by Khing Amatyakul

Thai, Working at SuperPlanet, IR grad from Ewha GSIS | @khingamat

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