2012. 9 Awarded Seoul Metropolitan City Mayor Citation for the contribution in helping young adults
Many university students may have thought about getting a part-time job and in fact, a considerable number of students are actually engaged in at least one. These days, part-time job seekers can easily find the latest job information through Internet websites that are sorted by regional and occupational groups, making it more convenient to search.
Alba-Chunkook Inc. is one of the largest websites in Korea that provides part-time job information. Its name can be translated as “part-time job(alba) heaven(chunkook).”Choe In-young, the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Alba-Chunkook, has been in charge of the company since January 2012. She is a successful CEO who has special affection towards university students. The Hanyang Journal met with her to learn more about her efforts that helped her achieve her current status as a CEO and how she made Alba-Chunkook the top part-time information providing website in Korea.
Her Personal Experiences
Q. Despite the progress Korea has made, it is still hard to find female CEOs. Thus, it probably comes as a surprise to many people that the CEO of Korea’s largest part-time job information providing website is a woman. Have you made particular efforts to become a CEO?
A. Always having a sense of ownership toward anything I was involved in has made me the person I am, despite encountering a wall of prejudice towards women at the early stage of my career. However, I have worked without paying particular attention to this and instead, just focused more on overcoming any prejudgments toward me, as a woman, by doing my work well. I have had various kinds of working experience during my career, and I have always done my best to get my tasks done.
Q. Did you have any part-time jobs when you were in your twenties?
A. Of course, from being a cashier at a fast food restaurant to an English translator, I had many different part-time jobs which I took to be financially independent. While I focused on studying when in school, I gave it my all when doing my part-time jobs during school vacations. Even back then, I had a strong sense of responsibility in whatever I did. As a result, whenever I tried to quit my jobs due to the start of a new semester, my employers would always ask me to stay. That always put me in an awkward situation.
Back then, it was much harder to get job information compared with today. I had to always keep my eyes wide open to find wanted ads posted in stores, since it was the only way I could get part-time job information. I am pleased to be easing the burden and difficulties of students who are looking for job information today, which I have experienced in the past.
Her Leadership as a CEO
Q. Among websites that provide part-time job information in Korea, Alba-Chunkook ranks first for the number of monthly visits this year, 2013. What is the main reason for your company’s success?
A. Competitiveness is one of our top priorities, and this means valuing the people who use our website. As part of our efforts, we established new standards in the part-time information providing business. For example, for the first time ever in this field, evaluation standards for job ads, a twenty-four hour job ad filtering system, a mobile phone confirmation system, and mobile application services have been introduced. In addition, we have done a variety of campaigns to promote more desirable job environments as well.
Q. Your company conducts a lot of surveys against university students on part-time job related issues as well as their daily lives. What is the reason for conducting these surveys?
A. I think we are playing an important role in providing university students with part-time job information, as well as conveying their thoughts and opinions to the world. Moreover, to develop new services that will meet with their satisfaction, it is essential that we determine what the current and future trends and needs of the university students are by conducting our surveys and analyzing the results.
Q. Recently, you have introduced a part-time job program called Alba of Chunkook, offering people to take care of dolphins in Fiji for two weeks for 10 million won. Can you explain more about this program?
A. Alba of Chunkook is an overseas part-time job internship program intended for university students. It introduces unusual part-time jobs such as feeding penguins in Australia. I feel a strong sense of gratitude for the university students who visit our website, so Alba of Chunkook is our way of returning some of the benefits we have gained back to them. The program intends to provide opportunities and rewards to students who work hard and with passion, rather than those who are only interested in mechanically gaining ‘specs’, which are things to list in their resumes like certificates, job experiences and linguistic test scores. Through this program, students who are recruited receive the chance to do a part-time job abroad and experience something really unique that involves local activities. It also features a high income part-time job along with environmental protection campaigns and overseas working experience.
Her Affection towards University Students
Q. You mentioned ‘spec’. What is your opinion of ‘spec’ and how should university students view them?
A. I think ‘spec’ should be used to indicate true experiences. Instead of building ‘specs’ to show off to companies, I am hoping that students will look for meaningful experiences for themselves. They should take responsibility for what they are experiencing now because it is a part of the process of becoming someone they want to be in the future.
Q. Alba-Chunkook has held many events for students to deliver messages of hope for the future. It seems that you have a special affection for university students. What do they mean to you?
A. For me, students are the future. They are the ones who will run society in the future so I feel responsible for providing them with good programs that can help them while also touching their hearts, as well as offering useful information on part-time jobs they need and want. I think this is an investment for the future and a positive contribution to society.
Q. As a person who has been through college life, what would you like to advise Hanyangians?
A. If you have something you want to do, then do it with a sense of ownership. If you do not know what you want to do yet, then do your current tasks with a personal sense of responsibility. In the end, you will come to like what you do or discover something else.