Challenges and Opportunities in Project Management: interview with Dong R. Jeong
Dong R Jeong is a Cultural Advisor/Business Development Partner at Buzz Consult, company that facilitates collaborations between Europe and Korea. We asked about her professional life as Project Management.
What’s your current job title?
Mine may not be known as other fancy titles out there, but it can be crucial for people who wish to establish any business cases between culturally challenging and different countries. I’m a cultural advisor as well as Business Development Partner.
What do you do?
My activities involve two ways. As a Project Manager, I contribute cultural expertise to build commercial linkages between Korean partners and the company to facilitate from day-to-day operation to corporate level project within the business development department.
Then, I become more creative for my own company. I promote, foster, match companies, and escalate activities for building business cases between European and Korean partners by proving socio-cultural information. Also, I emphasize to my potential clients, how cultural awareness and appreciation takes a considerable part in the negotiation process as a key to successful commercial campaigns. Depending on the likely partnership arrangement, I design and execute the implementation of an active communication channel between parties.
How did you end up into a Project Management career?
I used to work as a business analyst in the pharmaceutical environment some time ago, and also myself being a native Korean living in Belgium, I became well aware there’s a huge unmet need of a role to connect companies wishes to diversify their partnering companies. Both countries being noticeably active in the Pharma industry, it was evident to me they can be a good match for collaboration. However, though, what was blocking to escalate exploring potential business cases was the fact that both parties lacked cultural awareness for each other.
So, I decided to dedicate my knowledge and experience to support those parties wishes to work together yet having difficulties in initiating talks. Moreover, for doing this talk to be well heard, I needed to be well organized. One moment, I realized that I was doing Project Management and found myself again later as a certified Project Manager.
What’s the most significant issue/change you see in your community at the moment?
I see booming opportunities. My main area, for now, is pharmaceutical industry and biotech companies. More and more Korean pharmaceutical as well as biotech companies looking for global partnerships and collaborations, and one of the most active candidate countries is Belgium with evident industrial competency.
What are three things you’ve told yourself that you would like to learn in the next future
to develop you as a professional?
Firstly, learning to read body languages as part of my soft skill development. Understanding the person with different cultural awareness in front of you with limited action might be a significant challenge in the business environment. However, people do communicate with their body language to others, and I believe this takes priority to understand how our body relates non-verbally to escalate business activities.
PMO as a second one. Managing projects are exciting; however, only knowing to do so, it’s like to be a big fish in a small pond. I want to draw a big picture to grow.
Lastly, pursuing study in corporate finance. Connecting companies with goodwill is a good beginning. Able to identify the excellent potential partnering opportunities based on evidence is the next stop.
Getting a degree may not be an absolute necessity but surely a consideration for me in the coming years.