Career experiences help young people to set a destination for their dream

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Wednesday, May 17th, 2017
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Seol Myoung-hwan, Seoul Metropolitan Office Global Internship Academy Head of Operation

Bill Gates imagined that everyone had their own computer on their desk and finally developed the personal computer. Steve Jobs imagined to walk around while using the internet and realized it through the iPhone, one of the necessities in modern times. They were just 13 years old when they imagined such special things.

Leonardo da Vinci was acknowledged by the Artist of the most famous workshop in Florence when he was 14 years old and started to show his talents in many fields such as mathematics, music, and painting. His works are valued at more than USD $359 billion because they are bases of the useful scientific technologies in modern times such as helicopters, automobiles, telescopes, parachutes and so on.

As we see, the age at the starting point of success is around the 1st year at middle school. Steven Spielberg dreamed with a small camera, Mark Zuckerberg developed Facebook, the most famous social networking site in the world, just for fun. The musical director Andrew Lloyd Webber and Marc Jacobs, the pre-head designer of Louis Vuitton also had clear purposes since they were young.

We are going into an ocean, called life. A ship without a destination doesn’t know where to go and it goes adrift in ocean storms and tsunamis. But a ship with a destination can enjoy the voyage even if it’s hard, because it has a hope to arrive soon at the destination. Dreams of youth are these destinations. A part of ‘Ode to youth’ by Min Taewon says, to raise one’s hands to the heart and hear the beating of a dreaming heart. The heart, beating with the excitement of youth, has power like an engine of a huge ship. ‘The hot blood’ may meet a bigger dream than the original with a power, searching joy and happiness, such as Christopher Columbus discovered not India but a new continent.

The free semester system, starting in this year, is aiming to help young people to make a destination for their dream. This system wants the youth to realize why they need a destination and what they make a voyage for. The career experience education purposes to support youth with an education in which they can have their own special dream and to know them how worthful it is.

This author put a high value on corporate social responsibility (CSR) in management, so is especially interested in youth career education under the slogan ‘The project to promote science and engineering in Korea’. The author organized ‘the miracle of youth career and vocational experience’ and other vocational experiencing programs, specialized in IT, and is still operating those programs. Last year, the prime minister visited the company and expressed his encouragement for the programs. On the one hand this author felt proud but on the other hand thought it’s not enough. For people without a goal this program is just a game. But for the people with goals, the author would like continuously make sure that this program can be an instrument for young people to realize their dreams.

In fact, it’s true that it’s hard to make young people have a dream and hope with the real career education which they already met. The famous futurologist, Alvin Toffler, said about the Korean education when he was alive, “In 19th centuries classrooms 20th century teachers are teaching 21st century students.” He criticized the private educational system in industrial times with a word ‘Obsoledge’, a combination of ‘obsolete’ and ‘knowledge’. It means that the Korean education has lots of problems. In last October, the Washington Post published pictures of an imagined Earth in 2000, painted by French painters in 19th century. One of the most interesting pictures was depicting a classroom where teachers put textbooks in a machine, connected to the heads of students who had an input device on their head. It might just be a coincidence but this author still feel bitter that it seems like they could predict our education 100 years ago.

With the new semester students started to prepare for the entrance examination. Every year around this time the French entrance examination, Baccalauréat, is mentioned. It’s an examination with just one short question. In 1996 the question was “Can we be freed from the past?” , and in 2000 it was “Can we judge other people?”. Last year’s question on 15th June was “Is less working a better life?”. Korean examination focused on choosing the right answer but the Baccalauréat focused on expressing their thought. Like this, education systems in other countries in the world are changing into the direction developing students’ ability to think. Edison sat on a batch of eggs and the Wright brothers imagined that they could achieve the dream of flight. Without these special imaginations, they couldn’t have succeeded. If a talented person is locked in the world of normalized common sense and generalized knowledge, he cannot be a genius.

This author hope that our youth, through career experiences in free semester, can develop their ability to think in which they can imagine without bounds. The world predicts a ‘Human 3.0’ which means people will live together with robots soon and the author hope that our youth will become owners of the future. The time of school education will not return. A worthier use of our future generation’s time is useful not only for the individual but also for society.

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