MBA Student Profiles

Kim Tae Kang

 
Nationality: Korean
Job Before INSEAD: Research Engineer, Samsung Electronics

Exposing myself to an environment, where there are different experiences and backgrounds, helped me figure out what I want to do and what I don’t want to do with my career.

Tell us more about yourself!

I was born in South Korea, but spent half of my teenage life in Thailand. I then went to the UK to do my bachelor and master’s degrees. I studied chemical engineering, focusing on sustainable development such as biofuel and desalination membrane. After graduation, I received an offer from Samsung Electronics to work as an R&D engineer. During my tenure, I developed the next generation LED chip, a new light source that forecasts to reduce global energy consumption by 80%. The LED I developed was for backlighting that goes into more than half of the Samsung LED TV product lines.

What made you decide to embark on an MBA programme at INSEAD?

After three years of working, I felt too settled and found work less challenging and life seemed too repetitive. I realised I needed a change, and an MBA was the perfect option as I wanted to expand my horizon from an engineer to a managerial position. From researching the top MBA programmes around the world, I learnt that INSEAD was able to fulfill all my needs. Thanks to my international upbringing, I truly value the power of diversity in a learning environment. Thus, it was not difficult to decide on the INSEAD MBA programme. 

Share with us your class experiences. 
I think most of my classmates would agree with me: when I say that even though you already know the topic, you are always learning something new. I believe this is because the classroom is filled with people from diverse backgrounds, creating a unique learning experience. For instance, a case can be interpreted differently depending on the culture, background, and nationality. In addition to the professors and course materials, the flow of various opinions makes INSEAD a unique place to learn. 
 
Please tell us more about the student clubs that you are involved in!
I am a part of the Technology, Media and Telecommunications (TMT) club, basketball club, and consulting club. Through these clubs, you get to build personal relationships with your colleagues and depict your future career by sharing stories with others. Currently I am in the leadership team for the TMT club, and I hope to help my colleagues connect with TMT firms.
 
Can you describe the “diverse culture” at INSEAD?

At INSEAD, you will always be surrounded by people from all over the world. Whenever we plan a trip, chances are there will be a colleague from the country who will plan a tour for us! For example, a bunch of my friends from INSEAD and I were at Budapest last week and a Hungarian colleague, who happened to be back for the break, invited us for traditional Hungarian cuisine and a wine tasting session. How amazing is that?

How has the Career Development Centre helped you? 

From weekly career event updates to on-campus events, the CDC seeks ways to help students to not only find a job but also identify what that person wants to do in the future. It is done through numerous sessions such as self-reflections, job search and networking workshops.

What is the biggest lesson you have gotten from INSEAD thus far? 

The biggest lesson is that I learned to understand myself better. Exposing myself to an environment, where there are different experiences and backgrounds, helped me figure out what I want to do and what I don’t want to do with my career. Furthermore, the study group interactions encouraged me to re-consider my teamwork ability and leadership style.

What advice would you give potential prospects who are interested in the INSEAD MBA?
I strongly advise potential prospects to figure out what they want to get out of the programme before coming to the school. Whether it is academic, career, or network goals since the programme is only a year-long and everything happens so fast, I believe that it is easier to maximise opportunities if you enter the programme with some ideas about what you want to gain from it.

 

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