On April 2, information on how to work for a bank was presented in lecture-form at Dahyang Hall in Dongguk University (DU). The lecture was full of Donggukians dreaming of becoming a bank clerk. Because of these economically uncertain times, the number of job hunters on secure employment is on the rise. Although competition for such positions is tight, a Donggukian was recently chosen by two banks: Kookmin Bank and Woori Bank. Her name is Choi Yun-seon. After careful consideration, she has opted to work for Woori Bank as soon as she graduates in 2009. How did she get the job? What is her secret? A Post reporter interviewed her so as to find out more.
Campus Life at DU
She was an ordinary university student at DU. She studied hard, just like other students: learning mathematical theorems along with economic systems in her double major, Mathematics and Economics. “After I entered into DU in 2004, I began to think seriously about the banking profession as my best career,” Ms. Choi said. Thus she thought it natural to keep a close watch on her school record and accumulate the necessary certificates to become a bank worker along the way. She said, “When I was at DU, I made a desperate effort to attain two essential goals: good grades and proper certificates related to banking.”
As a result, in 2007, she acquired two certificates: a certificate of consultant and a certificate for future deals. When she became a senior, she thought she did not have sufficient qualifications to apply for a bank in the coming summer vacation. “Although I made every effort while I was at DU, I was fearful of diving straightaway into the job market,” she said.
“I thought I should try and stay one step ahead than other job hunters. That is why I decided to ask for one year leave of absence,” she further explained. While absent from school, she endeavored to get a high score in TOEIC and make herself proficient in English conversation. In addition, she acquired an AFPK (Associate Financial Planner Korea) certificate, a necessary measure before moving onto the next examination, the CFP (Certified Financial Planner).
She also joined several study groups. “I joined ten study groups: two English language groups, and eight groups related to bank work,” she said with a smile. She learned a lot from these study groups. “I wrote a resume in advance, and this was corrected by DU graduates already working in a bank.” The seniors also helped our members undergo a mock interview as a way of making them understand the recruitment process.
After making herself proficient in English conversation, she went backpacking abroad for three months. It was not just simply for pleasure. She wanted to go backpacking, but the main intention was to visit foreign banks. “I always wanted to visit banks in foreign countries so I could observe the differences between the way they work and how Korean banks operate,” Ms. Choi said.
She finally graduated with a TOEIC score of 885, and GPA of 3.94. She is also a proud possessor of three banking certificates.
The Examination Process
The first step, like other companies, is the selection of candidates through an examination of their personal histories. These days, it is very difficult to scrape through with just a resume. “I applied to a number of banks and tried to show my commitment effort for each,” she said. In her covering letter, she wrote about the reason why she wanted to be a bank clerk and how her backpacking experience had widened her personal skills. As a result, she received affirmative reactions from Shinhan, Kookmin, and Woori bank. All of this was done at first attempt.
The second step for Woori Bank was an essay test along with a human skills and aptitude test. Part of the process was a field trip in which she lodged together with banking staff for two days. “A task was given to solve only by myself; then I had to discuss this with other members and devise possible future scenarios where quick thinking was needed,” she said. “Moreover, we played many games to boost teamwork,” she added. She passed all of these steps, for all three banks.
Finally, there remained the proper interview. “In my interviews, I fearlessly told my interviewers the difference between banks in Korea and foreign banks. I then suggested ideas on how to survive the globalized financial markets.” As a result, she was chosen by two banks: Kookmin Bank and Woori Bank. After mulling over the two positions, she finally opted for Woori Bank.
Tips for Job Hunters
On April 2, a recruiter from Woori Bank gave a lecture: the average grade for job hunters applying for a bank is 3.48 and the TOEIC average score is about 820. Nowadays, most job hunters score more than 750 in TOEIC and acquire the two certificates needed for the job. “Because of the high level of competition, your ideas have to be sharper and different from other job hunters,” she said. She added: “I think that each company seeks employees who are loyal,” she said. Job hunters need to give examples of their company loyalty in their resumes. “If you work hard and convey your sincerity to prospective employers, then you have every chance of success. This is the only sure way of fulfilling your dreams,” she concluded. Now it’s no longer a secret how this particular student managed to find herself a dream job at Woori Bank.
By Kwak Gyu-ryeong, Editor-in-Chief
Kwak Gyu-ryeong, Editor-in-Ch firstname.lastname@example.org
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