Arirang TV is the Korea international broadcasting foundation where international viewers get insight into Korea. As the country’s English-language channel, Arirang TV is broadcasted in 188 countries.
“I had interest in reporting and began to prepare for major broadcasting companies entrance exams,” Hwang said. “Then I heard about the recruitment of Contenders participants.”
Contenders is a reality television show in which a number of applicants compete to become an Arirang TV news reporter.
One-hundred-and-fifty applicants took part in the first round, which consisted of camera tests and an interview. Eight selected finalists competed for four weeks through the process of elimination.
Each week, judges evaluated participants on common sense, debate and presentation skills, cooporate skills, ethical interviews and broadcasting skills.
“The most difficult mission was choosing a topic and completing a news package of one minute and 30 seconds,” Hwang said.
“From selecting a controversial topic and finding statistics, to retrieving interviewees and appropriate scenes, the tasks were demanding. However, with the support of my mentor reporter and camera director, I was able to complete the mission.”
Some of her rivals were Kon So-a (Hankuk University of Foreign Studies), who speaks six languages, Park Yoo-jin (Wisconsin University), who has broadcasting experiences and Hong Jung-yoon (Kyunghee University), who has worked as an MC and interpreter.
“Every stage began with a zero-base system, so I couldn’t lower my guard,” Hwang said. In each challenge, Hwang scored the highest.
According to Hwang, her strengths were the motivation to experience new things and her international background. “During vacations, I spent time adventuring in diverse fields I took interest in,” Hwang said. “I joined various school programs, conferences, domestic and international internships and an exchange student program.”
Lectures on international relations, law and economics, and the English speaking environment at school helped her to become a well-rounded person.
“It was especially helpful during the three-dimensional ‘interview’ process,” Hwang said. “Later, I realized that the activities I participated in could be summarized in one word, ‘international.’”
By the time the competition reached the end, judges were blown away by Hwang’s performance.
“I remained energetic and active, despite the tension and long recording sessions. I think the judges saw liveliness in me,” Hwang said.
Hwang treasures people skills the most even when it comes to competing with each other.
“I actually mind more on getting along with others in the company and representing myself as a responsible person,” Hwang said.
Moreover, Hwang recommends Ewha students to participate in extracurricular activities. “There are some perceptions about Ewha students being unsociable and independent, so it is important to show that we can successfully socialize and work with others,” Hwang said.
Hwang recalls her days strolling back and forth in the library and at home, studying alone when she felt desperate and anxious.
“But the end will always justify the means,” Hwang said. “Even if I had failed the competition, I would have gained confidence to take on another challenge,” Hwang said.