Joonsu enjoys serving other people. It is no surprise, then, that as a student he took advantage of Messiah's various service opportunities, including Habitat for Humanity and a summer mission trip to Juarez, Mexico. He also participated in the International Student Association, serving as its Vice President from 1989-1990. Still, Messiah meant the most to Joonsu for its academics and faith. "I still think the education that I had at Messiah is the greatest impact in my life," he says. "I had good friends and faculty that helped me to be strong in God."
Joonsu's major provided him with the basic skills he would need in his future career, for which he is grateful, but it was Messiah's broader program of faith-based education that had the most lasting impact on his vocation. "The faith and values I learned at Messiah," he says, "are still strongly influencing my everyday decision-making process."
All along Joonsu planned on returning to Korea upon graduation, and he applied his marketing knowledge to determine the most career-minded way to do so. "When I was a student at Messiah, Hyundai started to sell its car to the USA," Joonsu recalls. "I thought Hyundai would need some people with overseas experience like myself and was sure that I would be able to make a contribution to the success of the company. Hyundai now is the 7th biggest automobile manufacturer in the world, and sells its car to more than 190 countries."
• "Do not be discouraged by the disappointing things in front of you."
• "Do not let other things hinder your communication with God."
• "Have a vision and goals. Sometimes you may have to alter them, but do not lose them."
• "Heed this piece of advice: 'An ordinary worker cannot compete with a hard working worker. A hard working worker cannot do better than a worker who has the ownership of the company. An ‘owner-worker’ cannot outperform an employee who enjoys his/her work.' "
Joonsu began working at Hyundai two years after graduating. Despite his desire to work there, however, it did not turn out to be his dream job-at least not right away. "When I joined Hyundai," Joonsu remembers, "I was assigned to the R&D Accounting team, which was not in my career plan. I wanted to work at Export or the Marketing Division. I thought my career path was heading in the wrong direction from the beginning. However, instead of quitting, I decided to do my best in the given situation and did not give up my vision." This nose-to-the-grindstone attitude paid off in ways Joonsu never expected. "I tried to do my best," he says, "and I had the highest performance evaluation and also had the highest score in the English test that Hyundai employees have to take every year. As a result, I was noticed by the Vice President of the Corporate Planning Division, and moved to the Product Planning Team to work on the marketing side of product planning."
Joonsu continued to climb the corporate ladder from there. "One of the important factors in choosing Hyundai as my first work place was the fact that Hyundai provides overseas education opportunities to its employees. I thought that I needed to learn more to achieve higher goals in my career path." Out of over 2000 employees, Joonsu was chosen by Hyundai in 1997 to attend Michigan State University for a master's degree in marketing. This included a company scholarship covering all educational expenses and providing a monthly salary.
Since then Joonsu has held several positions within the Hyundai company, working in Accounting, Product Planning, Corporate Planning, and Export Division. He managed the company's marketing strategy and served as manager of Hyundai's Europe Division, exporting cars to Ireland, England and Holland. Eventually Joonsu moved up to his current position as the Sales and Marketing Division Coordinator of the Hyundai Assan Otomotiv Sanyi, a joint venture company between Hyundai and the Kibar Holding company in Turkey. He currently resides in Istanbul.
Joonsu uses his position in the company and friendships with his coworkers to spread the message of God's impact on humanity. "My colleagues think that I am on the 'fast track' in the company," Joonsu reveals. "When they ask me what is the reason for my successful career so far, I tell them that I have God on my back and have His peace in me. I openly tell them I believe in God and how He has helped me in difficult and stressful situations. I try and pray that other people can see Jesus in me living my ordinary life."
Joonsu has doyen dreams. Never one to content himself with less than he knows he could do, Joonsu has set his sights on a top management position in his company. "It will take time and much more effort," he acknowledges, "but I will try my best."
Profile by Angela Kriebel, 2005