The Department of International Studies (DIS) kicked off its “After Dongseo Exploratory Lecture Series” on Monday, April 24. The DIS was very happy to have as its inaugural speaker Dr. Alok Roy, Secretary General of the Busan Foundation of International Cooperation (BFIC). A professor of Indian Studies at Busan University of Foreign Studies, for nearly thirty years, Dr. Roy entitled his presentation “Initiatives and Engagement: Global Manpower Development in India.” However, Dr. Roy’s talk went far beyond the scope of this topic.
The guiding purpose of the lecture series is to enhance students’ understanding of the opportunities and possibilities that exist for future personal and professional success after graduating from Dongseo University. The lecture series is funded as part of the university’s “Before Dongseo, After Dongseo” (BDAD) program, which is a myriad of projects and presentations to promote student well-being and future success. Dr. Roy met this purpose head on, providing a thoughtful and timely presentation for students worried about their own futures in a troubling job market.
Engaging students in both English and Korean to drive home his points, Dr. Roy spoke of the empowerment and freedom that comes with the ability to communicate on diverse topics in multiple languages. Lacing his talks with interesting anecdotes and data, his most poignant thoughts were accessible to everybody.
Presenting survey data on the number of newspapers read by university students in India, Dr. Roy extolled the virtue in the accumulation of knowledge and information which makes one more interesting to other people, and by extension therefore, accumulating information opens its own host of possibilities, if one can communicate well.
Speaking of his own interactions in the selection of new employees and interns for his staff at the BFIC, as well as information garnered from speaking with other employers who deal with hiring new staff, Dr. Roy emphasized the need for prospective employees to know what they personally offer their prospective employer should they be hired. To make his point clearly, Dr. Roy shared the story of an airline executive who was continually frustrated that prospective flight attendants would say they wanted the job for the joy of travel—the executive’s lamentation was to wonder why he should pay for their travel; what were they going to do for him and his business.
To close out his talk, Dr. Roy explained the notion of “connectography”—a merging of connectivity and geography. Pointing out that roads, railroads, pipelines and telecommunication cables each span more kilometers in length than the national borders of the world combined, he said students should be prepared to embrace a world where communication and understanding in multiple languages and through great diversity are necessary, yet, success is there for those empowered and willing to grab the possibilities.
*The lecture series will continue with a talk on entrepreneurship and starting an business in Korea, with Dr. Nigel Callahan, on May 25.