How a Guy from Busan Lives Lightly
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- Registration Date : 2018-09-27
A Conversation with Alumni
How a Guy from Busan Lives Lightly
Alumnus Kim Su-hwang (Critical Materials and Semiconductor Packaging Engineering Major, UST-KITECH Campus, graduated in 2018, currently working for CASTEC Korea)
A young man wearing a short sleeve navy shirt, blue track suit and sneakers is waving his hand. I heard he would come out during work at his company for a moment, but he was not dressed in company attire. I was confounded for a moment, but went and said hello. “You must be alumnus Kim Su-hwang.” He was tall and had a bright face. And he had the ability to ease others’ minds. I learned the reason for his attire soon after we started talking.
A Bright Guy Despite the 1,300°C Heat
I met Kim in front of Hadan Station on Busan Subway Line #1. He said he was coming from an outside job at the Macheon factory in Jinhae, Gyeongsangnam-do, which is a branch factory of "Castec Korea", where he works. We went up to a cafe on the second floor of a building in front of the station, and a road construction site was visible through the window. Workers were continuously wiping off sweats in the site, which had scorching heat and dust. Seeing this, Kim, “I am always dressed like this because my workplace is hot and has a lot of dust like that.
I asked what kind of work he was doing and he explained it for me. His company manufactures metal components that are used in the vehicles, refrigerators, and air conditioners of customer companies, and he designs methods to produce products that are low-priced but have a low defect rate. His other job is watching molten metal that is made by melting metal scrap being put into mold frames.
“Even if I wear heatproof clothes, I feel hot because heat over 1,300°C is produced. I do not work on it directly because I belong to a development team, but I still have a lot of work to do on the production floor. Also, the products manufactured are delivered to a quality team to check for any defects.”
He had a cheerful expression even though he was covered in sweat when he left the production site. Kim said he had the experience of making molten metal by melting metal scrap when he attended UST-KITECH Campus. Although this is not possible in other graduate schools due to safety issues, it is possible in KITECH, which is well-equipped for this. Thanks to such experience, his company evaluated him as very quick to understand work and adapt well, even though he joined the company just 6 months ago.
A master’s course is possible without a financial burden
The name Castec Korea was stitched on the left side of the T-shirt he wore. Castec Korea’s core business is manufacturing key components for turbochargers, which increase automobile fuel efficiency. The company’s position is so strong that their products are used in most domestic vehicles, as well as imported cars such as ones from Mercedes-Benz and Audi. Kim was already contracted to work for Castec Korea for three years when he entered UST.
“I gave up studying in graduate school after graduating from university for economic reasons. In the meantime, I found the UST department based on an employment contract on an online job site. Although it had the condition of working at certain companies after graduation, I liked it because I could attend a graduate school without an economic burden. In the case of the UST department based on the employment contract, tuition was free, and I could even receive living expenses and a scholarship.”
Kim said he was not bound by the words “employment-contract.” And it was not that he only studied what was related to his current company when he attended UST. He said he could experience many interesting studies because his advisor researched a variety of materials. Also, he said he could sense that UST cared for students because if the company was unreasonable in their demands, a UST employee would visit him for an interview.
Think a lot when you choose UST major
“By the way, a company is different from a research institute. So, I think students have to work at companies with an attitude of starting at the beginning and not being arrogant.”
Kim studied in Busan until high school. He now commutes to the Macheon factory in Gimhae, Gyeongsangnam-do. Maybe because of his affectionate Busan dialect, laughter just comes out whatever he talks. I asked Kim what was different, and he said that research institutes and companies have different goals. Research institutes tend to find new things by being absorbed in research while companies consider relationships between people and profitability more important.
I thought there was a lot of stress in companies, but he said it was not like that. Kim said he was familiar with cooperation because he participated in joint projects between the research institute and companies at UST many times. He added that he now worked with good people and even though he had trifling arguments, he did not take it seriously. It seemed he enjoyed the present, as he lived with a light heart all the time. However, he said that students had to think a lot before deciding on a master’s course.
This is not the thinking of Kim alone. He is still in touch with other campus friends he met during the UST orientation. Whenever he has a drinking party with them, the friends also say such things. In addition, he even boasted that his master’s course made him rich internally because he was lucky to meet a nice professor who was like an angel.
Alumnus Kim loves riding bicycles and photographing landscapes. He wants to live life leisurely, savoring every moment, rather than live burning with passion. On my way back after interviewing him, I thought that I did not have to overdo myself or feel pressured. There are various ways to live in the world.