When talking about campus life in Korea, it is impossible to overlook MT, which is short for membership training. MT is a type of retreat you go with colleagues such as students from your major or a club. However, planning an MT is quite time-consuming. From finding and renting a place, you have to buy the right amount of groceries and bring those back to your lodging, which is not easy.
What if you could prevent all that fuss and solve the problem with your phone in a snap? The mobile app, “MT Please”, does the job for you, from recommending a spot to stay to delivering your groceries. The creators of this app is OWO, a startup that devised this app and launched it last year.
Lee Min-jung, the CEO of OWO, is a computer engineering and business double major student in Sungkyunkwan University. As leading team projects to working as president of clubs in her university, she could accumulate know-hows in organizing and leading events. This ability eventually led her to found a startup company that targets university students just like her.
“I have always wanted to pursue something I enjoyed, and I realized that I love going on trips, especially after going to London as an exchange student,” Lee said. “I got together with a group of friends in order to think of ideas for a startup, and after shifting through many possibilities, we decided on doing services realted to MT. Since there were many lodging businesses but no competitor for our service, we jumped into MT Please as our startup.”
Lee recruited people sharing her interests. Autonomous and hard-working candidates were prioritized over friends. Other university students also joined the startup. The organization of the business is unique. While everyone has its own area in charge of, they also have sub-areas in which they help the other areas of the company. For example, if an employee’s main job is marketing, they would pitch in towards helping the design team if required.
“I think that is one of the best parts of a startup,” Lee remarked. “Everyone knows the overall process of the business and is aware of what is going on in general.”
However, this contributes to the company’s irregular schedule, as worktimes vary and everyone is constantly busy. This is especially true for the field team, which has to go all the way to the lodgings booked by the users. Since the employees work at different times, it is hard to see other workers which is unusual as a company. However, Lee mentions that in some ways this is more efficient while still enjoying the assigned works.
“Though the work is laborious, it is what we chose to do and we have to take responsibility for it,” Lee said. “Besides, we still have fun most of the time.”
Since its launching last year, MT Please has proved to be a success, reaching over 8,000 students who used their services. When asked about their future plans, Lee said that she and her company want to broaden the term of MT and change its perception into something more focused on meeting people and spending a good time together.
“We have provided services for many events besides MT, such as Halloween parties, blind trips and pajama parties,” Lee said. “With Chung-Ang University, we are also having an MT for international exchange students in which we are going to introduce Korean MT culture, on Dec. 3. We just want people to be able to focus entirely on the time they are spending with others.”
Lee also conveyed words of encouragement as a female CEO and a university student to other aspiring workers.
“You need conviction,” Lee emphasized. “If you are hesitating or worried about failure, just do it and go through the process. Either way, you will learn and stand up again.”