Thursday, September 16, 2010

Ask a Korean! News: Korean Moms Like World Bank

Stuff Korean Moms Like already has a hilarious list of 58 items that Korean moms like. The Korean humbly suggests number 59 on the list:  The World Bank.

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"World Bank is Hiring ... Mom Will Find Out All About It"

First Open Hiring Notice for Koreans is Stampeded by Questions from Mothers 
Concerns Raised that the "Flailing Skirts" to an International Organization May Backfire

The official of Ministry of Strategy and Finance who is in charge of World Bank's open hiring notice targeting Koreans receives on average more than ten phone calls, inquiring about the position. The curious part is that the calls often come not from the applicants themselves, but the mothers of the applicants.

The official said, "I would give a long explanation thinking it is a female applicant, but it often ends up being mothers who say, 'Actually, my daughter is trying to apply," and said, "I didn't know mothers of Korea had this much interest in international organizations."

On the 30th of last month, World Bank announced an open hiring notice, aimed toward hiring a Korean expert. This is the first time that World Bank publicly aimed to hire exclusively Koreans, and there are few precedents of this kind involving any other country. Since the 2000s, working for the World Bank and other major international organizations emerged as one of the most popular jobs for young Koreans. Certain top colleges run programs geared toward internship and employment in international organizations, similar to those programs preparing for civil service examinations. Therefore, MOSF expected that there will be much interest to this position. And in fact the interest is growing, as the total of 172 applied with the deadline of September 19, with 50 of them applying this week.

But what MOSF did not expect was that the applicants' parents, not the applicants, would be more aggressive in requesting information about the position. MOSF official said, "It is already surprising that there are many calls from the applicants' parents, but what is even more surprising is that in some cases, parents who have children in middle school or high school call to ask for information."

Some in MOSF expect that the parents' "flailing skirt" [TK: 치맛바람, a slang for excessive influence from parents, particularly mother] aimed toward international organizations will be helpful toward increasing the number of Koreans who enter into international organizations in the future. But there are also opinions that Korean parents' aggressive inquiries for the World Bank position may actually cause a negative effect toward international organization's hiring Koreans. Critics point out that the parents' excessive interest may make it seem to the international organization's officials that while Korean youths have a nice resume, they are deficient in problem-solving skills.

Professor Kim Yeon-Gyu of Hanyang University School of International Affairs noted, "The resume alone is not enough to be hired by an international organization," and added, "something reminds one of Korea's college entrance only harms the prospect of employment at an international organization." One government official who previously worked for an international organization said, "To be successful at an international organization, at the basic level one has to have foreign language skills and expert-level knowledge. And it is very important to be able to overcome the stress that may be caused by racial or cultural conflicts, and to be able to solve a problem blowing up unexpectedly," and added, "a person who do not have enough independence and problem-solving skills would not have an easy time adapting to an international organization, even if the person manages to be hired."

"세계은행 공채 떴네… 엄마가 다 알아볼게" [Dong-A Ilbo]

Never let it be said that Korean moms are not crazy.

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