A Way To Become a USTian Ahead of Anyone

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Story about Student

A Way To Become a USTian Ahead of Anyone

Park Yong-jun (Dual Master’s and PhD program at UST-Korea Institute of Science and Technology (KIST), Biomedical Convergence Major)

UST has a special admission process called “Early Selection System for Outstanding Students.” It means the school selects the top students in their junior and senior year in advance that intend to study at UST for their master’s or dual master’s and doctorate program. The advantage of this program includes having an academic advisor earlier, which means they can communicate with a professor as well as the opportunity to have priority in participating in the UST research internship program. In short, it helps students adapt to UST’s new education environment. We met with Park Yong-jun for an interview, the first student accepted since the new system was initiated. He recently entered UST-KIST School in March but it was hard to believe that he’s a new student here with his mature attitude. We assumed it’s because he already has experience under his belt at Neuroscience Research Lab since last summer.

‘Do-My-Best-and-Enjoy’ Attitude

Park’s connection with UST has begun at KIST. When he was looking for a graduate school as his time to finish his undergraduate studies was approaching, he learned about Neuroscience Research Lab from his girlfriend who at that time was doing her internship at KIST. It was heart-pounding news to him because he wanted to study neuroscience at the graduate school. While doing some research in the lab, he realized that he can be part of the research group through UST.

He was preparing to join the graduate school for 2020 spring semester. He was enthralled as he learned about the early selection system for outstanding students and the benefits of the new program.

The students selected will be given the priority to participate in UST research internships, early academic advisor assignment and education, academic affair management, exemption of admission fees, scholarship support upon admission and priority for overseas training and research exchange support program. All these perks sound tempting to anyone who is interested in studying at UST.

Honestly, I gave it a shot even though I felt underqualified to apply for this particular admission process. So I told myself to experience what it’s like to apply rather than expecting to be accepted at this round. However, I got lucky and now look at me―I’m even doing an interview.

Unexpected news made him excited but at the same time he didn’t know what to do. Nevertheless, he was prepared to have the most productive time at UST.

“I know getting a doctorate degree is not an easy journey, but I always try to enjoy it. I believe if I truly enjoy the research I will eventually see a good outcome, too.”

“I’d Like to Contribute to Diagnosing and Treating Various Neurological Diseases”

Park majors in Biomedical Convergence at UST-KIST School. He is studying to understand human life and develop medication to cure disease based on his research. There are three sub-majors under Biomedical Convergence. Park’s sub-major is bio-neuroscience where he focuses on learning about the central nervous system. He explores unknown facts about our brain using various methods.

His passion for bioscience began when he was a teenager. Among many fields of bioscience, Park was particularly more interested in animal behavior. The questions such as “Why do animals show certain behaviors?” or “Why do honeybees dance and how was it developed?” filled his mind as a curious teenager. The knowledge he gained through his endless questions played a significant role when he made a decision to study at a graduate school.

While serving his time in the military, Park was able to take his time to think about what field of study he wants to choose in the future. The field that intrigued the curious teenager the most was his answer. He looked for many different labs under the “behavior” subject, and he found KIST’s Neuroscience Lab.

I think behaviors are the result of brain’s various activities. It makes sense that a change in brain will naturally lead to a change in behavior. But this also means that behavior is an indicator of a brain’s change. If I find out the neuro-circuit related to this idea, my research will be able to help the diagnosis and treatment of various neurological diseases caused by changes in brain function.

My Dreams Ahead

The word “new student” brings me one image: deep green leaves in a field or mountains that herald the summer. When we see them, we are not sure what shape or color they will grow into but these young leaves hold such a strong potential with their vitality. Park, who calmly spoke of his present and future, was just like a vibrant leaf. Though he just started his school life, I wanted to hear his goals and plans.

I have two goals in life: one that I want to achieve during my studies and the other after retirement. The first goal is to be recognized in my field of study and become a researcher who can bring out the maximum potential from students like my professor Dr. Kim Jeong-jin. The second goal will happen after retirement, which is to build a private dorm for students in my field. I’d like to create an environment where excellent students can focus on studying without having to worry about anything else.

It’s a time of the unknown that he is living in, but it can also be interpreted as unlimited potential and possibility. It was such a wonderful time listening to the new student’s passionate story. We look forward to seeing the time Park will spend at UST and goals he will achieve.