In Focus

SolBridge Alumni Highlight: Hanseok Park

Category : [2023]| Writer : Daniel | Date : 2023.12.01 | Hit : 2,737

 

 

This month we are proud to recognize Hanseok Park, who graduated from SolBridge almost 10 years ago. He is now working at one of the leading logistics company in the world. He is currently working as a Regional Customer Manager of DHL. This interview is conducted with the help of SolBridge Alumni Association.

 

 

Q1. Pleasure to meet you! Could you briefly introduce yourself?

Hello! My name is Hanseok Park, and I’m currently at DHL Express Asia HQ as the Global Operations Manager. It has been nearly 10 years since I graduated. It’s a great privilege to be able to share my story with the SolBridge community.

Q2: Can you please introduce the company that you are working?

DHL Express is headquartered in Germany and is currently the world’s leading Air Express company in the industry. With over 120,000 employees, 3,500 offices, 300 aircrafts, 34,500 vehicles worldwide, DHL Express operates in approximately 220 countries. Notably, the air express industry encompasses B2B forwarding and B2C global E-commerce- which has seen recent exponential growth.

Q3: How is the day as a Global Operations Manager

My role is to develop customer needs-based solutions by consulting on the supply chain model, and I coordinate freights with client companies to ensure a seamless operation. You can say that I carry out the Front Door + Back Door responsibilities. Many would be curious on this- but I relatively have a good work-life balance. Sure, with freedom comes responsibilities for the coming year’s sales objectives, I consider this as fate for all those that work in sales. I also go on a lot of business trips overseas, and they are primarily to the Asia region.

I primarily focus on Multinational Corporations (MNCs) that are technology and manufacturing based. Google for example, which is also one of the companies I work on- we are delivering the gears for Google Cloud servers, and consumer electronics such as Pixel and Fitbit to worldwide research labs, service centers, franchise stores, Google engineers and consumers.

Q4: Are there things we should know about getting a job in the logistics industry?

Employment in the distribution industry is also becoming quite difficult. Domestically, there are some notable companies such as Samsung SDS, Hyundai Glovis and LX International. Globally- DHL, Fedex, UPS, Kuehne+Nagel, DB Schenker. As maintenance is an integral part of global supply chain, it has potential for infinite growth. However, Korean industry is based on manufacturing and is therefore in a transitional period. As such the conditions may not be so attractive. Personally, if we were to categorize them as either superior or inferior, they are in the latter- frankly speaking.

As such, for those looking for a career in the distribution industry, I recommend looking into global companies.

Q5: How did you get in the distribution industry?

While I was preparing for employment in a sales position in Indonesia, I had the fortunate opportunity to get in touch with Chairman Kim, Sung Kyung. Chairman Kim later introduced me to a businessman in Indonesia. Upon graduation, I was able to start my sales career in a Korean distribution company located in Jakarta- Indonesia’s capital. I would like to take this opportunity to express my most sincere gratitude to Chairman Kim who provided unyielding support when I was preparing for my first embark in the world of distribution.

Q6: You were preparing for a sales position in Indonesia? How did you prepare so specifically?

A: When I was in school, I continuously asked myself the following two questions, and I finally found the answer close to graduation

What to do?

Sales: Not the typical office job, meeting people, rather than repeated work, finding new projects and dive into new challenges

Where to be?

Indonesia: I want to work in a freer environment than the typical Korean working culture. I want to leverage my English skills as a competitive advantage in a non-English country. Even if I begin as a regular staff, I want to work in an environment where I can grow quickly. I don’t know any second language so a language that I can quickly learn- Indonesian (Bahasa Indonesia)

As I narrowed the scope, I could find an area that I want to do, and can do well. In order to get the answers even quicker, I went travelling, consulted with my mentors, interacted with international friends, did an internship, took part in various extracurricular workshops and activities.

Q7: So you are now in Hong Kong at the DHL Asia office. Any advice for juniors that want to work overseas?

A: Interestingly, I am the first ever Korean to join the HQ’s sales team. This doesn’t mean that the entrance barrier is high, but most of the time the job opportunity is not sought after because no active research is undertaken, and not many people take up the challenge. This is what I personally fight very regretful. I hope that students will take full advantage of the SolBridge curriculum and the faculty, as well as the international student body. By doing so, you can consider many domestic and overseas job opportunities. Also, please take enough time to ask yourselves what you need to do to become a global talent.

Furthermore, always refine your capabilities and attitude. In order to know how much you can contribute to society, you need to have a clear understanding of metacognition. You need to regularly put together your achievements, review company’s financial standings, directions, and desired talent, to see if it aligns with my potentials, capabilities, leadership, as well as continuously contemplating on how to improve my strengths and refine my weaknesses.

 

Q8: Can you share your understanding of Metacognition?

Yes. For example, one metrics I use to objectively evaluate my capabilities is calculating my hourly rate. For example, if an intern is paid 1 million KRW / month, works 160 hours, the social value would be 6,250KRW. Especially for overseas employment, one needs to align their capabilities and attributes to the country’s cost of living, ethnicity, religion, GDP, growth potential, and decide whether or not it is suitable for them. As countries have different income tax, one needs to research on the before/after tax salary, flights, cost of living, transportation, health insurance, accommodation stipend, yearly increase, pension, before salary negotiations.

Q9: What is SolBridge to you?

‘Growth Pivot’, SolBridge

When I was in school, I was one of those students who lacked English skills. After returning from the military, there were some students who didn’t view my in a positive light as I tried speaking English to Koreans. Later, students knew of my hard work and struggles, and helped me out a lot as well. SolBridge has taught me that I lacked in so many ways to do the things I wanted to do. Albeit a little late, I received a lot of help to make mid/long-term plans, and I did everything I could to be recognized as a valuable member in society. SolBridge- my pivot of growth, thank you!

If the opportunity allows, I would love to visit SolBridge and meet the faculty and current students, and share many good stories.

To my seniors, juniors, classmates- I wish you the best of luck in your endeavors, and let’s talk all about it when we have the chance to meet.

Those interested in global careers, please do not hesitate to reach out

 

 


 

 

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