Seungmin studied for a bachelor’s degree in international trade, worked as an intern at the Korea International Trade Association (KITA) and moved to the University of Warwick for a master degree in supply chain and logistics management.
Following graduation, he started working at the Incheon branch of Dongbu Express as a container transport team member, before deciding to come to Cardiff University to pursue an MSc in Social Science Research Methods.
Read on to find out why Seungmin chose to study at Cardiff and what his experience has been like so far.
Student name: Seungmin Lee
Course title: MSc Social Science Research Methods (Progression to PhD in Logistics and Operations Management)
Country: South Korea
Year of graduation: 2021
Why did you choose Cardiff University?
Cardiff University has turned out many excellent Korean professors in logistics studies. As one of the leading institutions, the research findings and environment of Cardiff University were exceedingly outstanding. I was captivated by this footprint Cardiff University has made.
Do you think Cardiff University equipped you with the necessary skills for your job?
All professors and lecturers in the Logistics and Operations Management section (LOM) have insight and expertise. They make me improve day by day and encourage me to turn over a new leaf at the same time.
Regular meetings with supervisors helps me to recognise problematic situations in the real world and find out available solutions. In other words, Cardiff University has taken on a role of incubator for the coming generation, with good success. I am undoubtedly reaching up as a researcher on fertile soil.
Tell us about your course. How is it different from studying back home?
My course is split into one and three years programmes. In other words, a student has to complete master’s programme, regardless of whether or not they have completed a master’s degree already. Then if they succeed, a student will be able to register for a Doctor of Philosophy (PhD).
Generally speaking, most Korean universities tend to deal with all modules taught here in Cardiff University as one core module, titled ‘research methodology’. However, this programme consists of five core modules and one optional module as follows:
- Developing core research skills
- Qualitative research
- Quantitative research
- Foundations of Social Science Research
- Research applications
- Advanced issues in logistics & operations management research (optional module)
Therefore, it seems like Cardiff University teaches how to do research more minutely and in more depth than Korean universities.
In addition, the relationship between a supervisor and a supervisee here in the Cardiff University seems like colleagues rather than teacher-pupil relations. Hence, it contributes to making a wide scope to exchange views on my research topic.
What have you enjoyed most about studying at Cardiff University?
Doctoral Academy! It is literally more than supplementary events. I gained lots of necessary skills there which are definitely effective to becoming an independent researcher.
What is the best thing about living in Cardiff?
Cardiff City FC. We students can enjoy a football match at discounted ticket prices. When I was frustrated and stressed, the Cardiff city stadium was a flawless vent and it led me to be a season ticket holder.
One more thing! Bo-kyung Kim, a South Korean football player, performed a brilliant season in Cardiff city between 2012 and 2015. For this reason, we supporters welcome Korean students warmly, needless to say. Come and enjoy a very polished performance.
Did you feel it was easy settling down in Cardiff as a Korean student?
Yes. There is the Korean grocery store near the Business school where I could purchase necessary ingredients there. Moreover, the Korean culture society often gave me a hand when I felt homesick and I suffered from nostalgia.
Tell me about one of the biggest challenges that you had to face over the past year.
Cramming education was a serious malaise in Korea and it clearly affected Korean students’ learning style. Thus, Korean students tend to behave passively and be obedient to orders from a teacher. But, I am a conductor and player on my research now. In other words, I have to take the leading role in planning for the research, although supervisors guide me thankfully. Getting used to this environment was literally a massive challenge.
What would be your advice for prospective students thinking about coming to Cardiff?
Have no fear! New experiences in Cardiff University will show new worlds to people who want to challenge themselves or find what they will pursue in the future.