Training USTians with pride by promotinga creative educational environment

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

An Ordinary Student Dreams of Being Extraordinary

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  • Registration Date : 2018-09-27
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Story about Student

An Ordinary Student Dreams of Being Extraordinary

Student Hong Seong-cheol (UST KIST Campus, Biochemistry Major, Doctor’s Course)

We go through elementary, middle and high schools, and then university, master’s and doctor’s courses and employment. If we walk on a general road opening to study, we come to realize that we are an ordinary member of society before we know it. However, our life could become special depending on how we revolt against taking the general road and what kind of efforts we will make. Even today, many people stand at such an intersection and think over and over again how to become a better person. Hong Seong-cheol was one of those who had such concerns.

Hong was selected as an excellent graduate of KIST campus after graduating and also was employed by the company he desired. Furthermore, he received an excellent researcher award from KIST and wrote 10 papers during the degree period, and one of them successfully led to a technology transfer that was commercialized. He said that all of these achievements are thanks to his struggles to not be ordinary, even though he followed an ordinary road.

Toward Another Road with Persistence and Efforts as Primary Weapons

Invisible efforts usually exist behind great achievements. For Hong, all things were not easily solved, like a skein of thread unraveling. He broke away from his major while studying for a doctor’s degree and went through a time of overcoming a slump, thinking over his inner agony. “I even suffered from a guilty conscience that I could not endure due to lack of ability.

     There is a thing called the "Concorde effect." It’s a phenomenon where one cannot stop what he or she is doing as too much has been invested, even though one clearly knows the work will lead to a loss. I think I felt like that. But it seemed what I could not manage would occur if I kept up this way, so I took the time to look back on the path I was on. And the conclusion I made was that my future career was more important than the life I had lived.”

He carried out nano material research in his master’s course, and felt so curious about the fact that when metals and semiconductor materials became nano size, optical properties also changed. Changes of colors and fluorescent wavelengths were also understood intuitively. But Hong also had an interest in other majors and attended various seminars and was well aware of the association between his current major and other majors.

Then one day, he first encountered “systems biology” in one seminar. As the area of the application of nano materials he was conducting research on was molecular biology, he naturally became interested in systems biology and its interactions. He searched for related themes after the seminar and thought vaguely that he wanted to develop equipment that researched it. This led him to change his major and use a mass spectrometer, which was the main equipment for systems biology research. A small wish he made came to him as a great reality. Although it took a lot of courage to change courses, he was already ready before he knew it.

     “People like a dramatic shift. Like love at first sight or the accidental discovery of universal gravitation. I had no such special opportunity, but I have steadily thought and prepared. A small achievement made other opportunities, and the repetition of achievements helped me seize a bigger opportunity.”

Hong’s paper was been published in Angewandte Chemie-Intl Edition, a German journal. The paper was on research on an avian influenza subtype distinction method using a sensor for progesterone, a female hormone, and a superoxide probe. The equipment used in this research was familiar things that were used in his previous major. Here, he felt “everything was associated.” It proved that his past footprints were not meaningless.

I asked him if he has regretted his choice, and he smiled and said, “No.” On the contrary, he said, it was a good choice. When you study for a degree, the most important thing is will. But he looked back at the past, saying it would have been very hard if he had continued his major, although one career would have been long. Moreover, the new major was very suitable for him. Isn’t it luck that comes from efforts?

UST, It was the Best Choice in My Life

It was a stroke of luck for me to find UST. I thought a “graduate university” had advantages, and so I considered and compared academy-research coopereation courses and various elements. In UST, tuition could be supported, and the distance for taking classes was short. Moreover, work other than research, such as being a teaching assistant in undergraduate studies, was not given. In particular, I liked that an environment was created where I could be absorbed in only research. So, I decided to apply. After entering UST, the school supported a study group system. I formed a small group with some students and exchanged ideas on experiments and we helped each other for contents related to an academic society. As some money was supported every month, it was very helpful from a financial perspective. Hong said that UST has the best environment, where one can be immersed in research only, and he will remember it as the best fit for him.

   “I want to tell juniors who are concerned about their career that they should not drop out of the current major easily. I want them to think again after they have completely finished the course they were in. If they have not achieved results, the time becomes nothing. And I want them to specifically imagine themselves in the next five years. In my case, when I imagined such things, I was satisfied enough.”

Hope My Steps Today Become a Guide for Somebody

“The road I walked today will become a milestone for others in the future,” said Baekbeom Kim Gu. In the same way, Hong also said he wanted to become a respected senior. Hong took a job to support research through communication with the researchers in the field with the mass spectrometer application and support team of Thermo Fisher Scientific Korea in August. The fact that you have to carry out your duties after finishing a long degree can make you feel great responsibility. But, challenging yourself also makes you expect tomorrow and makes your heart flutter. Now his dream is to “become the best expert in equipment.” We expect his dream to come true and for him to have other ones beyond this, and hope his dream becomes one for somebody else.