Summer Voices: Meet our MBA Alumni Soyeh Kim: “What this MBA has brought to me”

“What this MBA has brought to me”

Like everyone who is thinking about pursuing their graduate studies, I wanted to receive the maximum return on my investment of my time, efforts and tuition for this MBA. By sharing my story I have realized that at least for me, it’s clear that this MBA has been a valuable gift that has really helped me grow and develop in my career path.

So I hope any new MBA students who worry about future jobs after graduating, especially during this difficult economic situation from Covid-19 right now, could find motivation again and be encouraged towards a successful career change through this MBA.

I graduated from Korea University, one of the top 3 universities in Korea, and have been working in Korea for over 10 years. I worked at a pharmaceutical company as an Accounting & Finance manager, and also managed my own company of Math and English academy as a CEO in South Korea.

While living in my country, it is true that I was quite confident in my educational background and work experience before coming to Luxembourg. In December 2014, when my husband was sent to Luxembourg as an Expat, I quit my job and came here. I might say that I was a competent career woman in Korea, but it was very, very different here. I felt that I lacked some academic language skills, business knowledge and working experience in Europe.

When I arrived, my first thought was “Let’s come back to the mindset when I started to work after graduating university and learn step by step from the beginning” starting with my MBA journey.

Already with my first Economic class I strengthened my attitude of “let’s be humble” I decided to concentrate on building on my weakness. It was very shocking to me because I was always one of the best students during my primary and secondary schooling in South Korea. At times I event considered that this completely different way of studying in Korea was too much for me.

During this period, when I doubted my abilities, I received great support and guidance from the SHU Administrative and Academic Directors to persevere. Professors encouraged me to believe that I was capable of this MBA and I was reminded that the result of my first course is not everything and that I can find out the right direction of my professional and academic path through this experience as a whole.

For two years, I had to well prepare for each of my classes, focus 100%, and learn from each professor’s explanation and classmates’ opinions. During the courses and teamwork, I was able to pinpoint my deficiency and my opinions of where I stand. I humbly kept going on and was open to learn everything I could, step by step. That was the best way to get the highest return on the time, effort, and tuition I have invested in this MBA.

At the completion of the program, I, (who had lost confidence and nearly gave up this MBA), actually learned more through trial and error than I imagined possible. In my graduating class of 2018, I was honored to be awarded excellent achievements and received the Dean’s Leadership Award.

Through the MBA, I could combine theoretical knowledge through in-depth learning with the practical skills in Accounting and Finance, which I have learned mechanically through actual work in South Korea. This enabled me to develop better insight to plan and lead the company’s financial strategic direction in the mid-to-long term.

The MBA is not just a part of each subject’s textbook or learning on theory. Experience of sharing different thoughts and experiences regarding various topics with different professors, classmates from different countries and cultures is a much more valuable thing that I would never have had during my 41 years of life before I started my MBA.

Through this time, I was able to learn naturally how to truly understand different cultures and communicate with open-mind and no prejudice by discovering strengths and good things from each of them and learning to respect each other. This valuable experience I learned through the process of establishing relationships with various people from different cultures is really helping me whenever I meet clients from various countries and have business meetings at current workings.

In order to be able to step closer to my professional development plan after 5 years, I will continue a new challenge and learn with a humble attitude. With my new degree, capabilities and experience, I continue to appreciate any opportunity to learn whenever a new responsibility is given.

Soyeh Kim, Alumni 2018
CFO @ MasonBower/ Foundry Europe

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