CNWU won the grand prize at a currency competition organized by the Bank of Korea. The Campus Journal met Park Soo-bin, the youngest member of the team. Currency contests have been held every year since 2003 with the aim of increasing understanding of the BOK`s role and promoting consensus on policy decisions by providing university students with simulated opportunities in the process of monetary policy making. It was a competition for outstanding university students from all over the country. CWNU team made great achievements after preparing thoroughly for a year. It was the first time that CWNU won a prize in Busan, Ulsan and South Gyeongsang Province.
Q: What made you participate in the currency competition of the Bank of Korea?
Park: I knew there was a contest like this, but I didn't think I would participate. It was a high-level competition on a national scale and it just seemed like a big one. I didn't think it was going to be a challenge I could compete in. Then I happened to ask if the senior member of the department was willing to participate in the contest, and suddenly I thought I could do it too but I don’t know why.
|▲CWNU team has won the prize at the BOK currency competition.|
Q: I heard you've been working very hard for a long time. How did you prepare?
Park: I’ve spent almost a year planning, and I've been constantly preparing for the competition. I spent all my time preparing for the competition, except during school classes and meals, from 9 p.m. to 11 p.m. every day. Before the winter vacation, I read all the books related to economic theory, the Industrial Bank of Korea, and other policy agencies every week to strengthen my basic knowledge. Since then, I've been reading papers based on theory to explore examples that actually work, and prepared for report writing, presentation and discussion. When I was close to the competition, I even thought 24 hours a day was too short.
Q: What were the difficulties of preparing for a year as the youngest student on the team?
Park: I was physically challenged rather than mentally. I didn't get enough time to sleep because I started studying early and stayed up late every morning. However, there were no difficulties being the youngest because my seniors took care of me. When it was close to competition time I cut down my mealtimes and that was a big sacrifice. The only time I took a break was during those mealtimes. I had to study or sit in a study an environment all day long, and there were so many macroeconomic books, monetary policy books, reports, papers, etc. I could not stop reading, studying and preparing myself until the end.
Q: What is lost and gained in one year of preparation?
Park: I gave up my private life. Meeting friends, going on trips, part time jobs, etc. I had very little personal time. However, I can do personal things at any later time, but I felt that the overseas trips organized by the school or language training should be done on time, and I regret missing that part.
If you only study economic theory, there are a lot of things that don't apply to real situations. I gained some knowledge of business economics. These days, I am writing a self-help letter, and I have prepared a project as well as visible results, so I am writing a lot and I am preparing for employment based on the experience of the competition.
At the primary, we had to prepare for discussions and questions. I guess I got rid of the fear of interviews because I prepared a lot. The career I want to work for is related to finance, and my experience in preparing for the competition was very helpful for me. I haven't had an interview yet, but I now have the confidence to do well.
Q: Since you're the winner of the national championship, what's your secret to winning?
Park: I didn’t have a template for the report on hand. So we talked with our team members about how to differentiate the form almost a month before submission and continued to modify the form in a better direction. In order to find the best structure, we were able to continue giving feedback to our team to produce a more logical and well-organized report. I think the other teams were prepared for the same data, and I think we got a high score for differentiating the report’s form and composition.
Q: I'm sure there will be students who want to participate in the future. What would you like to say to them?
Park: I want you to think about whether you can really concentrate on this for a year and not regret missing anything else. In my case, I wasn't preparing for anything else and entered without thinking about it, but I have some regrets about missing language training and other opportunities. And since I spent more time with my team than with my family members for a year, it is very important to organize well-matched people, and to organize a team that can exchange opinions and work well, so I want to tell them to prepare thoroughly.
Frankly, a year of preparation was hard, but when I look back, I think it was a valuable experience for me to become bold and gain confidence. It’s important to see what I can do and it's a great opportunity for me to grow in the process.
|▲The amount of paper read while preparing for the contest.|
By Gwon Min-gwan, reporter firstname.lastname@example.org
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