1. Tell me about yourself.
Dong Yoon: My name is Dong Yoon Lee, I’m a senior at CAU and I’m president of the GLAMs.
Soo Bin: My name is Soo Bin Oh, but you can call me Soo. I am in my junior year at Chung-Ang University and my major is Economics. I was the president of GLAMS last year, but I’ve resigned from that position.
2. What do GLAMS do?
Dong Yoon: GLAMS are students who represent the Korean students. They’re like a Korean buddy that can help with any questions that might arise during exchange students’ stays. They help the exchange students adapt to life here in Korea as well as specific tasks like ARC appointment and helping out with orientation and CKEPs (Cultural Korea Exploration Program).
Soo Bin: The GLAMS help all the exchanges students with living in Seoul. GLAMS are not tour guides, instead we assists students that have questions regarding dormitory, classes, campus tours, health-related issues, etc.
3. Why did you decide to become a GLAM?
Dong Yoon: I became a glam because my friend who previously was a GLAM suggested it. I thought it would be a good idea and also, I loved the idea of being the face of CAU to the foreign exchange students. I love the title “GLAM” and thought it would be a great experience for me.
Soo Bin: I wanted to become more globalized and wanted to become some sort of ambassador at school. Therefore, I looked up a lot of activities and found that being a GLAM was perfect because it combined the two things that I searched for. Moreover, I want to work abroad in a global company in the future, which is another reason why I wanted to become a GLAM.
4. What is your most meaningful experience as a GLAM?
Dong Yoon: My most meaningful experience was during the winter semester because I was able to quickly befriend the exchange students since we met almost every day and we went on a lot of CKEPs. I had a lot of time to talk to the exchange students and befriend them. It seems worth it because a lot of students at the end of the semester gave me gifts because they appreciated the work I did for them and it made me feel accomplished.
Soo Bin: The most meaningful experiences would be helping the exchange students. For example, some students bought pillows for their rooms at an expensive price, so I helped them refund the pillow and searched for a better priced pillow for the students. Another memorable experience would be when I brought one of my buddies to the hospital because they were sick. During that visit, I helped them take care of the situation. Those are my most meaningful experience as a GLAM.
5. Is it tough to work as a GLAM?
Dong Yoon: My job as a GLAM is difficult because I’m working as the president. I personally have a lot of responsibility, not only do I have to take care of the exchange students I am also in charge of all the GLAMs. Being a GLAM is physically and mentally demanding but still I am grateful for the experience as I am able to improve myself in many areas such as work experience and my English-speaking skills.
Soo Bin: Last year when I worked as the GLAMs president, it was really tough. There were more students than I expected so the workload was hard. However, since I work as an ambassador now, I think it is a reasonable amount of work and that it isn’t tough.
6. How has your experience as a GLAM changed over time?
Dong Yoon: Over the course of being a GLAM and especially during the first semester it was difficult because it was my first time doing any sort of work like this. It was hard to organize everything but now with one semester of experience under my belt I feel that I definitely got the hang of this and we all work a lot better and everything runs smoothly. The GLAMs work well together and we always accomplish the task at hand.
Soo Bin: Best thing I’ve experience as a GLAM that changed over time would be my personal attitude towards communicating with foreigners. Since South Korea is a homogenous society, the people here hardly speak English to each other. Working as a GLAM helped me step out of my comfort zone to talk in English to foreigners. Now I don’t think it is scary to talk to them because they are just humans as well.
7. Tell me about the GLAMS organizational structure.
Dong Yoon: Including me, there a 3 people in charge of the GLAMs, I myself am the president, and there are also 2 vice presidents, the 3 in command deal directly with the coordinators and we also deal with the rest of the GLAMs. There’s 3 departments, the design team, the planning team, and the third team which I call “Do-team” are the doers, the people who get work done. We all work together but splitting up the workload into 3 groups makes the tasks seem manageable without overwhelming us.
8. Give me an example of an expectation and a reality of working as a GLAM?
Dong Yoon: I thought the GLAM work would be really tough and there wouldn’t be many chances to get closer to the exchange students. But in reality, I feel like I had a lot of chances to get close to my buddies and other exchange students which makes the job feel worthwhile. I have gone out with exchange students and am close friends with some of them.
Soo Bin: The GLAMs workload and activities are much better than I expected. Before becoming a GLAM, I thought that it was going to be too much work, or that it would be a bit tough. However, since becoming one, it was wasn’t like that. If I didn’t become a GLAM, I wouldn’t have come across the experiences that I currently have, therefore I think this time is very valuable.
9. What do you think about working at OIA (Office of International Affairs)?
Dong Yoon: Working in the office is great because I can attribute something to an organization and I also feel most productive here. I help out the office quite a bit and it’s a great experience since this is my first time working in this environment. Also, when a lot of students come to OIA for help I can often solve their issue and I feel a sense of pride for that. I feel as though I am doing my job very well here in OIA.
Soo Bin: The GLAMS work in 2 different places, the E-lounge and OIA. The OIA is different because you feel like an intern here. You help the employees promote the GLAMS, exchange students, and CAU. While doing these tasks and other office-related tasks, I learned a lot about office work and I feel as if I am an employee in the office.
10. What have you learned while working as a GLAM?
Dong Yoon: As a GLAM I’ve learned three things:
Leadership. As the president of the GLAMs I learned how to manage a team of people and how to guide everyone in the right direction. At first it was a daunting task but now I’m able to take charge of a group and take lead with ease.
Communication. Since I need to lead a group I have to listen to many people and get everyone a chance to have their voices heard. You have to give everyone a chance to speak and also, I have to be ready to hear “no” as an answer. Even though you always have to work out any issues or difficulties to continue working.
Confidence. Before being a GLAM I never would volunteer but now I always jump at the opportunity to speak in front of crowds. There is no longer any hesitation to speak in front of a large crowd.
Soo Bin: GLAM activities are like long, complex team projects. Since there are so many GLAMS, we all need to work together to prepare projects. Therefore, I believe that I’ve become more of a team player and that my communication skills are improved.