There is a Korean proverb saying that if you fall seven times, you come back on your 8th. It means that you never give up on whatever you want to do. It’s difficult to try for something after failing several times, but when you realize that it’s worth it, you know that the hard work will pay off. Today, we invited a student who knows this all too well. He is a well-known student at KDI School and started here with his fair share of challenges. Let’s welcome our guest and learn more about his KDI journey.
1. Could you please briefly introduce yourself and tell us your background before coming to KDI school.
My name is Karimov Khojakbar from Uzbekistan. I am a Fall 2019 MDP student at KDI School of Public Policy and Management. I did my bachelor’s degree at the Management Development Institute of Singapore. Then I studied under the University of Wales program majoring in Banking and Finance. Before starting my master’s degree here at the KDI school, I worked at the Ministry of Innovative Development as a deputy director of the Integration of science, education, and production department. I was in charge of introducing innovations in the social sphere, particularly in the educational field to form a modern and competitive startup ecosystem.
2. What made you come to KDI School?
There are three main reasons. Firstly, as a government official, I needed to understand various issues on sustainable development and international development cooperation in both theoretical and practical frameworks. Secondly, in my previous job at the Institute of Forecasting and Macroeconomic Research, I was involved in the Knowledge Sharing Program (KSP) with the Korean Development Institute. KSP was initiated to share Korea’s development experience and knowledge with Uzbekistan and design policy solutions. I met some professors from KDI School since I was eager to study and gain knowledge here. Secondly, as a government official, I felt it would be important for me to know the various issues of sustainable development and international development cooperation in both the theoretical and practical frameworks. Thirdly, because I feel that South Korea, since the first day of Uzbekistan independence, is our closest strategic partner. In the future, I will try to advance the bilateral cooperation of these two countries to an even higher level. Thus, I think it is essential for me to learn Korean language and culture, which I think KDI School excellently provides.
3. What was your first impression of Korea?
When I first arrived in Korea, I realized that it has one of the best transportation systems in the world. The second thing that I noticed is the friendly people. Whenever I ask for help, Koreans always try their best to assist me. Lastly, everywhere I go is clean and green, all the cities are the embodiment of «green» nature and modern architecture. So my first impression of Korea is a hospitable, clean, and innovative place.
4. How do you find KDI School so far?
There are a lot of international students from various institutions with different backgrounds and we always share our experiences in and outside the classes. KDI School offers comprehensive and rigorous academic programs focusing on real-world policy issues in both the public and private sectors. It has outstanding faculty. The most important thing they possess is a strong practical and theoretical background as they are former ministers or students of world-famous economists. I am very proud and happy that KDI school allowed me to be a student of these outstanding professors.
5. Do you have anything to say to new students who will be attending this fall semester?
When I got accepted to KDI School, I was always worried about how I would live here as it is a foreign country with a different language and culture, but when I came here, I realized that it is the best place to study. Especially since Sejong City is very quiet and green, a great environment for studying. Also, I wanted to add that Korea was able to build a strong system to fight against COVID-19, and is now one of the safest places to live. Dear new students, don’t worry. If you are accepted to study here, count yourself very lucky and start packing.
Lastly, to those who unfortunately weren’t accepted for the Fall 2020 semester, know that I actually applied to KDI school thrice before finally getting in. So please do not be discouraged, the right time will come. If you are eager to attend, show it, and don’t give up. I promise it will be worth it.