Not everyone is given the unforgettable experience that Ousmane Dialla had when he traveled from his native Dakar in Senegal to Seoul, Korea. In the process, Ousmane immersed himself in a new culture and practices, and acquired new business skills for the future.
Ousmane’s experience was part of a program that brings regional employees of Samsung C&T to the company’s headquarters in Korea, as recently explained on the company’s Newsroom. The global mobility program helps participants get a feel for its operations and better understand the company philosophy and strategy. Of course, employees could receive such training through internal communication, but the insights they gain firsthand are invaluable and help to enhance their professional and cultural knowledge.
The initiative is called the Global Assignee (GA) program and has been in operation since 2008. It’s run by the trading group of Samsung C&T. A new cohort of international workers arrives in Seoul each summer and they remain there for anywhere up to three years. The first week of the program provides a gentle transition into a new working and living environment, as well as sessions that focus on company logistics and corporate culture. The company’s CEO also takes time out to meet the employees.
A unique experience
Ousmane’s experience was even more unique than most. He travelled to Seoul with his wife and during his time on the GA program, she gave birth to their daughter. “I just feel sorry the baby cannot speak Korean,” Ousmane explains. “But I think it will be a good reason for her to come back here at some point in the future.”
Ousmane is a manager at Samsung C&T’s Dakar Office, and for him, the exercise was a success. He was able to work on a wide range of projects, apply his knowledge of the African market and also build lasting relationships with colleagues. It was a two-way street – both sides were able to learn from each other.
Voyage of discovery
Like Ousmane, Alex Diaz, a senior manager at the Santiago office in Chile, was given the opportunity to travel to Seoul with his wife and daughter. For all three, experiencing a new way of life in a new country was eye-opening and very valuable.
Alex works with steel-related projects in Santiago so sitting within the Steel Division in Seoul was a perfect fit. Upon his return to Chile, his friends in Korea and all over Asia are now part of his business network. This will grant him an enormous advantage with future Santiago endeavors.
“The GA program provides you with the chance to understand the company from the inside,” explains Alex. “While you are here, you get to know the system, the culture, the work style, and the mindsets of the people at the corporate office. You really get to learn about the big picture of our global business.”
This June, the latest set of GA participants arrived in Seoul – 13 in total. Among them was Soichiro Aramaki from the the company’s Tokyo office. He says that in Korea he hopes to learn more about the steel trade, a major area of business for Samsung C&T. “I want to become a professional steel trader who can manage not only Japanese projects, but also those involving a wide range of countries,” he explains.
He’s in the right place. With the Global Assignee program, Samsung C&T hopes to broaden employees’ horizons by bringing an international community, as well as commercial and cultural understanding across the company,
Ultimately, Samsung aims to both increase international expertise among employees and bring new perspective to HQ, imagining a future when cultural and professional knowledge knows no borders.
Source: Samsung C&T