On August 22, 2018, in Pyeongchang County, CALS and the SNU Institute of Green Bio Science & Technology held a Career Camp for Pyeongchang County high school students. The camp was initially planned as a three-day, two-night event, but it was unfortunately reduced to a two-day, one-night event because of Typhoon Solic. The camp took place at the SNU Pyeongchang Campus, and it welcomed 33 freshmen (9 male, 24 female) from Daehwa High School, Jinbu High School, and Pyeongchang High School. Twelve students from CALSIAN (CALS student ambassadors) joined as mentors, and graduate students from the Department of Agricultural & Vocational Education joined as supervisors.
The programs included the following: Presentation of CALS’ majors by CALSIAN mentors; Special lecture by Professor Sang-Gi Kang of SNU’s Graduate School of International Agricultural Technology, titled “Agriculture: The First Biotechnology Industry of Mankind”; Ice-breaking and group activities; Career expo; and Goal-setting workshop. The career expo and goal-setting workshop were added for this year’s camp based on feedback given last year. On November 1, student reporters interviewed Jae-Ah Choi, president of CALSIAN and a crop science and biotechnology major, and a former Pyeongchang Career Camp mentor. During the interview, Jae-Ah pointed out the following three strengths of the camp: first, it is a program designed directly by experts; second, it is a program that continues to develop through active participation of mentors and constant feedback; and third, it is a mentoring program customized to the career path set by each student. The camp is planned and run by SNU’s best human resources development majors. In addition, the student mentors spend months preparing for the camp through workshops and meetings, coming up with their own content to share with the high school students. Lastly, the camp provides segmented and customized mentoring services to meet the mentees’ differentiated needs. By doing so, this camp offers high school students an opportunity to explore careers and shares how SNU students develop their careers. This helps the mentees to be aware of problems related to their career and to seek ways to address them. In addition to the interview, student reporters conducted a camp-satisfaction survey of 16 of the 33 student participants. Results showed that the overall satisfaction level was quite high, as most of the respondents answered “very satisfied” with the overall program, the place of activities, and the accommodations. Most of the respondents were “satisfied” with the intensity of the activities and the length of break times and meal times. However, more than 30% of the respondents showed a below-average satisfaction level in terms of meal quality, which highlighted the need to improve the meals in future camps. More than half of the respondents found about the camp by themselves, and the rest of them participated because of recommendations from teachers and friends, which shows that CALS sufficiently publicized the camp. A number of students answered that the camp helped them “to set future study and career paths, and to have a better understanding of CALS,” which proves that the purpose of the camp was accomplished, as CALS hoped. The most appreciated programs were group activities and the career expo. Many students mentioned, however, that the exchanges with CALSIAN mentors should be expanded and the camp should be longer. This Career Camp is a part of the effort for local community contribution aiming to support local high school students in developing their career capacity. It takes place in Pyeongchang and Gwangyang once a year, respectively. We hope this program will help many students realize their dreams.
[Figure 1] Photo of participants at Career Camp
By Sang-Hee Gu, Woo-Suk Jung
Student reporters, CALS