My CEMS journey…

Woojai Byun
South Korean
Year of Graduation:
Exchange School:
Keio University
Current position and company/organization:
Foreign Trade Department of Samri Co. Ltd 

Who are you?

My name is Woojai Byun. I was born in 1992 and raised in Seoul until 15. I moved to a small boarding school in Seattle, US, and lived there until the graduation of college. I have graduated from the University of Iowa with an International Studies major and Entrepreneurial Management certificate. I went to Korea University for the Global MBA program, and did CEMS Masters in International Management. My hobby is to play baseball. I was pitcher of Iowa Redhawks baseball team during the college. I am living in Gimpo, which is near my company.

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

I am working for Samri Co. Ltd, which is a trading and manufacturing company for supplementary material for casting irons. My job is to do the foreign trade. However, currently I am learning about the manufacturing part of the casting irons. In the future, I will be taking charge of trading with Japanese companies. I am hoping to use my CEMS experience in Japan in the future. Furthermore, I would like to expand the business to the world. In upcoming June, I will be going to Germany with the sales department to attend the international trade fair quartet, GIFA. 

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

CEMS has expanded my connection to Europe and Japan. Especially since about 60% of our company’s trading is with Japan, so learning about Japanese language, culture, and business is actually helping my current work. I have met and made connections with the customers when I was on exchange. 

Why did you choose CEMS instead of another program?

I was looking for a MBA program that is focused on international business. CEMS requires an exchange program and international internship, so I thought CEMS is the best program. I was particularly willing to study in Japan, since it is one of the biggest trading partners for Korea, and our company. 

Which were your favorite CEMS-moments?

My favorite CEMS-moment was Ipselenti and the Ko-Yeon games with GMBA people. I strongly recommend it to all the future CEMSies coming to Korea. I believe the MBA program is more about making connections than studying. IIpselenti and Ko-Yeon games are the best event that represent Korean and Korea University’s culture. It definitely will make you closer to the program. 

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

I would prepare more for the internship. I had to prepare the job interviews during the business project, and the support from the Keio CEMS office was not enough. I had few goals for my exchange but could not achieve most of them. These days, I regret this part a lot. I think I could have enjoyed it more if the internship was fixed beforehand.

Interview was conducted in April 2019