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Making a decent job applicant in the field of public finance

01 Aug, 2012 News Center 1,292

On the 28th of July, KDI School organized the 4th alumni lecture on career development. Youngim No (2009 MBA, Korea) was the guest lecturer for the day, who is working for Korea Housing-Financing Corporation. Introducing the general characteristics of the finance-based governmental corporations, Ms. No opened her talk by observing a recent transition in their selection of new employees, from the conservative to the enthusiastic, from the elite to the creative.

Based on her personal experience, Ms. No listed the benefits of working in the finance-related public sector. First, the job ensures both profitability and employment security. Even though it may not be as high-paying as many finance-related professions in the private sector, it is well paying compared to other jobs in the government corporations. And as with other public-sector careers, one can safely assume that he or she will be able to work until retirement unless, of course, one makes a grave mistake. Secondly, working in the public sector does not bring as much stress as in private banks or securities companies. She said she was not expected to work extra hours or during weekends. The public corporations also provide excellent study opportunities, both at domestic and international schools. She did not forget to mention that most government corporations offer several benefits for women, including a long maternity leave.

As the topic moved on to job seeking, Ms. No shared her quick-and-easy recipe. As everyone imagines, she also said that a well-written CV, reasonable degree of general knowledge, fluency in English and the level of education are all factored in when public institutes recruit new employees. “But what makes a well-written CV? And how fluent English is fluent enough?” she questioned. On this murky detail she had some straightforward answers. A CV has to be simple and very clear because a couple of people end up screening a thousand applicants. “Come up with a way to catch their eyes and lead them into a direction where you’d like them to go,” she advised. To improve general knowledge, read newspapers every day. For English, make your TOEIC score above 900. You’ll have a strong competitive edge if you hold certificates like International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS) or American Institute of Certified Public Accountant (AICPA). When preparing for an interview, make sure to understand the work of your target corporation. In an interview, gingerly focus on solving or answering the given questions. And remember that small behavioral cues can shape an overall impression: your attitude, your interview attire, your way of speaking will all comprise the recruiting decision.

Ms. No also helped the audience narrow down their choices based on their job preference. For those who value stability, Korea Development Bank, Korea Export-Import Bank and Industrial Bank of Korea have been recommended. For those who seek an opportunity to work abroad, Bank of Korea, Korea Trade Insurance Corporation, the Korea Export-Import Bank and Financial Supervisory Service have been named. If you are an adventurous type looking for a challenge, Korea Housing-Finance Corporation, Korea Finance Corporation or Financial Supervisory Service is the place for you. Another handy tip was that newly-built corporations like Korea Student Aid Foundation or Korea Finance Corporation tend to hire a large number of employees, hence easier to get in.

Ms. No’s down-to-earth personality and positive vibe gave the audience great motivation to pursue a career in public finance. One could easily imagine some of the participants coming back to campus in the near future and sharing their own secrets to success, and recalling this wonderful lecture that encouraged them years before.

By Inja JEON (MDP 2012, Korea)