What is your dream? What kind of efforts are you putting in to achieve your dream? Aren’t you afraid of the challenges that lie ahead? People have their own dreams, but most of them only think of their dreams and do not try to accomplish them. When they need to determine their own future, they follow what others do rather than what they want to do---sadly, people tend to throw their dreams away for fear of failing.
However there is a person who puts her efforts day and night in to achieve her dream. She is none other than our own Gachon University student Kim Hye Joo. She actively plays a part in various fields, such as MC, radio DJ, college lecturer, and voice actress. We met with her and talked about her passion and dreams.
1) How did you get in to such a colorful career?
When I was young, I was very curious about everything and asked a lot of questions in various fields because I always wanted to know the answers to what I was curious about. I also enjoyed education and learning other things. My parents were kind enough to let me learn whatever I wanted to learn. I had a lot of dreams ever since I was a child, but the ones that stood out the most were being a voice actress, radio DJ, and being a professor. When I was in kindergarten, I used to introduce something or someone and play songs like a DJ, sing along, and even record songs. I played a wide variety of parts by changing my voice. I had been recording like that up until I was in high school. When I was in high school I still had many dreams like becoming an anchor, reporter, certified public accountant, pianist, actress, voice actress, radio DJ, MC and professor. One day, I was chosen for the theater group and began to try accomplishing my dream at the time, which was to become an actress. I was able to choose my major without any trouble because my parents always supported what I chose to do. So I got into the department of theater at Seoul Institute of the Arts. After graduating, I transferred as a junior to the department of piano at Kyungwon University (now, Gachon university). I did everything that I wanted to do on campus. I was working as a college student reporter for the Daily Sports, not to mention I also participated in campus clubs. After graduation, I worked as a professional reporter for 8 months and sometimes as an MC at big events. Also, I attended voice acting classes at KBS academy, and then passed the exam for KBS voice actress and became a voice actress. After 3 years of working as a voice actress, I studied more and finished my master and doctorate program. I started to give lectures at a college and this is how my career got some variety.
2) Your career started off as a voice actress. How did you come across it?
Out of all my dreams, I wanted to become a voice actress the most. I found being a voice actress attractive because voice actresses can play various roles regardless of age and sex. When I was in college, I took the exams to be selected as voice actress 5 times, but I failed each one of them in the first part of the test. At that moment, I realized I was perhaps too conceited and decided to attend classes in voice training at the KBS ACADEMY to start from the basics. After that, my perspectives changed in front of a microphone because my mindset had changed. Finally, I passed the exam for voice acting and I got the job through open recruitment at KBS in 1999.
3) You graduated from the department of theater at Seoul Institute of Arts. What made you transfer to the Piano department at Gachon University?
Playing the piano was always my hobby and my special ability too. After graduating from Seoul Institute of Arts, my parents suggested that it would be beneficial for me to attend a university that teaches piano again while I prepare to go abroad for language training. I accepted the proposal and I started to practice the piano from the beginning. While practicing, I decided to take an entrance exam for special admission at Gachon university. All examinees studied music at college except me. But, I came through a competition rate of 39 to 1 and got in. Maybe it was because my interpretation of music for the piano was unique. I turned a story into a piano piece and played with emotions since I was in theatre. The melody was the same, but I think it gave the professor a different impression.
As such, I transferred to the department of piano because I thought that I could broaden my perspective on Arts by studying a different form of art. I also thought that one day I could teach my students in various fields. In other words, I chose the department of piano in the belief that it would create a synergy effect between many forms of art.
4) Have you ever come across a slump period while you tried different challenges? If you have, how did you overcome them?
Sure, I experienced slumps and I overcame them by thinking about my future. If I consider quitting, everything I envision of my future would be gone too. Then I would see a dark and depressing side and panic at the prospect that I would reach a certain limit of my future success. Then I would snap out of the paranoia, overcome the slumps, and get back on track.
5) Do you have any regrets about your choices while trying various challenges?
I don’t have any regrets because I had various dreams and diverse experiences and I have thought about my future a lot since when I was young. Also, I have the courage to find other options when I have made wrong choices. I feel that I can change my career anytime and if I have regrets about my choice, I would change my decision anytime.
6) What do you feel most happy when you work?
I feel very happy when I hear that my students make positive changes in their lives by having hope or gaining courage through my lectures. In addition, it is always a wonderful feeling to know that others have gained strength and happiness when they send me radio requests or text messages.
7) I heard that you joined a comedy club and musical club quite unexpectedly. How did you make such a decision?
