The Center for International Business Education (CIBE) at Loyola Marymount University (LMU), in collaboration with the Center for International Business Education and Research (CIBER) at Florida International University (FIU), hosted its second annual Faculty Development in International Business (FDIB) South Korea program from May 24 – May 28, 2021. Due to COVID-19 travel restrictions, the program was held virtually. The primary objective of the FDIB program is to broaden faculty perspectives about global business and support their research activities and internationalization of curriculum. LMU CIBE Director Yongsun Paik, Ph.D. served as the faculty program director.
The program explored the theme, “How Korean Companies Pivoted During the COVID-19 Pandemic.” A total of 29 participants from 22 universities and community colleges from across the country took part in this first-time virtual event, spanning various disciplines of business including marketing, management, entrepreneurship, and information systems and business analytics.
On the first day of the week-long program, Jini Shim, National Korean Studies Assistant Director of the Korean Cultural Center in Los Angeles, led participants on an engaging virtual tour of Korea and Korean culture. Shim brought to life the sights, sounds and cuisine of South Korea for all participants. Later in the week, K-Pop musician and internationally-renowned guitarist, SeHwang Kim, gave a presentation titled “What is Korean Wave?” in which he discussed the global influence of Korean culture and K-Pop. He wrapped up with a performance of one of his most popular songs.
Each day consisted of lectures, panel discussions and corporate presentations covering a wide range of topics on Korea. Corporate speakers included Angela Zepeda, Chief Marketing Officer, Hyundai Motor America; Sook Hee Roh, Vice President, H&A Marketing Communications Division, LG Electronics Inc.; and Jack (Giacomo) Palazzolo, Head of Marketing, Signature Kitchen Suite Division, LG Electronics USA. Tim Murphy, Chief Operating Officer and Mark Weinfeld, Senior VP, Managing Director, Innocean USA were instrumental in bringing the LG and Hyundai speakers to the event. Dr. Dae Sik Hur, Professor of Operations and Supply Chain Management of Yonsei University and Dr. Ku-hyun Jung, Chief Research Officer, J Campus led a panel discussion on “Pandemic Pivoting Strategies of Korean Companies.” Professor Seunghyun Lee at University of Texas, Dallas delivered a lecture on “Crises and Opportunities: Internationalization of Korean Companies.”
To enhance the participants’ understanding of the Korean business environment, Bradley Buckwalter, CEO of Blackwillow Meadows Real Estate LLC and an American expat in South Korea, presented on “Doing Business in Korea: From a Foreign Executive Perspective.” Greg Briscoe, Minister Counselor for Commercial Affairs at the U.S. Embassy in Seoul, provided an overview of South Korea and the KORUS FTA, and Mark Dries, Minister Counselor at USDA Foreign Agricultural Affairs, presented on “Korean Agricultural and Trade Environment.”
Megan Mocko, Statistics Lecturer at the University of Florida, reflected on her experience: “What I got out of [the program] was a cultural understanding of businesses with the data and to be able to bring that back to my students. I can tell a story now of South Korea, of the Miracle on the Han River, or I can talk about the pivoting and show the data that goes along with it, bringing it more to life.”
Dr. Herbert Ricardo, Business Professor at Indian River State College shared his thoughts about the program, “This has been so enlightening for me that not only am I going to share this in my classes, but I’ve also prepared a presentation for the faculty.”
Dr. Rose Maina, Chair of Business Civic Engagement Child Development, Business Entrepreneurship and Technological Systems at Los Angeles Trade Technical College, shared her reflection about the program. “One of the things that I took away from this [program] is how South Korea moved in one generation from being very poor to being a super-power nation and it’s because of the hard work of the people. Another thing I took away was the beautiful culture; I didn’t know very much about South Korean culture.”
Dr. Dennis Pires, Dean, College of Business and Entrepreneurship at Bethune-Cookman University, said, “The program was a wonderful opportunity for me to learn and interact with the industry leaders…and we had this great opportunity to learn about the business models and the strategies. My knowledge of South Korea was very limited, and now I can confidently say I know a lot about their history, the amazing culture, and definitely the music.”
“This is our first time organizing a virtual FDIB South Korea program,” said Dr. Paik. “We brought together top-notch scholars, experts and business practitioners on Korea both from the U.S. and Korea. It was so inspiring and rewarding to listen to reflections of the participants about how they will use the knowledge and information acquired from this program in enriching their teaching and exploring research ideas about Korea.”
Dr. Marki Jones, LMU CIBE Program Management Director, was also extremely pleased with the outcome of the program. “The program evaluation and feedback from participants were overwhelmingly positive,” she said.
Jillian Avendano, M.S.Ed, FIU CIBER Program Director, echoed, “We are so proud of how the program came together. The speakers did an amazing job in transporting the group to South Korea and we look forward to another successful program for 2022.”
LMU Center for International Business Education extends its appreciation to the U.S. Department of Education and the Title VI grant for their support. For more information about the FDIB South Korea program, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.