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Think deeply and then act – Ms. Eun-Joo Kim, Head of Global Training Program Team
Date 2018.11.27 Hit 778
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Eun-Joo Kim
Global Training Program Team


 △ Ms. Eun-Joo Kim is the Head of Global Training Program Team at STEPI. She conducted various projects as a researcher in the field of science and technology international cooperation. Currently, she is responsible for the technology development cooperation projects, especially planning and operation of capacity building training programs for developing countries.







1. How did you start working at STEPI?

Prior to working for STEPI, I worked as an official of the International Trade Office of the Gyeongnam Provincial Government for four years, and I also worked in international trade for two years. I left the trade business and entered Ewha Womans University Graduate School of International Studies. One of the graduation requirements was short-term internship at an international organization or a public institution. I learned about STEPI through my classmate who told me that the Division of Global Strategy needed someone to work for the visit of Chinese delegation. I thought I would do this work only during the vacation, but it's been 10 years already.


2. You have a lot of experience in the field of international cooperation. How did you start working for development cooperation?

As I remember, it was in 2008 the international cooperation staff at the Division of Planning and Coordination suddenly left the work and I was urgently deployed for the short-term training program for the officials in KOICA developing countries. Since a Senior Research Fellow was the PM, I was asked to plan the program besides lectures. I remember the first day of the program - I could see the enthusiasm of learning the officials from developing countries and I was moved by them. I was not in charge of the program, but I wanted to do my best during that time. I thought it was an opportunity for me to serve the developing world with my work.


3. When was your most rewarding experience working at STEPI?

In 2008, the 88th OECD CSTP General Assembly, which is participated by 80 member countries, was held in Korea. It was the very first international conference to be held in Korea. At that time, as Ministry of Science and Technology participated in the science and technology cooperation activities, STEPI acted as a secretariat of the meeting as a support organization. I remember working closely with officials including the director. I felt rewarding as we did the international event successfully, and also felt confidence and meaning of my work. I also received an award from the Minister of Science and Technology and felt that my work was recognized. To be honest, I liked my work rather than my position at STEPI, and I was also lucky.


4. You are in charge of the Global Training Program Team. Please tell us about your projects.

I am in charge of the Technology transfer system improvement project in Tunisia, Science and technology policy capacity building of Azerbaijan and Sri Lanka, Ethiopia engineering capacity enhancement project (teaching staff dispatching project), KOICA global training, Capacity building program of Indonesia BPPT, Korea-ASEAN Science and technology cooperation projects, KOICA Nepal project, new cooperation projects and policy networking in developing countries.


5. As the importance of science and technology international cooperation is emerging, what do you think is the direction that STEPI should take?

I believe that the flow of international cooperation has changed with the integration of the Ministry of Education and the Ministry of Science and Technology in 2008. The Ministry of Science and Technology focuses on the kinds of joint researches with advanced countries in the field of science and technology, while the Ministry of Education already had ODA in the field of education in terms of education as the secret to Korea’s success. While science and technology are centered on excellence and excellence, the key of education is to give equal opportunity. The key members of the International Cooperation Department of the Ministry of Education, Science and Technology were from the Ministry of Education and they were just beginning to discuss about the science and technology ODA, starting from the Korean UNESCO committee. At this time, the number of science and technology cooperation projects with developing countries also increased one by one.

I think that we need more systematic response in international cooperation activities than now. As with other areas of research, international cooperation requires understanding the cooperation history. There should be no change in strategy or cooperation depending on who is in charge. I believe that sustainability, expansion and connection are necessary in a big flow. STEPI is a global science and technology policy think tank that can act as a hub of science and technology innovation cooperation between developed and developing countries and various innovation actors (universities, research institutes, companies, individuals, etc.) in Korea. For this, I think it is necessary to establish an international cooperation strategy on institution-level.


6. Are you interested in other fields of study outside your professional area? If so, what are the areas and why?

I am interested in leadership, entrepreneurship and organizational management. The organizational culture is like a mosaic. I believe the power that dissolves each element in one big picture is leadership, and I think it is an interesting field of study.


7. What role do you think a masters-level researcher should play in our organization?

Someone said, "Innovation occurs at the boundary." At STEPI, the role of a masters-level researcher is should be somewhere between research and administration which makes it difficult. This position did not exist previously; unlike now there was only a few number of researchers, thus it is only natural that the understanding of such position is low. As a masters-level researcher, you need to set your own field of specialization and pursue it. For example, there are international relations, development cooperation, project management, and regional experts in the field of international cooperation.


8. Please give an advice to junior professionals in your field.

We need to learn cooperation rather than competition, modesty rather than ability. We need to look at ourselves through communication with others. Knowing yourself is the most important thing. No one can do everything perfectly. Therefore, you should recognize and respect others’ work and achievements. I hope that you will be able to do what works best for your personality and the goal of your life. If that’s what you are doing, then you must be a happy person. In my case, I work harder for the job that I like, and give more value to it. I think job is not just a job, but a vocation. If we do not have a sense of mission, what are we doing right now at our workplace? Should we not ask ourselves every day? (I'm not doing well either, but I think this is necessary.)


9. What do you ask of the organization?

It is important that members can form a common attitude and consensus. If an individual is working in a structure that allows them to cooperate with each other, the people who work in it will be able to work with a sense of mission. I hope that decision-makers approach this in a more philosophical way.


10. Finally, do you have a life motto or slogan?

Talk less, think deeply, and then act. When I think of the organization as a member of it, I think of what kind of organization is operated well. If we think deeply about the solution to a problem or task, and discuss it together, there will be an agreement on the purpose and the task of the organization. If we put our own opinion in a different perspective and viewpoint, it would only be unilateral word.