In every international event, there are always volunteers who make everything work smoothly. Many students with their young spirit volunteer for these international conferences to gain experience in a field in which they are interested. In the 13th International Conference of Women Scientists and Engineers (ICWES13), about 100 student volunteers participated. Kang Min-young (Industrial Pharmacy, 2), and Kwon Oh-eun (Life Sciences, 3) are two of these volunteers who worked at the registration desk.
Kang says, "Since I was interested in how international conferences go on, and I'm a science major, I thought this would be a wonderful chance to experience the science field first hand."
But it's not always so easy to do the job. Kwon says, "When lots of people come to the registration desk at once, I have to really concentrate so as not to make mistakes. And after the group leaves I get exhausted." Kang added, "Because Kia Motors went on strike unexpectedly, the tour program was cancelled and we had to give new tickets to all the people who applied. That was one of the busiest moments." Moreover, both volunteers also mentioned that it is hard to turn down some of the requests from foreigners.
From this experience, Kang learned what people think of Korea, and what she has to do from now on. "I especially felt the importance of studying a foreign language. To present my research thoroughly on a global scale, English skills are essential," said Kang. Kwon added, "I found out how hard it is to hold such an international conference, and especially the difficulties of service sectors. Even if I didn't feel good, I had to smile at the participants when helping them." Kang said in the end, "It really was a great experience. The most important thing I learned is the importance of responsibility. Obviously, not everyone will be fully satisfied. But to achieve the best results, everyone should have a high sense of responsibility toward their work; that is the best, the only way."