When I was at the freshman orientation, I sang and danced for the talent show. After my performance, I acquired the nickname ‘Mazinger’ and I became a celebrity at the Seoul Institute of Arts. So, I was selected as a special member in the comedy club. There were a lot of castings because the club was well known. Today, there are still a lot of famous celebrities from the comedy club. I too, received a lot of offers to become a comedian, but I politely declined, since at the time, my primary goal was to graduate. If I had accepted the proposal, who knows, I might have become a famous comedian, but I have no regrets about my decision. Had it not been for that decision, I would have never had the chance to study music.
I love music and acting and I wanted to be a musical actress that combined music and acting. Becoming a musical actress was also one of my dreams when I was in high school. So, I joined the musical club and performed in musicals. My college life was very joyful.
8) Your passion for learning is amazing. How did you decide to study for your doctorate and lecturing?
I wanted to strengthen my studies academically and through practical techniques. I figured that theory and practicing technique were the key components to accomplish my dreams. It was important for my dreams (especially becoming a professor). This led me to attend graduate school and study more after my contract for voice acting was terminated. After finishing graduate school, I began to give lectures in the department of voice acting at the Korean Broadcasting Academy. It helped me realize how to teach college students in my own way. I went to graduate school at Sangmyung University majoring in theater late in 2007 and started studying for my doctorate in 2008. Recently, I finished my doctor’s coursework and all I have remaining is my final paper. Though, I still continue to lecture.
9) Who is your role model and why?
President Lee Gil-Ya, who taught students through love and passion and has performed valorously and resolutely, is my role model. I really want to dedicate my life to train pupils in a better educational environment like she has done, as I believe that many students grace the world trying to change the world for the better. I admire her efforts in creating an educational environment in the difficult environment of Korea and her ability to manage the global Gachon university.
10)I heard that you have written something called ‘the Sensitivity Note.’ Tell us about your ‘Sensitivity Note.’
I think I am an outstanding observer and I am very sensitive too. The ‘Sensitivity Note’ is a note in which I record what I feel in my daily life---my feelings and emotions in some funny or impressive situations. Unlike a common diary, it is the expression of words, feelings, and thoughts that are described through graphic symbols. I named the note ‘Sensitivity Note’ and I began writing it when I was 20 years old. My habit of keeping a diary everyday led me to start this. I do not write every day, but after years and years of writing, it has piled up. The ‘Sensitivity Note’ has become a tool to teach my students and broadcast programs. Later in my life, I want to publish stories from my ‘Sensitivity Note’ as books.
11) What are your plans for the future?
My goals for this year are to start writing a thesis for my doctorate and try to become a part time professor for lectures. I decided to put aside piano lessons and theater, as I need my time to write my thesis. I will concentrate on college lecturing, broadcasting, and writing my paper. Ultimately, my dreams are becoming professor and an FM DJ on radio. If I were to be hungrier then I want to become a talk show host on TV. Another dream I would one day love to accomplish is to give a lecture at Gachon University.
12) Please leave a message to the university students who are hesitant to reach their goals.
Try to experience many things first. Try to participate in clubs and read books and newspapers in all sorts of fields. Travel around the world or nationally, and it’s also good that you study abroad in different languages. Build up your independence by listening to the advice of your superiors and collect a lot of information.
Don’t search for a career in which you assume you can get help. There are many different career paths that we do not know about, and we shouldn’t be afraid to change our career in new paths that lay ahead. Things that you know may not seem to correlate with your career, but it is good to have new experiences where we are clueless of. I think the recipes for success are challenge, change, courage, and passion. Don’t be afraid of challenges, change, and even failure. When you stumble or fall, courage can rebound us again and you should know this is very important in life. And without failure there is no success. Please remember, life is long and you should not decide your life by following other’s whenever the going gets tough. You should be the one responsible for your life, not others.
Most importantly, enjoy your college life. Don’t be distracted by finding your future occupation too much. I heard that money is not given to everybody equally, but time is given to everybody equally. It is important to use the time wisely and beneficially as much as possible. When you study, study hard and enjoy it and when you party, party hard and enjoy. I hope everyone enjoys their college years and plan your own future as you enjoy your life.
During the interview with Kim Hye Joo, we couldn't stop laughing at her positive energy and her advice often made us feel warm inside. We could feel her passion about her career and dream, but above all, we could feel her love for herself. Kim is still full of passion about her own dreams and I hope that, through her words of wisdom, students at Gachon University can achieve their dreams by being confident about our dreams and doing their best in everything.
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