Getting a job out of college is no different than a war. It is a battle you have to fight when you can’t identify your target in the fog. Most of college graduates or students in the final year who try to get employed prepare for ammunition to win the battle. Then they start attacking the area where they think the target lies.
According to a survey by Job Korea in 2018, the average number of cover letters job applicants fresh out of college submitted until they got hired was 14.4. As intelligence is the key to winning a war, information is crucial in a job hunt. This is why they try to match themselves with the ideal talents companies are looking for and comb through stories and tips of those who already succeeded in getting employed.
Hyundai Card•Hyundai Capital (hereinafter Hyundai Card) last year picked interns after application document screening and three rounds of interviews. The internship began in June last year and some of them have recently been converted into full-time hires for 2020.
On Feb. 4, 2020, those new hires were assigned to different departments and started working. How could they have win the mind of Hyundai Card? Hyundai Card Newsroom met with three new hires who have just finished their battle. The following is their vivid recollection of the battle.A story of a developer who majored in liberal arts - Junki Lee, Associate at Engagement Engine Team
I majored in both business and data science. But in my battle to get a job out of college, “a developer who majored in liberal arts” was a stigma that fell prey to people’s prejudice. Even the slightest sign of me lacking knowledge in developing led them to think it was all because I studied liberal arts. I grew even more obsessed with data science. I took classes and was a member of both the Business Strategy Society and Data Science Society at the same time, juggling a busy life at college.
Instead of applying for a job at multiple number of companies, I focused on the ones that I really wanted to zwork for. Renowned IT companies were great, but I was more attracted to companies that were eager to launch new businesses by combining offline-centered products and services with digital elements. I decided to join a financial company focused on digitalization. In the middle of job hunting, I found a YouTube video by Hyundai Card that dealt with how its digital organization worked. Upon watching the video, Hyundai Card became my dream job place.
The hiring process of Hyundai Card’s “Software Engineer” job group I applied for consisted of an HR interview, a technical interview and an interview with executives. In the HR interview, which evaluated a candidate’s ability to think logically, my experience with the Business Strategy Society at college and my common knowledge helped a lot.
Junki Lee says Hyundai Card was his dream job place.
In the technical interview, candidates’ basic capacity required for the role they wished to play – such as computer science knowledge and logical thinking skills. Having been already interested in in-depth concepts and terminologies of data science, I was able to pass the interview relatively easily.
During the interview with executives, I fully took advantage of the experience of conducting group projects and participating in study groups at college. I tried to be candid about what I was good or bad at rather than pretending to be someone else that I was not. I think that worked.
Junki Lee presents the results of a case analysis at an advanced business course as part of entry-level worker training session.
Three weeks have passed since I got employed but Hyundai Card is still the best company to me. It has both the flexibility as a digital company and long-built knowledge as a financial company at the same time. Its employees work a flexible schedule and are encouraged to take leave. There are many places where you can clear your head in the office, so you can increase your efficiency at work by just taking a short break. Now that I have become a Hyundai Card’s full-time employee after a lengthy year in 2019, I would like to become a valuable asset as a member of the company’s digital department that is relentlessly heading towards offering “super-customization services.” I know adapting to a new environment will be overwhelming for now, but I want to try things out, learn and grow without being afraid.
I majored in cognitive science in college. Since the major combines many different disciplines including psychology, philosophy, brain science, computer science and others, I pursued career in various places after college.
I did my internship at an autism research center and an elementary school and later joined a healthcare IT company and a PR agency. I didn’t work for long but had intense experiences. But my mind changed and I was determined to build my career at one place for a long period of time. I also wanted to work in an area I had never experienced before. That prompted me to apply for a job at Hyundai Card.
I didn’t have any experience in finance. I didn’t major in economics or business, either. But if I applied to Hyundai Card because the company seemed like looking for diversity rather than predefined qualities in candidates. I thought my experiences could be my strength. I went to middle and high schools in Japan and college in the United States. So I introduced myself based on my diverse growing background and job experience. I also explained how my qualities could contribute to the company.
(Left) Yejin Chung (first from left) works on a team task during 2019 Summer Internship.
(Right) Yejin Chung (second from left) takes an entry-level employee training session.
When I was working on a certain task during my internship, I tried to have the right attitude and pay attention to details. I was assigned a task to come up with ideas to improve the current subscription model of the company’s U.S. entity. Obtaining basic knowledge of auto finance became priority. I had to analyze growth elements of subscription models and find out the status quo of competitors. I didn’t try to work on everything on my own. I asked questions to each and every member of my team and received feedback on whether my ideas made sense. I even made a conference call with the U.S. entity to listen to the proceedings of its subscription model business. Both my team members and U.S. colleagues were willing to help me out because they considered my task part of the team’s task, not just a task of an intern. I liked that they treated me not as an intern but as their “future colleague.”
This is my third full-time job here at Hyundai Card. Now I am set to add force as a member of the team looking after the company’s huge global market. As my responsibilities requires understanding of the rapidly changing mobility business in the global market, I have an immense challenge ahead of me. A new battle has begun now.It’s okay not to be an expert - Jieun Choi, Associate at PLCC Product Team
Jieun Choi (far left) cooks at a training session for new entry-level employees at Hyundai Card Cooking Library.
I double-majored English literature and business in college and focused on researching business strategies of IT companies and start-ups by being a member of the IT Business Strategy Society. I did my internship at a brand consulting firm and a food delivery app operator. I believe I worked hard in college but I was afraid when I had to apply for a job. I had a lot of experience but was nervous for fear I was not enough of an expert that any company was expecting.
But I came to conclusion that the fear came from my greed. Isn’t it weird for someone like me who got her first job out of college to call herself an expert? I was only a member of a society and interned a couple of times. Employers are aware of this too, I assumed.
“The qualities that employers want to find in job candidates fresh out of college are not expertise but the potential to grow into experts,” I thought.
Based on the philosophy that an employer should make its jobs attractive to new employees, Hyundai Card runs its own internal “Job Fair,” where entry-level workers can choose the team they want to work for.
I focused on letting people know I was ready to jump in rather than trying to prove how much I knew. On my cover letter, I selected a few anecdotes that explained in detail my strengths. When I was working on a project to find new service partners, I didn’t just look for new potential partners but proposed strategies needed for the plan.
I have been assigned to PLCC (Private Label Credit Card) Product Team. Hyundai Card allows its entry-level workers to choose which department they wanted to work at. All departments of the company promote themselves at an event called Job Selling and hold Job Fair afterwards.
I was attracted to the task of planning on a new card product at the PLCC Product Team during its Job Selling session. The job of finding new PLCC partners was in line with my internship experience, too. I wrote down my internship experience and my ideas about Hyundai Card’s PLCC business on a tablet and submitted. Luckily, I was able to join PLCC Product Team, my first choice.
Hyundai Card is seen as a leader of PLCC business in Korea. The company is poised to launch a new product, Korean Air PLCC in 2020. I feel more responsible for my work.
Jieun Choi addresses a customer’s queries at a Costco Gwangmyeong booth.
During the event called “New Born Activity or NBA,” a program designed for entry-level workers to experience the real economy, I volunteered to work at Costco, one of Hyundai Card’s leading PLCC partners. I wanted to get first-hand experience on site. I came to understand how important it is to meet with customers, recommend the right products, and to come up with good products. I want to keep working hard until I can say with confidence that I am an expert for sure.