ONE YONSEIAN not only passed the Foreign Service Examination but also did so with the highest score of all examinees. Bak Ggoch-nim (Sr., Dept. of Econ.) ranked the top of the 2008 Foreign Service Examination and now she dreams of becoming a diplomat specializing in the area of environment.
My university life became a strong foothold for what I have achieved so far. I became interested in environmental issues after participating in various kinds of activities. Taking part in the Korean Federation for Environmental Movement was one of the most important experiences I had. There, I became involved with several environmental campaigns. I also participated in the United Nations Environmental Program, and had the opportunity to share ideas with people interested in environmental issues.
Going to Norway as an exchange student was a turning point in my life. I chose a country that I would never be able to visit again. There, unexpectedly, I learned so much and discovered what I really want to do in the future. There were a variety of interesting classes to take according to my interests. In one class, I had an opportunity to participate in the Model United Nations as a delegate. The discussion topic was the North Korean Nuclear Dilemma, and I assumed that I would be the most familiar with the topic just because I was from Korea. However, the students were very fluent in English, and had extensive knowledge about the issue, far more than I had expected. I developed a deep interest in the field of diplomacy, and even chose my future career in that field.
I chose to take the Foreign Service Examination in order to become a diplomat. I did my best to study for it, but I never dreamed of ranking at the top. I think I was able to do so because of my strong belief in myself, as well as strong doubts about my knowledge. While I believed that I could do well, I always studied carefully, even the most trivial mistakes, so that I could take the exam with confidence. This was possible because I am laid back and do not easily get stressed out. Well, I occasionally did have slumps, and, at those times, I just took a day off to get some rest.
As a future diplomat, I hope to stay in various countries for at least ten years and research environmental policies in those countries. Right now, I consider global warming to be the most serious problem. It is not a simple matter because solving the problem is deeply related to the economic interests of many countries. Now that Korea has become a developed country, it is proper that Korea participates in the post-Kyoto Protocol system and contributes to the overall global warming issue.
Now that I only have one semester left until graduation, I sometimes look back upon the last four years as a university student. It was mostly meaningful but I regret how I did not do more volunteer work. Yonseians should carefully plan and enjoy their privileges as university students, and especially try to participate in programs exclusively designed for Yonseians. For those who are studying for the Foreign Service Examination, one must have the courage to believe strongly in oneself, regardless of how depressing the current situation is.
I realized that her most powerful strength was a firm belief in herself. It is not easy to have confidence in what we do, especially when we are uncertain about the future. However, she showed the courage to trust herself and challenged herself to her full potential. This, I believe, is the most important ability of all.