Chazen South Korea Kicks Off With Samsung

Halah Touryalai, 16′

It’s day two in Seoul for the South Korea crew, and we’ve already done so much

The kickoff dinner on Sunday night featured traditional Korean BBQ for 40! A group of tired but excited CBS students gathered for grilled meat and noodles. The jet lag wore off as soon as the tasty beef hit the charcoal grill. In traditional Korean style we were responsible for cooking our own food on the grill, and needless to say some of us were better than others with those duties.

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After dinner, a group of gals hit up Innisfree, a popular Korean beauty store. As you can see, we walked out happy.

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Monday’s agenda started early with a morning trip to Samsung headquarters. The firm’s Global Strategy Group hires many top MBA grads from around the world. Among those top grads are four CBS alum we met and spoke with, and who are now based in Seoul as part of Samsung GSG. Among the perks of working for Samsung as a foreigner: Stellar housing and Korean language classes for you and your partner.

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Samsung d’light is a big showroom displaying the company’s latest technology. The Chazen group got a private tour of this 2-story facility which included the new GalaxyS6, a 110 inch Ultra HD tv, and an led light drum room.

After a leisurely lunch, the crew headed to Maru 180, a hub for Korean tech start-ups. We got a look at some the projects including a technology that auto-generates responses to text messages, and a great solution to the spellcheck/auto-correct problem we’ve all faced.

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Maru 180 is a novel concept in South Korea where conglomerates like Samsung are in charge. Maru hopes to spur a more entrepreneurial spirit among the country’s innovators by given them a creative environment, expertise and financial support. Creating a viable start-up hub in the region is no easy task since failure is considered almost taboo in Korean culture. Maru hopes that over time South Korea’s tech talent will adapt the motto of “If at first you dont succeed, try try again.”