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An Interview with Professor Lee

01 May, 2006 News Center 1,625

Professor Lee, Kun Ho, MAM Chair

“Being a student you should enjoy the life i.e. enjoy study. You do not study to please the professors, not to please your bosses or not to please your parents. You study because sometime in the future you will realize that the education will improve your life”. That is a message from Prof. Lee, Kun Ho, chair of MAM (Master of Asset Management) program.



Q. How do you come to KDI School?

Before I came to KDI School, I was a researcher at Korea Institute of Finance. After that I worked for the Financial Supervisor Service only 6 months and then I worked for commercial bank for 4 years as Risk Management Specialist and Head of Risk Management Project. During that time, I gave many lectures regarding risk management to practitioners (most of them are bankers in Korea). After I quitted the bank, I considered going back to research institute or coming to the teaching profession. And I found the latter the better since I want to share my knowledge with other people.


Q.The teaching profession and research job can be done together at KDI?

Yes, sure. Actually, research is a part of the job of a professor. Other than giving lectures, I have to do research and write paper. I like giving lectures to whoever (practitioners or students) wants to share their knowledge.


Q.What is your deepest impression at KDI?

One of the most impressive things I found at KDI is that the student is highly motivated. And it is also the distinction between KDI school and other school. Of course student at other school are motivated but most of them lack the work experience that students of KDI have. KDI students are not only motivated to learn something new but also to learn something that they actually know in their real world. Therefore the motivation is stronger and I like that.


Q.How is this like as the chairman of MAM program?

Actually it’s too early to tell because the program only started this year. Frankly speaking, MAM is more practice oriented compared to other courses. It’s more focus in the sense that the aim of the course is to teach the students basic skills that they can practically used at work in asset management so that they can actually use as a fund manager or specialist in asset management. We want to give the students the concept of what is fund management like in the real world. In MAM program, the aim is clearly stated. As a result, students know what they should expect to learn from this course.


Q.So you have to deal with many issues?

Last year I have to discuss a lot with other professors in order to find out the focuses for the program. At that time we considered a program like master in finance. Then we narrow the focus step by step and then we decided that asset management is the one that we want to offer.

Actually there is no such program in Korea because it narrowed focus and we want to teach practical things, not theory things. Just creating this program itself is very challenging. Then we have to marketing this program. Some of the potential students asked me about the commitment of the school to the program. And they uncertained about their future after they graduated from the program. And I had to persuade them that they could tell their bosses or other potential employees the usefulness of the program. And after the program started for on month, actually now the challenges are to satisfy the students. That is to prove them through lectures, courses that the program is really useful. There are ten core courses for MAM students which means that the program is designed specially for them.


Q.What is the result of all those efforts?

I am quite satisfy because some of the students are actually fund managers, some of them want to be fund managers and some of them really take high positions in that industry. We have a good mix so that there would be interaction among students. Students who lack of experience and ask the students who do have real experience and even students who is potential employers can directly talk to the senior people in the industry. We encourage students to form small groups so that they can learn from each other and get closer acquainted.


Q.Do you have any advice to the students of KDI in general and MAM students in particular?

For students in general, I want to say that being students is their privileged. They have to enjoy the life as a student. And enjoy the life of students means they have to actually like studying. Once they graduate and go to work, it is very difficult to have a chance to attend a program like this. Of course they can learn from many other sources but in this school, we give them a very organized approach, a very organized set of knowledge. And it is something that you don’t really want to miss. So they have to enjoy study. Enjoy studying is not like sitting in the desk for 10 hours a day but they have to motivate themselves in a way that by learning this thing, they can improve their future life. You do not study to please the professors, not to please your bosses or not to please your parents. You study because sometime in the future you will realize that the education will improve your life. Some of the students think that study is terrible but in fact, it is not true. Study is something that you should enjoy.


For MAM students, again I want to say that I hope they enjoy the life here. Almost all the MAM students are evening students which means that they still work in the day time. It is very difficult to manage both lives. But this program is something that they can not experience in any other institutions. So they should bear in mind that they are very privileged. And they should think that the future or the success of this program depends on themselves. They themselves are the masters of the program and they should be responsible for their own future.


By Do Kim Ngan (2006 MPP)