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Strengthen the cooperation between GFRIs
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What is Entrepreneurism? “Just Do It!”

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  • Registration Date : 2019-05-02
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Reflections on Teaching

What is Entrepreneurism? “Just Do It!”

Professor Park Jeong-min (UST Main Office)

In late 2015, UST appointed a new professor whose role would be to cultivate entrepreneurism in its students. Professor Park Jeong-min, who was selected from a pool of 50 eligible candidates, had a diverse yet consistent career path, going from electrical engineering student to researcher at a large company, MBA student, startup investor, and finally corporate executive. This made him the ideal mentor for training young entrepreneurs with a harmonious blend of theory and practice.

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Discussions to Share and Motivate

Professor Park’s course on entreprenueurism began in 2016 and is currently in its 4th year. There are already five UST graduates who have become entrepreneurs after taking his class, a noteworthy achievement considering that the majority of students show a preference for research jobs as post-graduation careers.

“I never thought about becoming a professor, but I chanced upon the recruitment notice, and now this job is adding great joy to my life. It is truly rewarding to work with the young and talented students at UST, sharing my knowledge and experience, while partaking in their youthful passions and dreams, and encouraging them.”

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Professor Park conducts his class in the form of discussions, using his experience and maturity to counsel young students in the challenges they face. He travels all around the country, going from one campus to another to conduct these lectures. He firmly believes that entrepreneurism is not something that can be taught purely from theory. What he values above all is conversation.

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“The essence of the entrepreneur can be traced to the origin of the word, a French verb meaning ‘to do something’. The spirit is similar to that of the famous marketing phrase ‘Just do it’. In order to do this, you need to first bravely present your ideas and dreams, accept the differences between yourself and others, and lay out your objectives clearly. This process is the starting point of innovation. This is why I try to get all my students to participate in the conversation and discussions in my class. I want them to open up and present their ideas to the world.”

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Finding New Inspiration in the Netherlands

It is for the same reason that Professor Park, who started remote video lectures this year, is asking his students on screen to use post-its. This helps students who find it difficult to speak out in class. They can use the keywords they wrote on the post-its as talking points, inviting questions and participation in the discussions.

With such fresh and effective teaching methods, Professor Park was awarded the excellence award at the entrepreneurism education model cases competition, held by the Ministry of SMEs and Startups. As a prize, he participated in a trip to the Netherlands to observe the startup ecosystem there. This was the source of yet another inspiration for him.

“Looking around the smart farms that transformed the Netherlands from an importer to one of the largest exporters of tomatoes, as well as the 10,000 care farms that provide inclusive environments for the less advantaged, I could see where the progressive thinking and entrepreneurial spirit of the Dutch people come from. Their abilities to think simple in complex situations and accept differences are the root of creativity and innovation. These days, I am trying to think of ways to apply these two principles to the educational environment of Korea.”

Another topic on his mind these days is ‘in-house entrepreneurism’, a concept that has been catching on in recent years. Entreprenuerism does not have to be an independent challenge, it can also mean implementing necessary change and development within one’s organization, be it a company, university or research institute. Professor Park continues to look into best practice case studies and teaching methods, so that his students may become innovators rather than passive participants in all walks of life.