Chang Ok-ju (’81, Law,) is the first female top ranking administrative official in Korea working as the director of Division of Child and Youth Policy at the department of the Office for Child and Youth Policy Ministry of Health, Welfare and Family Affairs. Being the second woman to enter into public office, after passing public administrative exam in in 1981, [Chang has dedicated herself to her works in the Ministry for more than 20 years and was even awarded with the President Commendation for Distinguished Public Official in 1991 when working as a junior official.
Chang was advised by her father when she thought of becoming a public official. Chang said, “My father told me that a public official is one who that works for the nation and the people of the nation, and if an official devises a good policy and promotes it, nationals of the country can live happily and comfortably and thus, develop.” After listening to her father’s remark, Chang began to feel a charm of the career as a public official and began to prepare for the public administrative.
However, preparing for the administrative exam was not smooth for Chang. “Since my major was law, studying economics and finance, which were quite far from my major, all by myself was somewhat difficult. And since I was the only one who was preparing for the exam, it was difficult to get the necessary information about the exam. But I overcame these obstacles by subscribing all the magazines related to the exam that were out in the market and from this, I obtained necessary information,” Said Chang.
What gave her strength to overcome such difficulties was the belief that she had on herself. “I had the faith that nothing is impossible if I tried my best, I was not too conscious about the difficulty of the exam,” Chang said.
With the belief, Chang dared to live a busy and challenging life to pass the exam. She said, “I lived a mechanical life–coming to school at 7 a.m. sharp and going back to home at 11 p.m. Besides my class hours, I studied at the study room at school.”
But Chang also had some time reserved for herself to encourage and reward herself when she could not focus on the studying. “When I could not concentrate, I had some small events for me. For instance, I watched movies, or read detective fictions or even went till the last stop of the subway line number 2 by taking the subway at Shinchon station, without any regret,” Said Chang.
Chang said that the biggest strength of Ewha is that it fosters spirit of challenge for students to develop their dreams with confidence. “I want to tell the younger generation at Ewha to have ambitious dreams and challenge themselves to achieve their ambition.”
As the top ranking official of , Chang said, “As a person being in the apex of status as a public official, I feel a heavy responsibility. For the sake of people, especially for children and adolescents of to live a healthy and pleasant life, I renewed my readiness to propel policies based on the opinions of parents and young adolescents,” Chang added.