This trend started a couple of years ago in Korea. In 2006, Think Good, a media for university students’ contests, and Power Job, a recruiting site, randomly asked 432 college students who would soon be entering the job market what was the most important quotient for success. Some 42.6 percent answered NQ. It was also considered the top must-have characteristic for a chief executive officer (CEO) by 37.7 percent of the students.
Books related to human relationships maintain a permanent place on the best-seller list at both on and offline bookstores. “Korea, Be Crazy for Net-Tech (Network Technology)” by Chang Hye-jin, “Design Your Human Relationship” by Heo Eun-a, “Techniques for Managing Human Networks” by Kim Ki-nam, and “Being Rich in 10 Years with Network Management” by Kim Seung-young are some. Don’t forget the international best-selling “How to Win Friends and Influence People” by Dale Carnegie,.
“Human networking is regarded as a competition in current society,” said Yang Kwang-mo, head of the Human Network Institute and Korea Association for Corporate Education (Eduportal). “Good relationships and connections with other people do not just come to you. The more effort you make to meet people, the bigger and stronger human network you’ll have in the future.”
In one of Yang’s half-dozen network-related books, he writes, “If you sprinkle the seeds of networking in your 20s, your 30s will meet with big success.”
The popularity of gatherings like the Network Festival, which is open to anyone, shows that people want to manage their NQs. Eduportal supervises the annual Network Festival. The 2008 festival, which was the 22nd, included lectures and programs regarding managing and expanding close relationships with people. All festival participants bring a wallet full of name cards in line with Yang’s idea that “100 Name Card makes 100 Human Networks.”
University students participate in diverse activities to keep up their NQs. Another survey taken by Think Good and Power Job showed 38.2 percent of 432 students work as interns for big corporations, while 17.1 percent work as marketers or planners for special events. Another 16.4 percent work for academic-industrial cooperation programs.
Since the 1990s, students have participated in school clubs to make friends across campus. Now, their networks are expanding to joint clubs, community organizations and workshops with other universities.
“Since my network is limited to close friends and family connections, I tried to join other club activities to meet different people,” said Chung Su-jin (’07, Music). In fact, Chung said she met about one-third of her current friends in informal relationship clubs.
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