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Secure world-leading educational competitiveness

Discovering creative talent and to become real USTians
Establishment of UST21 education system

Become a university with industry-academia-research integration

Strengthening the cooperation between UST-GFRIs-corporations
Strengthen the cooperation between GFRIs
Support business start-ups with GFRI-based technologies

Establish global status as a national research university

Improving brand value
Improving cooperation network

Establish creative knowledge management system

Providing creative educational environment by applying cutting-edge technology
Improving management effectiveness

Power of the Iron Hand in the Velvet Glove that Turns Crises into Opportunities

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  • Registration Date : 2018-08-12
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Story about Student

Power of the Iron Hand in the Velvet Glove that Turns Crises into Opportunities

Student Kim ji-min (Master/PhD integrated course based on employment contract, UST-KRIBB Campus, Functional Genomics Major)

A sunny green day, we met student Kim Ji-min, who has a bright smile like warm sunlight, on UST-KRIBB Campus, which is particularly full of greenish trees. She has published an international paper as a lead author just one year after starting her Master’s program by identifying an antioxidant enzyme in new materials and showing its efficacy in diabetes treatment. At first, she hesitated to have an interview, saying she’s not an active person like others. But she betrayed her ambition in between shy smiles during the interview. Her courage to find breakthroughs from crises is an extra merit.

A child who dreamed of becoming a pharmacist is now developing novel drugs

In her childhood, Kim did not like reading. She was not interested in Korean history, either. But she loved science. In particular, biology attracted her.

“In math and physics, formulae were difficult (laughter). But biology appealed to me because it is a science based on fact. I think my major was determined from then on.”

What ship can always sail with a fair wind? She also faced crises due to strong sea wind. Throughout the undergraduate course, she always studied for the college of pharmacy. But she reluctantly changed her mind due to continuous failures. It was bitter, but she gave up her dream and looked for a job. After failing to enter a large company, she visited job search sites. And she happened to find UST there. In fact, the concept of a graduate university was unfamiliar to her. But she was informed that she could get a degree and job, and there was even a scholarship system. That was why Kim applied to UST. She was accepted after passing document screening and an interview.

“In UST, there was a recruitment called ‘department based on employment contract.’ If you want to concentrate on a degree course, I recommend general admission, but if you care about employment, this department is good. You can get both an academic degree and employment. Also, there is a scholarship system that was helpful to me.”

But Kim faced crisis once more after entering UST. She had never been in a laboratory as an undergraduate but was suddenly thrown into a lab. The first experiment she did was really difficult. Also, since she had only been studying to prepare for the college of pharmacy entrance exam, she felt awkward around people. “I thought a lot about whether this was the right road for me.” But Kim was strong. She found a door to overcome the crisis and knocked on it.

UST operates a counseling center as part of student welfare. Most students don’t know it, as there is no way to know unless they search themselves. I visited the center and let out what I had, which I could not tell even to my parents. And that was such a load off my mind! With that as momentum, I could get along with people and life became comfortable. And I could concentrate more on research.

Crises turn into opportunities

For Kim, chances frequently came as a stroke of luck. This was also true when publishing an international paper as a lead author. “In general graduate school, the professors who lead research have the title of lead author or corresponding author in many cases. However, Doctor Kim Jae-hwa, who was an advisor, gave me an opportunity without hesitation. As soon as I organized the results and brought them to him, the paper was published. Although my second paper has also been published now, I think it was a really difficult thing, but looking back it was done very easily because I know how hard the efforts are for one paper to be published.”

Currently, Kim is conducting research on the point of application of a novel drug candidate of NG Chem Life Science, which is the place that will employ her after graduation and an affiliated company with the department based on the employment contract. The probability for success of novel drugs is low and it takes a long time before commercialization, but Kim works on research with the confidence that she is contributing to the development of novel drugs and having fun working on interesting things. Moreover, she could learn many things while she seeing the real research of doctors in a lab and exchanging questions with each other. Of course, there were lots of difficulties. Theories do not coincide with actual results in many cases. Sometimes the theories end up with reversed results. However, identifying the efficacy of substances needed for drugs is always rewarding work.

No flower blooms without shaking

My self-esteem was low because I failed the examination for entering the college of pharmacy. I really thought I couldn’t do it. What on earth can I do it? But I happened to come to UST and things became fine and I could study what I wanted.

Countless young people think about the same things as Kim. Youth in Korea face tens of tests while growing up. They arrive at a crossroads for choices in many cases. We asked Kim if there was something she wanted to tell youth as a successful senior, although she experienced failure.

“I’m introverted, somehow. I can be different from ‘successful’ people in terms of personality. However, I want you to think about two things. Am I really interested in this? Does the work fit me? I could endure because these two things were positive. Although I am labeled introverted and have no good speaking ability, if I do my job silently, the results are all right.”

Do only active and extroverted people change the world? No, never. Kim is a person who had turned crises into opportunities and chances into fates. If you have prudence coming from introversion, a will to overcome crises, and belief in yourself like her, you can become a “revolutionary.” Just like a silent roar spreads far away. We hope the achievements of student Kim Ji-min, who is like an iron hand in a velvet glove and has a warm smile, will echo around the world.