For our 50th Anniversary, EFMD has created a “Behind the Scenes” series so you can get to know us better. This conversation is with Hansol Park, one of our Managers for Business School Services in Prague.
Thank you very much, Hansol, for agreeing to do this today. Could you start out by introducing yourself?
Okay. I’m with the Business School Services department, where we look after EFMD’s conference portfolio. I’ve been with EFMD for almost four and a half years, and I am from South Korea.
So how did you end up in Prague from South Korea?
That’s the question I get most often. I did my Masters in Budapest for one year, and there I met so many different people, and there were so many different ideas. Yeah, coming to Prague and living here was not my plan. But my friends had been working in Prague, and they convinced me to come here. Well, not convinced. They thought it would be a good idea to try Prague. So yeah, I just moved.
So when someone finds out what you do, what question do they always ask you?
Yeah, well, first of all, it takes a long time to get to the point so they actually understand what I do at work. Also, because what I do is slightly different from my other teammates. My portfolio is rather broader. Firstly, I’m in charge of networking activities for the Middle East and Africa regions, such as the Middle East and Africa conference. Currently, we are rethinking activities for the region with the support of our regional committee members. Then, I support our two big conferences, the Annual Conference and the Deans Conference, and look after exhibitors and some logistics. And I am looking after our annual Case Writing Competition. Also, I am working for the EQUAL network, where EFMD is a member. So, my portfolio is not only just about conferences or organising networking activities but is more complex, I would say.
Learn more about Hansol in the video with Eline Loux below.
Nice. And what are you most proud of in the Business School Services department?
I think there are many things I am very proud of about the department and what we offer to the network. But I think that for me, the first thing is to be able to contribute and foster a nice and safe community and environment for our members to share their experiences. Which our network and our participants appreciate the most and find the most valuable.
So, if someone doesn’t know much about our Case Writing Competition, what do you like to share about that?
The Case Competition is run annually, and the main objectives, I’ll say, would be encouraging case writing and teaching in classrooms, which we believe are one of the most effective ways of learning. And by rewarding innovative and well-written cases, I think EFMD contributes to management education development. I think that would be the message I would like to deliver.
Sure, and what do you enjoy or appreciate the most about the EFMD network?
I’ll say diversity and to be able to experience that, actually. And it’s not just about nationality, but also about different backgrounds. I have also met some people who were working in a completely different sector, and they are now contributing to management development and education. So it’s really, I would say, enriching to learn from different people and different stories. And yeah, I think that would be my answer.
Getting to know you more personally, what do you think is the best way to start the day?
My best morning routine is to wake up early, around 5:30, and to have coffee to wake me up and go to the gym. This is the ideal habit that I developed last year. It hasn’t been that long, but I think it’s the best way because then you start your day with something that you actually enjoy. Because I enjoy going to the gym, and coffee mostly.
That’s very impressive. Do you have to go to bed earlier because of that?
Yeah, I go to bed at ten.
So, speaking of habits, what do you have now that you wish you had started much earlier?
Waking up early in the morning because I was never a morning person until last year. But I now realise that there’s so much time in the morning that you can actually make use of. Yeah. So that’s something that I wish I had started earlier.
What originally motivated you to try that or to change your habits?
I think mainly COVID. So, this is my COVID habit, I would say because then you really didn’t have anything to do. Exercising and waking up early were not my things at all. So I was like, maybe I’ll try. And it actually worked out, and I quite enjoy it.
Yeah, it’s a great habit to have. I used to do that, but not anymore. What is something you’ve been meaning to try but haven’t gotten around to?
Yeah, I have to think really hard about this one, I think, skydiving.
Yeah. I wanted to try, and there were, like, a couple opportunities when my friends were going, but then I backed out. Yeah, I think I’ll never do it, but I still want to try, but I don’t think I’ll manage. This is something that scares me. I think even more as I get older, you know.
So, do you have a fear of heights?
Yes, I think I have it. I was denying that I had it when I was younger, but I think I do have it. This really scares me.
Skydiving is something that not many people want to do, but maybe someday. You never know.
Thank you very much for talking with me today, Hansol. It was nice to get to know you better!
See more of our staff interview series.