There is a person. He teaches trade services without a microphone in a crowded class in DongGuk University(DGU). He was born in Gangneung and graduated with honors from the well-known Jeil High School. He went on to DGU in 1964 and graduated in Business and Administration from DGU. After graduation, he joined trading company. He began teaching as a part-time job about 30 years ago, still working for the company, but eventually quit his job and became a professor when he had gotten his Ph.D. The post met and interviewed Cho Yeong-mo.
The Post: How was your school life at DGU?
Cho Yeong-mo (Cho): During my school years, life at DGU was divided into two parts - studying hard and engaging in student activism. Because I belonged to Army ROTC (Reserve Officers’ Training Corps), I could not engage in student activism, so I studied hard to gain a scholarship.
The Post: What did you do in the trade company?
Cho: I was involved in international trade and commerce including importation, exportation and investment for over 30 years. I went to Saudi Arabia to sell rubber tires in 1979. Because of the heat, it was certainly not the best place to live in. I also lived alone without family. Wearing Saudi Arabian clothes like a Saudi, I sold rubber tires. Because I lived with Saudi Arabians, I could understand Middle East Islamic culture. That experience helped me succeed in selling tires.
The Post: What motivated you to become a professor at DGU?
Cho : There are a few reasons why I became a professor here. When I was a college student, I studied hard for a scholarship. I had to work part-time at college. When I was 45-year-old, because I always had a lingering affection for learning, I continued and completed a Master´s degree. Later, while working for a trading company, I completed my doctorate degree when I was 60 years old.
In 2006, DGU initiated an MBA (Master of Business Administration) program. DGU needed new professors for the program, and one of my professors twho taught international trade recommended me. I have been an instructor ever since. I have taught international trade even though I've never studied abroad.
Post: Your class is always full. What makes your class so popular?
Cho: My lectures about international trade are based on my practical experience unlike those of most professors. I think that it is the main reason. Students say that they regard me as their role model in that I am so passionate and enthusiastic. Maybe, my practical experience seems to hold their interest.
Post: Are there any memorable students?
Cho: I used to emphasize that practical experience is better than studying theory. One day, a student who attended my class sent an e-mail to me expressing his gratitude. During the vacation, he bought women's accessaries like hairband, hair pin and necklace in Nam Dae Moon Market. Then, he went abroad and sold them to salespeople who worked in 'Korea Town' of Los Angeles. Although it was not a big trade, it was international. When I received his e-mail, I was touched.
Post: What do you do off campus?
Cho: I teach elementary students economy on the weekends free of charge. I think that because of the under-ground economy, we had the IMF crisis from 1994 to 2001. People who are financially wealthy like Warren Buffett kept an entry book for their pocket money in their childhood, so I decided to teach basic economics for the children living in the country children economics: how to manage their pocket money and how to rationally consume and to understand fundamental notions about the economy.
Post: Do you have any advice for Donggukians?
Cho: I always say that DGU is one of the most famous universities in Korea. Then, students laugh at me because DGU failed to get a law school license, and so on. They don't think that DGU is a famous university. Students lose confidence because of an unreliable future, and fear of the unknown.
As soon as you enter DGU, you need to think that you are a potentially successful man. You should prepare for employment and study hard. You also need to gain experience through many activities - activities like an internship program help you prepare for future employment. If you don't have a job, do not get discouraged. Frustration can be harmful.
Kwak Gyu-ryeong firstname.lastname@example.org
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