Different Paths Toward the Same Dream
Suh Joon (DIS '15) and Chong Hyun-joong (DIS '16)
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Becoming a police officer is not a common career path that students from the Division of International Studies (DIS) pursue. However, two students, Suh Joon (DIS ’15) and Chong Hyun-joong (DIS ’16), have fulfilled their dream of wearing the blue police officer's uniform that they always dreamed of.
Suh is currently working in the International Cooperation Division. He became a police officer through a special employment system, which is for foreign language specialists. As the practicality examination takes a large portion of the special employment system, Suh mainly focused on enhancing his language proficiency and translation skills. “Matching the time limit was my main concern when preparing for the exam. Solving sample questions from previous tests and reading the English newspaper were a great help for me,” recalled Suh.
Referred to as the ministry of foreign affairs within the Korean National Police Agency (KNPA), the International Cooperation Division has the main purpose of maintaining a strong relationship with foreign police agencies. Maintaining such relationships allows the KNPA to provide protection to the many Korean citizens who are currently abroad and outside of its jurisdiction. Suh provided an example of Korean citizens being detained for false accusations and how the cooperation with foreign police agencies is crucial in tackling such situations.
On the contrary, unlike Suh, Chong joined the KNPA through open recruitment. Fulfilling his military service as an conscripted policeman, it was his experience as an officer that allowed him to become aware of the recruitment examination. Taking time off from school to focus on the recruitment process, Chong prepared for the exam with his back against the wall. Managing to achieve a successful result with a single year of preparation, Chong is currently working at the Recruitment Bureau of the Education Policy Department as an inspector.
The Recruitment Bureau has the biggest focus on the overall recruitment system of the KNPA. It is responsible for not only the formal, open recruitment system but also many special employment systems, which are consulted on with other departments that need new personnel. Additionally, the legislation related to recruitment is also managed and revised by this division. According to Chong, Hanyang University has agreed to provide a location for the recruitment examination of the second half of this year.
Both Suh and Chong mentioned that studying in the DIS gave them a definite advantage when preparing for the police test. Suh mentioned how the interdisciplinary approach of the DIS curriculum covers a wide span of subjects that helped him with not only the recruitment examination but also with his current work at the KNPA. Chong emphasized the police administration course in DIS, which helped him understand the fields of international law and foreign police affairs.
As for advice to those who are preparing for the police recruitment examination, both officers maintained the importance of asking for guidance from predecessors rather than being troubled alone. They also mentioned that one must be prepared to accept hard working hours and high levels of stress. Chong explained that as their work is open to the press, one must be skillful in controlling his or her own emotions. Suh added, "Meeting with the dark side of society is not a pleasurable experience, and thus, it is important that one be prepared both physically and emotionally. Still there is no doubt that the work itself is worthwhile and highly rewarding."
Choi Seo-yong firstname.lastname@example.org
Photos by Park Kuen-hyung
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