My CEMS journey…

Minkyung (Penelope) Kang
South Korean
Year of Graduation:
Exchange School:
Hong Kong University of Science and Technology (HKUST)
Current position and company/organization:
Promoter at Private Curve

Who are you?

My name is Minkyung, or you could call me Penelope. I was born and raised in Seoul, Korea and lived in the states for around 7 years. That included my stay in Chicago where I spent my time for bachelor’s degree in Music Business and Marketing. I actually do not have an extraordinary hobby – I would say listening to music if that’s the case? I have a wide spectrum of taste in music from jazz to EDM, and I feel like this is not applied to most of people in general. This kind of led me to the current job that I have in the music industry which I will explain in the questions below. I am currently living in Seoul, Korea to pursue my career!

What job are you in right now, what are your tasks and how do you like it?

I am a promoter at concert/festival promoting company called Private Curve. We currently produce festivals and concerts from international to domestic artists, including Seoul Jazz Festival annually, Ed Sheeran, Jessie J, Anne-Marie, Kodaline, and other shows. I work for two teams actually – one in the international relations team with tasks such as assisting with contracts, booking, hospitality and other relevant needs from artists. The other team is marketing, where I arrange meetings with labels, create contents, run advertising for platforms such as social media or Google Ads.I can’t wrap this up nicely by saying it’s always fun – I mean, how can an entry level position always be ‘fun’? It’s super interesting, fun, but can be challenging at the same time. Especially since I’m putting my legs in two teams at once, it’s hard to balance it out. However, I love the fact I’m not just in one single team and get to see loads of different sides of music industry. By working here at Private Curve, it helps me handle and be responsible for many tasks, naturally leading me on to building a wider range of experiences.

How has your CEMS experience helped you in fulfilling your current role?

CEMS was such an amazing experience for me, I would say. Dealing with artists coming from whole wide world, having international experiences from CEMS definitely helped out by allowing me to understand different artists and agencies globally.I honestly would like to put more impact on CEMS being super helpful while I was pondering what life is like. I realized the world was bigger than what I thought. Living in the states for almost one third of my life and actually have not been to any Asian countries before CEMS, I never had the chance to meet or greet anyone from elsewhere. CEMS definitely helped me to understand people from so many different cultures but also brought me the chances to apply for jobs in foreign countries. Without CEMS, I don’t think I would have been this culturally challenging of course, in the best way possible.

Why did you choose CEMS instead of another program?

I was looking into top international management graduate programs in Korea. There were many, but out of all, I actually applied to Korea University just for CEMS and it was because of the strong connection and concept of having ‘a global alliance’. Fun fact, I actually didn’t even apply to any other schools because they didn’t have CEMS – I think I actually felt the ‘exclusivity’ and the particular ‘connection’ the alumni had one another even before applying.

Which were your favorite CEMS-moments?

Absolutely during my exchange stay in Hong Kong! Hong Kong University of Science and Technology is by one of the far best schools I’ve been to – not just curriculum wise but also the whole vibe of the school and classmates there were amazing. I went to the library to see the stunning view and enjoy the perfect environment of studying. Going to the canteen was so much fun with my mates who were from Morocco or China! We would go out and have a couple of drinks now and then, and share more about life and not just school.Honestly, CEMS moments that I had in both Korea and Hong Kong were amazing because it helped me realize what it was like to be a home student in home country, and an exchange student in a foreign country. The whole compare and contrast were absolutely interesting enough for banning me to choose what was the ‘best moment’ out of all!

If you started all over with CEMS, what would you do different?

Don’t STUDY! This sounds super silly, but I realized that studying is studying, but studying also has a limit. I realized from CEMS that it’s not just about focusing on getting a masters degree. If I were to go back, I think I would go out a bit more and spend some less time in the library. I mean the libraries in both schools of mine were lovely, but I think I focused too much on studying that I had less time with my friends. My best friends that I made in CEMS, we still talk on the phone and skype, and would say that we have to spend time and focus fully on one another when we meet up next time!

Which is your favorite leisure time activity on and around the KU Campus?

Definitely going to the libraries, the facilities are amazing. I also loved to go out on the grass field at the main gate and just drink beer. Go out near to Anam Station and would grab Korean pancakes called ‘jeon’ and makgeolli. From simple studying to going rowdy by getting drunk, it all means something to spending time around KU campus!

Interview was conducted in March 2019