Please tell us about your work.
Our team is responsible for managing and supporting the overseas corporations in America and Europe. More specifically, we review the problems and issues in different countries and work on safety accidents and taking appropriate measures. In addition, we support smooth execution of projects by diagnosis and inspection of risks in advance, act as a bridge between the corporations and different teams in the company, establish business plans for overseas corporations, and operate a conference system. I am in charge of Adampol and the Russian corporation in the Europe W/G in particular, so I take care of these two corporations especially in addition to common tasks.
What are the most frequent requests in your work, and how do you deal with them?
There are many cases when the teams in the head office make requests related to overseas corporations through our team. We share the information as much as possible to our knowledge, and try not to make duplicate requests to the corporations. Also, we work on the CWT between the company and the corporation, and corporation tasks that needs cooperation from the company, and maintain open communication.
It seems like your work situation is different from the others, how does that work?
As we work closely with people in the Americas (USA, Canada, Mexico, and Brazil) and Europe (Germany, Czechia, Slovakia, Poland, Russia, and Turkey), we need to work according to time differences. When we get to work in the morning, it’s already business hours in the Americas, so we share questions from the day before and requests with the resident employees through team meetings or phonecalls. The European corporations open in the afternoon, so we communicate with the residents in the same way. Of course, we sometimes have to contact them after business hours for urgent matters.
When do you feel uncomfortable or happy doing your job?
There are times when what we planned at the beginning of the year is delayed and we have to push the corporations, and I feel bad because I know how busy they are. I had also been working in the United States for a year as a resident employee. The corporations need to work on their existing tasks, make new sales, and deal with the head office with a very small staff. On the other hand, when we find that the corporations have accomplished the business plan goals that were set the previous year when we check their performance every month, and when the projects that we worked on together are launched or show good performances, it feels great.
What is the difference between when you first took this job and now?
As domestic businesses are becoming saturated, the importance of overseas business is increasing. The expansion of businesses and new projects of overseas corporations are being highlighted, and there are more opportunities for strategic collaboration with big companies, discovering targets for M&A, and reviewing their appropriateness. The role of the company as a global logistics player has become more important with the recent increasing demand for international shipping to America and Europe, the issues of supplying semiconductors for cars, the Suez Canal situation, etc. Accordingly, the supporting tasks are also becoming more diverse.
What are the abilities needed for people working with overseas support?
It is important to develop a global mindset to support business of overseas corporations in different countries. Take the COVID-19 situation for example, where the USA and India are taking very different stances. You need the ability to understand the global trends that change rapidly and the situations of countries, and prepare in advance for the expected issues and risks. It is important to become an expert in a particular field, or to be able to encompass various fields, but basically, you need to be able to communicate with consideration and cooperation.
Tell us what you would like to say to the people who work with you, and the people who want to work in your job.
Our job tends to get little attention, even though we work hard. I hope you won’t get too disillusioned, but continue working as you have been. Sometimes we need to be a neighbor and sometimes we need to be the bad guy. Let us try to be positive all the time. For those of you who want to work in this job, I want you to know that there are infinite opportunities abroad. Moreover, the job is great because you are able to see the direction the company is heading.
* All the photos in this column were taken while complying with the quarantine guidelines.
But some masks were off in some of them only while the photos were being taken.
Tell us briefly about Indonesia Corporation and your job.
Indonesia Corporation is a sole investment corporation established to manufacture and support sales through implementing an optimal logistics operation system, according to the investment plan for building a new plant in Indonesia for Hyundai Motor. It is currently preparing a business with 120 employees, but the size will be much larger when mass production starts next year. Here, I am in charge of business support such as administration for establishment of the corporation, human resources management, general affairs, safety and security, and legal affairs. Until now, the corporation was in its initial stages, and I have been working on developing a foothold in the country, supporting HR and facility infrastructure. In the future, I plan to fortify the system to support and manage more closely.
What are your relationships like with local colleagues, and how do Indonesians perform their work?
In any corporation, people who worked together from the beginning have affection for and rely on each other. We employed our staff step-by-step from the start, and we worked in cooperation by closely communicating with each other, so we have a very friendly atmosphere and we communicate well. I guess it’s because we are still a small organization. The characteristics of Indonesians are easygoing. The Koreans may feel more that way because they tend to be impatient. As you work with them, one sees that many of them are active and passionate, and they adjust to the Koreans’ rushing culture.
How did you get to work there, and what do you want to do when you finish your job there?
