“The true measure of success is how many times you can bounce back from failure.”
- Stephen Richards
My name is Muhammad Umar. I am from Pakistan. I would like to share my story of living in Korea. I have recently completed my MBA degree in International Trade at Chonnam National University. I am the first Pakistani graduate of the university. After finishing my MBA, I wanted to pursue further education, so I took admission in PhD program. Now, I am studying Electronic Commerce/Business at the university.
My story started when I boarded the plane to come to Korea on 20th Feb-2011. South Korea is the landmark for business and financial studies. Its recent flexible policies on multicultural society and environment attracted me to go for the South Korea. For PhD studies, I have specifically chosen this beautiful Gwangju city because I had an awesome experience during my graduate program. It was nice; I have had numerous work experiences that further enhance my qualifications for this program. Also, I have gained valuable expertise in managing employees and creating work schedules. Both of these positions have allowed me to develop my management and economics skills, which are extremely important in an increasingly competitive market. My positive experiences here have resulted in my desire to stay in this university to continue my academic endeavors; furthermore, continuing my education here would allow me to make important business contacts and might help achieving my career goals.
I would never forget my first day at school when I met my classmates for the first time. Modest, the guy from Nigeria and Nina, the girl from Mongol. We became friends right away and are friends till this day. We had a lot of fun together. We used to go out, have party together, walk around the campus and experience the Korean culture. I must say that CNU professors are really kind, humble and very cooperative with foreigner students. The CNU international center staffs also have been very cooperative with foreigners. They are always friendly and try their best to solve any issue I am facing.
In the beginning, I faced some problems like language barriers, different climate etc. One important thing, I must highlight here, is the Halal food for Muslim students. Korean family culture bears some resemblance to the Pakistan family culture, but I must admit that education system in South Korea is better than Pakistan. I am glad to study in CNU and learned many things from our school. CNU give me the strength and confidence to share my knowledge to Korean people, and help understand Korean cultural norms and values. I must say that everyone should read South Korea history to realize how they passed through tough times and become a well-developed nation.
I have interests in a variety of activities including playing various kinds of sports, listening to music and photography, an interest that has always held a huge place in my heart since I was very young. The skills that I have learned and the knowledge that I have gained from CNU have affected my daily life quite a bit. During my stay here, I became better at communication, planning and self-motivation. These talents are major contributors to my success in my life. Resiliency taught me that there will always be another day to improve and achieve. Another major experience, where the life skills of resiliency and managing feelings helped me, was the recent death of my father. Shortly after my father’s death, our Standard poodle fancy also passed away. I love my city, Gwangju; people here are very cooperative and nice. They are kind and help foreigners as much as they can. Gwangju is a multicultural and democratic city. I love staying here because I feel an attachment with everything. It’s like this city has grown on me.
By Muhammad Umar, PhD Student, Graduate School of Business