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“Until all 3,600,000 university students are happy” is a slogan adopted by Pop Monster, an enterprise that works to divert wasted advertisement costs to students’ benefit. Just as a monster would pop up in front of its prey and leave an unforgettable impression, Pop Monster wants to present university students with monster-like support. Choi Ji-eun (Department of Biomedical Engineering, 4th year), the founder of the enterprise, has developed the idea of acting as a link between corporates and students to create a win-win situation out of the understanding that majority of university students go through financial hard times and enormous amount of money is going into waste from advertisements. From inventing in high school to business in university When Choi was in high school, she showed extraordinary talent in inventing. In fact, her admission type to Hanyang was inventors selection. She has fostered a great interest in devising innovative ideas since she was a high-schooler, proving her talent by winning numerous awards in inventing competitions. The entries she contributed included traffic light for red-greed blind and wheelchairs for paraplegia and paralysis, both of which won her big awards. Because she decided to attend inventing classes offered by a teacher she met from one of the inventing competitions, Choi had little time to invest in her school study. This was a big concern for her parents, since she needed to put her best effort in studying as a high school student but her talent showed otherwise. "I wanted to turn what was wasted into something that was beneficial." “I knew I had to set my career path and study hard to get a high score on the Korean SAT, I was much more drawn into other things than studying. I just wanted to do what I felt like doing.” Choi neither studied for nor took the Korean SAT and devoted her time in inventing, which eventually ended up becoming her career route. Her interest and passion for inventing did not lessen a bit but grew even more ardently during her university years. In 2014, Choi entered the School of Youth Startup run by Small and Medium Business Corporation, which aims to cultivate innovative thinkers under the age 39. When applying to the school with an inventive idea as a requirement, Choi only had vague sketches of ideas for Pop Monster, but still gave it a shot. Unsurprisingly, she got accepted to the school and has been receiving training for startup ideas, preparing her to complete her startup business, Pop Monster. As a university student, she wanted to target university students as her business’s main beneficiary. Pop! Here’s your share! Since Choi wants to deal with the wasted non-targeted advertisement costs, she knew the first thing she had to do was to solidly set her target—university students—because only then the efficiency of an advertisement will improve. Thinking about what university students would like the most, she has worked with various companies to benefit both the students and the companies. One of the projects she worked on was handing out commodities of those companies to students and extracting surveys, ideas, and reviews of those items from the students in return, which could help improve those items. Positive response had been obtained from both students and companies. Pop Monster’s main role is to interact with and intervene in the relations among advertisements and its targeted audience. With some profit made from the business, she generates programs in which university students could participate and earn scholarship. Students are required to write their situation story of why they need funding and how they are going to use it. Those selected students then have to send a review to Pop Monster on how they spent the fund they have received. Themes of funding vary from transportation fee and monthly rent to back-to-school celebration and home-trip expenses. Choi is working on more projects and programs that could result in win-win situation for both companies and students. “Until all 3,600,000 university students are happy!" Jeon Chae-yun firstname.lastname@example.org Photos by Choi Min-ju
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