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Don’t be Afraid to Challenge Yourself



A successful CEO, movie director, well-rounded person, someone who pushes himself to the farthest he can, and challenges the limitations of human abilities. These are the words that describe Jeon Hwa-seong (Computer Engineering Major,1996.) He is the founder and CEO of CNT Tech Company.  He is also an adjunct professor at Nam Seoul University in Integrated Business Studies. Additionally, he has participated in talent donation by being a mentor regarding venture business consulting and coaching students who are preparing for venture businesses.


Q: How was your college life?

A: During my time in college,I participated in lots of school activities such as school sports tournaments. Also, I was a student  who followed the tight schedule that was planned ahead. I took 24 credits per semester since I wanted to attend graduate school. I planned ahead starting from the freshman year, so that I was able to graduate early within three years.


Q: What is the most memorable experience as a university student?

A: In my junior year, I was elected as a student vice president of the Department of Engineering. During my term as a vice president, I planned Orientation Training programs for freshmen and organized school events too. The Student Council activities helped me communicate with various students. Additionally, I remember that before my graduation, the school made a placard to congratulate on my acceptance to KAIST’s graduate school. This gave me a lot of pride in being a Donggukian and made me to feel a greater sense of responsibility.

Q: What advice would you like to give to the students in Dongguk University?

A: I would advise them to use vacation time wisely.  They should do the things they could not do during semesters. For me, I tried to use vacation time as effectively as possible. One time, I participated in “Sliding Car Racing Competition,” where students from all regions got together for speed car racing. Through that experience, I realized I could reach a goal or at least be near it  if I keep trying.


Q: Besides monetary donations, you have donated your own time and talent for those who plan to open venture businesses. What do you think of talent donation or mentoring systems?

A: I believe that people who own businesses should have social corporate responsibility. Some of the profits made from the company should be returned  to the society. A material donation should start with people around you. Look around and find those who need help. I have had first-hand experience of trials and errors, and this is why I thought I could help some students who are planning to open venture business. The biggest reason why I am willing to be a mentor for them is simple. This is because I learned from my past experience. When you are planning to open venture business, it is crucial to follow the lead of an advisor who guides you into the right direction by giving specific and practical advice. Also, all movies I produced have a common factor. All of them are focused on isolated groups or outsiders. They can be unemployed youth, people who failed to participate in Winter Olympics because of physical or mental handicaps, and ethnic Koreans living in China (Joseon race.) All the profits made from the movies are donated to those who are alienated from the society. In other words, donation, whether it is done in the form of financial aid, lectures, or a mentoring system for those who are in need, is something that we, as business owners, should do.

Q: How did you overcome any hardships you faced in the past?

A: I have faced big hardships twice in my life. The first one was when I lost the ownership of the company that I established. The other one occurred while I was running my business. For three years, our company was in the red. We suffered from the rising deficits. However, I had faith and kept saying to myself, “I can overcome any hardships if I believe in myself and have faith in what I am doing.” I realized that if we analyze the situation and search for the tactics to overcome, we can work it out and get over with.


Q: How did you build up the insight ability to have faith in yourself?

A: I trained through swimming. In fact, since I am currently training for 400 meters, I swim almost every day. Whenever I compete in the 400 meters, I become exhausted and have hard time finishing up. However, with the strong spiritual strength and will to finish the race, I get out of the emergency, no matter what happens. Through that process, I become sure that what I regarded as a dream can be achieved in reality.


Q: What keeps you motivated every day? What inspires you?

A: The artistic sense in me. As you can learn from the case of Steve Jobs, before he established his own company, he was once the president of American computer animation film studio called Pixar. Later on, his passion with art inspired him to invent the most innovative and influential invention throughout the history.


Q: What do you want to do if you can go back to any time in the past?

A: I actually want to go back to the time when I was an elementary school student. I was raised by parents who were very strict. I was the one who wanted to explore and learn diverse fields, but could not. My parents wanted me to be a reasonable and logical person, which is the characteristics that can be found in the typical left brained person. Thus, if I had a chance to go back, I would definitely want to do everything I desire than just follow the path that my parents set for me.


Q: Can you give any advice for students who have not yet found what they want to do in the future?

A: Be yourself and focus on what you are doing right now. If you see famous or successful people such as Commander Yi Sun-shin, Henry Ford, or Steve Jobs, they are people who devoted their lives to career achievements. They knew what they wanted because they found what they were interested in. Employment is not the most important factor to consider; what is important is seeking for one thing that you love.


Q: What kind of attributes would you say that CEOs, especially those who are working in venture business, should and should not possess?

A: Have courage, passion, and a willingness to be challenged. Be patient and always open your ears to others. It is the first step to being a humble person. Also, I would say having self-esteem and being self-conceited about the achievements you have made are  two different things. It is important to embrace every one’s thought at the same time. Moreover, Business is like a living creature. It needs constant care to grow bigger in the future. As a CEO, it is crucial to make profits. It should not run by money, though. The center of the business should lay its base on each person that forms one company. In other words, it should be human-based management, not value-based management. Last word I want to leave is, if you are in a deadend, do not hesitate to face the wall, and believe in yourself that you can break the wall.

Na Soo-hyun  suny93511@dongguk.edu

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