I used to work in HR management before I left to work as a resident employee. There are many areas in HR management, but I was lucky to have various experiences in planning, operation, global HR, labor, compensation, etc. However, I felt that I lacked something when I worked in global HR. There was a limit in planning, supporting, and making guidelines at the headquarters when I did not fully understand the real situations overseas. Therefore, I really needed to work overseas to become an expert in this area. When I return to the headquarters after finishing my resident work, I want to work in an overseas corporation setup and management system support based on my experiences.
How is the life as a resident employee?
I had heard stories about working as a resident through colleagues who had experienced it before. Thanks to them, I am adjusting with no problems. There are many Koreans living in Indonesia, so there are many Korean restaurants and it is easy to find Korean food. The difficulty is that Jakarta is the city with the worst traffic congestion in the world, and you need to consider congestion whenever you go somewhere. It is more dangerous for foreigners to drive, so it isn’t easy to get around.
Please give some advice to people who want to work abroad.
The big advantage of this job is that you can take the lead in your work, and that all the experience you gain will be your asset. In my case, I had an opportunity to break away from limited vision and understand the overall business of corporations including general affairs, safety and security, and legal affairs. If you have a desire for a new challenge, the life as a resident employee will be a special opportunity. As our company is a global logistics company and global business will only become more important in the future, working experience in an overseas corporation will be essential to become an expert in logistics. I therefore strongly recommend you apply if you want an experience to gain a broader global perspective.
Do you have a message for the local colleagues?
I believe that president and the resident employees of the Indonesian corporation have strong empathy and compassion for each other. And we are working on our tasks without problems thanks to our local employees who work with us. I felt at a loss when I first came here to work on the establishment of the corporation, but relying on each other is a precious memory now. I always wanted to thank everyone, but it was hard to express my feelings. I would like to take this opportunity to tell them how grateful I feel for their support and cooperation. Thank you!
* The photos in this column were taken before the COVID-19 pandemic;
some of them were taken while in compliance with the quarantine protocols by taking off the masks only while shooting the film.
Tell us briefly about yourself.
I was born in Korea, went to school in China for a short time when I was seven years of age, and came to America when I was an eight-year-old. After that, I lived in Japan for two years and in Colombia for a year. So I can speak Korean, English, Spanish, and Japanese. I also have a license as a lawyer, but I chose to work for an enterprise instead of working for a law firm. That is how I started working at Glovis Alabama.
What kind of jobs are you responsible for?
I am responsible for all tasks related to employees, such as events, training, surveys, company newsletters, etc. I am also the only lawyer in the company, so I take care of general legal affairs, including reviewing and drafting contracts, studying legal issues, monitoring the recent changes in regulations, and defending any lawsuits against the company. I work in cooperation with outside consultants for big cases, and try to inform the employees constantly about changes in regulations and legal issues.
How well-known is Hyundai Glovis in the USA, and how much did you know about it before?
Hyundai is very well known as a global automobile brand. Everyone I met has already heard of Hyundai. Hyundai Glovis is also already famous among suppliers of the country. Personally, I had not worked in the automobile business, and I didn’t spend my adult years in Korea, so I didn’t know that it was this famous. But I discovered the stature of Glovis while talking to my father who lives in Korea. After joining the company, I learned more about the role of Glovis supporting and mediating logistics business. Now I see that its role is expanding and growing.
What is the atmosphere like in working and communicating at Glovis Alabama?
We work mostly in a comfortable atmosphere at Glovis Alabama. There are very rare cases of arguments or dramas. I guess working in a peaceful city makes the employees peaceful, too! The management also has an open mindset, and any employee can talk about a problem when there is one. I always work on new ideas and programs to motivate the employees and keep them satisfied.
As an employee working in a global company, what do you think are the competencies required for a global talent?
First and foremost, an open mind and determination! If you have a positive attitude to work to learning new skills, you will be able to develop your talents over time, even if you might have felt shortcomings at the start. Also, a good employee should think beyond just developing his or her interests, like, “How can I make this department better?” You need determination to pursue such big thoughts. And creative thinking is very important; even if it has a different direction from existing norms; you need to have a determination to lead it and an open mind to accept the changes.
Do you have anything to say to the employees at the headquarters in Korea?
Hello! I thank you for your hard work always. I appreciate your efforts in leading and supporting us all the time. I personally like Korean food very much, and I envy you for being able to go to good Korean restaurants all the time. I would like to have a meal with you when I come back to Seoul again. Please vVisit Alabama when you have a chance! Lastly, always be careful and stay safe. I hope that we can all be successful with Glovis!