This blog regularly profiles students at the Argyros School of Business and Economics. This week, we talk to Jun Lee, who will graduate from Chapman’s Full Time MBA program in 2014.
A: JUN YONG LEE
Program here at the Argyros School of Business and Economics (ASBE):
A: Full Time MBA
A: Incheon, South Korea
Emphasis at ASBE:
A: Bachelor of Arts, majored in International Studies
A: The Catholic University of Korea
Undergraduate Graduation Year:
Work Experience (Years and Description):
A: SAMSUNG SDI Brazil, 10 years, Sales Manager, Accounting Manager, Production Planning
Favorite OC Restaurants:
A: Mimi’s Café
Favorite OC Spots:
A: South Lake in Irvine
Making the Transition
In 2001, after finishing college and feeling the effects of the bad economy in Korea, Jun relocated to Brazil, a move that Jun describes as “one of the biggest transitions” in his life. His parents had a friend who worked in Samsung in Brazil, and successfully aced an interview with the company and then took a position there. Upon moving, what became immediately apparent to him were the cultural differences. He had to adapt and learned how to speak the local language— Portuguese— within 2 years.
Throughout his time in Brazil, Jun encountered a variety of CEOs and CFOs and wanted to emulate them. “Most of them had MBAs from the United States,” he recalls. In 2011, Jun and his wife moved to Orange County and he began working on mastering the English language and completing business school applications.
Again, the cultural differences and learning the language were his biggest challenges when starting the graduate school. “This [past] semester was very hard,” he affirms. However, since being in the Chapman MBA program, Jun has enjoyed the challenge and especially the opportunities he has had in his courses to collaborate with his peers. Some of his favorite moments while here at Chapman, he says, have been “studying and hanging out with friends,” including attending various Chapman events, such as the MBA Speaker Series.
Another point that Jun has liked about the Chapman MBA programs is the opportunity he has to connect what he is learning to his previous work. “A lot of diversified courses have been helping me to expand my knowledge,” and have been “applicable in the real-world business practice,” he notes. In his Operations class, he routinely applied his own experiences while exploring other perspectives of running a business and what is crucial, or what he describes as the “cores” of various industries. Moreover, he finds the online discussions of the weekly case studies “useful.” He says, “We can exchange different ideas and perspectives regarding various issues.”
Another course that Jun found especially beneficial for real-world application was Negotiations. Before the class, Jun admits that he did not fully understand negotiation tactics, but afterwards, the classes really made him think about strategy. “It was exciting and a lot of fun,” he states. “I now analyze the process more critically than before. ‘How can I apply the concepts and theory that I learned?’”
Life after Chapman
Jun plans on staying in the United States and working in the manufacturing industry, consulting, or in accounting. He says, “Career-wise, I want to become a CPA or CFO. If I can get a CPA license, it will help me to have competitive advantage in the job market.” He takes the CPA exam in June 2013.
Jun’s advice to prospective Chapman MBA students is this: “You must be ready to study hard!” He praises the “strong curriculum” in helping students broaden their knowledge and acknowledges the faculty members’ willingness to help students.