In this series, we speak to IESE alumni from around the world to find out about the different paths they have followed and the impact of IESE on their lives.
Name: Jong Sock Park
Year of Graduation: 2008
Country of Residence: Korea
Current Employer: LG Economic Research Institute
Tell us about your work? What do you love most about it?
After the IESE MBA, I joined LG Economic Research Institute as senior consultant. LGERI is an in-house consulting organization that serves as the think tank for the entire LG group. We are involved in management consulting and advisory work for the top management of the holding company and LG affiliated companies. Our day to day work revolves around specific consulting projects for different management teams.
What I find most fascinating about my job is that it gives me opportunities to see through many aspects of the group’s business, something that I wouldn’t have been able to experience if I were in a given business division. I enjoy the challenge that comes along with such projects. For example, the outcome of the work needs to fulfill, and from time to time expand beyond the expectations of the top management. This is one of the most challenging parts of my work, and at the same time it is one of the drivers that keep me motivated to learn new things.
“Doing a full-time IESE MBA is a huge investment of time, effort, and money” – What did you think about this (1) before applying and (2) today, looking back in what your career has been?
Fortunately, I was very motivated in doing my MBA at IESE and at the same time, had full support from my wife. Indeed MBA does require quite some heavy investment, both financially and time wise. But looking back, this motivation and family support made it all possible. I was able to see the benefits of an MBA rather than trying to calculate the return on investment. Now 10 years after graduation, I still believe that an MBA at IESE was one of the best decisions I have made in life. The managerial knowledge, the way of approaching business problems, ability to melt into such a diverse environment, the memories of such family like atmosphere at IESE are just a part of the great things about the IESE MBA. I strongly believe it is worth the time and investment.
Tell us about the IESE MBA friends and fellow alumni you still keep in touch with today
I strongly believe that the community and people I met at IESE are what makes IESE very special and stand out. A decade has passed by since graduation, but we still keep in touch and give support to each other. The whole process is so natural and comfortable. IESE friends, faculty, and professors visit Korea from time to time and it is always so much fun getting together for lunch or dinner and catching up. Additionally, the professional career and footprints they are creating serve as another source of energy for me, helping me go another step forward in my career as well.
If you can do the IESE MBA again, would you do it differently?
Well, life is always full of ‘what if’s, but if I could do the IESE MBA again, I would definitely try to travel a bit more and get to know Spain and Europe better. And of course try many different excellent cuisines too!
On leadership, what is the biggest lesson you would pass on to the next generation?
Leadership, as I understand, is the ability to transfer your vision, energy, and the specific way of reaching that goal to others and persuading them to join that journey. So I believe that motivation is a very important factor in leadership, and this requires a lot of sincere communication.
At IESE, we practiced communication every day, and this has been very helpful both professionally and personally. Leadership is continuous communication and persuasion in pursuit of a better circumstance, a better world.
Who is Jong Sock Park outside of work?
Outside of work I try to focus on family matters, especially with my wife and our two children. I try to make the most of the time I spend with my family because I know that time is not infinite and what matters most is the present. One of the most exciting things that have happened is that I have taught my son and daughter how to ride a bicycle. Of course I had to run quite a lot in the process, but it was quite rewarding. Outside of work, I guess I enjoy pursuing small yet lasting happiness like this. Overall, I try to fulfill my role as a husband, a father, a son, a friend, a community member, an IESE alumni…
Tell us about any remarkable experience from your IESE days?
I had such great experience at IESE during the course of the MBA. Nowadays there are quite a number of Korean MBA candidates at IESE but in the Class of 2008, I was the only Korean and preparing for Multi-Culti (IESE’s biggest party!) was really fun but at the same time quite challenging! I cooked Korean vegetable pancakes and prepared Korean spirits for the event… Cooking such large amount was not easy! But getting together with such a diverse group of friends in such an international atmosphere was a remarkable experience, worth the effort.
Another great memory was the graduation ceremony. My wife and my parents flew over to Barcelona for the ceremony and enjoyed the fabulous graduation dinner at IESE campus. This was such a fantastic way to wrap up the 2 years of MBA, and to start another marathon in life after IESE.
If there was anyone in the world who you can invite to have lunch with, who would it be and why?
I know that it is not possible, but I would like to invite my late father-in-law who has passed away a year and half ago to have lunch with us. He has shown such great trust and mental support, and he has been a great father for my wife and her family. Well, time with our loved ones is not infinite and I hope we all take advantage of the love and happiness that we are given with today.
Pursue your dream MBA! Take these next steps today: