Hidden champions in Hanoi
In May, I visited Hanoi, Vietnam, for the field assessment of the Ministry of Employment and Labor’s overseas youth employment training centers. Young Koreans I met in Hanoi were full of energy and vitality. One of them was 31-year-old Yoo Byeong-sun, who is employed in Hanoi upon completing the third class of Daewoo Sky Institute’s Global Young Business Manager (GYBM).
The program is an overseas vocational training course to help trainees start up in respective countries and is sponsored by Human Resources Development Service.
Yu graduated from Sungkyunkwan University with a major in computer engineering and worked for Samsung Electronics for a year and a half. Then he went to IYRS in the United States with a dream of starting up his own furniture business. During his stay in the United States, he applied to GYBM in 2012, and upon completing the program, he got a job at Everpia Vietnam JSC, the first company founded by a Korean to be listed in the Vietnamese stock market. I asked him what his dream was, but then felt rather awkward. Yu’s current net salary was already higher than Samsung Electronics’ entry-level salary.
27-year-old Kim Guk-hyeon, also from the third class of GYBM, seemed still young. He works for the Vietnamese office of Jahwa Electronics, a leader in magnetic electric component purity convergence magnet. He applied GYBM with a humble wish to master another Asian language. He has been working for Jahwa for 10 months now.
33-year-old Tta Ti Tan Tui, a deputy marketing director at a global asset management joint company, complimented the global competitiveness of young Koreans. She said they know global manners, are diligent, courteous and learn language and culture quickly, praising their high productivity.
There were far more Koreans with dreams and challenges in Vietnam than I had thought, and they were engaged in various businesses. President Park Geun-hye wasn’t wrong to urge young Koreans to seek overseas employment opportunities.
“Why don’t you go to the Middle East?” some derided in Korea. But the sneers and criticism don’t apply to the people I met in Vietnam. Upon meeting them, I want to sincerely suggest young Koreans, the 880,000-won generation, to work hard.
by Roh Hyun-jong, Professor at The Korea National University of Transportation