|“DEAR STATUE of the Eagle, even though my love for you is unreturned and one-sided now, I will make Yonsei remember me in the future,” thought a young Paik Ji-yeon (’83, Dept. of Psych.) as she stood gazing at the statue, the symbol of Yonsei Univ. A few years later, this ambitious girl became an exemplary female announcer and a role model of many women. Paik undertook many different jobs in diverse fields and is currently a radio host as well as a representative of her own company, “PJY Speech Korea,” which teaches communication skills.
Annals: You were known as the “Brooke Shields of Yonsei” during your school days. What type of student were you at Yonsei?
Paik: I was just an ordinary student. The rumor that I looked like Brooke Shields made me very uncomfortable, even in class. I usually went home right after school and studied, without participating in any club activities or going out to the discotheque. It is a shame that I did not experience a variety of things. In order to enrich their lives, university students should use the freedom given to them to broaden experiences. In this way, they can look at the world from a wider perspective.
You are one of the youngest and the longest-lasting Korean newscasters. What is your secret to maintaining such success?
I think it is sincerity as well as professionalism, love, and passion for my job. I’m never late for work and I make sure I keep promises to others. I also keep promises I make to myself, which is even harder. To overcome the obstacles which diverted my efforts, I focused on bracing myself up everyday to accomplish my tasks. I have twenty years of experience in broadcasting, and anyone who has worked in a job for that long can become stereotyped. People desire honor, wealth, or human relationships, but once they attain such values, they often degrade them. It’s important to maintain a career and love it with passion, while not using it as a stepping stone in order to reach another goal.
Many university students these days do not know what they want to do in the future. What suggestions would you offer them?
Koreans are overly concerned about reputation. I think talking about uncertain rumors about others is a waste of energy. Students often ask questions like, “Did you study a lot?” or “How did you do on tests?” around the exam period, but what’s the point? Talking about others is living others’ lives. Instead, you should concentrate most of your energy on analyzing yourself in order to know yourself better. You should always look back at yourself, while thinking about what you did wrong or what you should have done. Through this analysis, you will be able to understand yourself better. No one knows and loves you more than yourself.
Any lasts words for the Yonseians?
I have loved Yonsei since I was young. When I was still a high school student and did not feel like studying, I visited the Yonsei campus and made a vow to study hard and get into Yonsei. Also, of all the awards that I have received, I value “Award for a woman who brought glory to Yonsei Univ.” the most. The students who are currently in school may not realize it, but living as a Yonseian in society
will provide them a strong support network. I wish that every student feels a sense of duty to enhance the prestige of Yonsei.
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Meeting Paik, I could feel charisma radiating from her, which seemed to have welled up from her substantial self-confidence. Like Paik, who continues to express her passionate love for Yonsei and her career, why don’t we fall in love with Yonsei, and reaffirm our will and purpose everyday?