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    2023.02.02 The Originality

    NC Cultural Foundation, Youlan No

    <THE ORIGINALITY> is a series about NC’s new generation — they are immersed in their jobs where they find inspiration. They pave the way towards excellence and then aim even higher.

    People at NC freely express themselves and achieve growth by challenging themselves to new experiences.

    The essence of the business operated by the NC Cultural Foundation is to create substantive changes in our society. The key here is not quantity of business, but quality. Regardless of the speed, our goal is to run a proper business: bringing substantive and right changes in our society by finding problems that require our aid and keeping an alert on the direction of our business. That is what we do and what we will do in the future.

    NC Cultural Foundation, Youlan No

    NC Cultural Foundation

    As a corporation, it is our social responsibility to make a positive impact on society. NC Cultural Foundation is dedicated to helping the socially vulnerable and future generations in an uncertain world. We run various businesses including Projectory, which is a creative space for young people. We also provide AAC (Augmentative and Alternative Communication) app services and publish children's stories that promote diversity and are free from stereotypes.

    Our team focuses on providing AAC services to support individuals with communication difficulties and spreading positive messages through our children's books. Additionally, we are responsible for developing new business initiatives and managing the foundation's IT operations and marketing.

    Prioritizing Impact over Haste

    At the Foundation, our work goes beyond just developing and distributing the AAC app or providing a space for future generations through Projectory. We're all about creating meaningful change, because what's the point of a business that doesn't make a difference? And we're careful not to just focus on results for show.

    A business is not about the amount you produce, but the quality of what you do. Whether it's one project or many, we want to do it right. We're dedicated to bringing positive change to society by identifying issues that need our help, and constantly evaluating and improving our work to ensure we're always on the right track. That's what we stand for and will continue to do in the future.

    Creativity in Every Moment

    Last October, the NC Cultural Foundation held a creative conference to mark its 10th anniversary. It was the first time we invited guests to our building and gave them a glimpse of the Foundation's work. I was in charge of the event, and it was my first project since joining the Foundation. Our goal was to share our message — we wanted to create a space for meaningful discussions, not just celebrate our achievements.

    Preparing for the conference was a lot of work, but it paid off when guests told us how much they enjoyed it and how informative it was. Hearing those kind words made all the effort worth it. The conference was a great opportunity for the NC Cultural Foundation to showcase what we'd been working on and share our future plans, while also hearing feedback from outside the Foundation.

    Boldly Pursuing Your Passions

    Work That Makes Me Happy

    I studied abroad in the US and wanted to use that experience to work with people from diverse backgrounds. After my internship, when I was about to apply for a job in an international organization, I was offered a job by a big national corporation. I wasn't sure if it was the right fit for me, but I was tempted by the opportunity to learn about a Korean conglomerate and get some work experience, so I took the job and started in the Global Business Team.

    After taking the job, I still had doubts about whether this was what I wanted to do. I tried switching teams, but the same questions lingered — I soon realized that I'm motivated by making a positive impact, not just chasing profits.

    That's when my path towards an international organization became clear. Many positions there required a Master's degree, so I left my job and went to KAIST, where I got my Master's in climate change and green growth. While I was studying, I sent out my resume. Luckily, the International Organization for Migration (IOM) reached back to me and offered a job.

    Seizing Opportunities with Confidence

    I spent five years at IOM, where I was in charge of business partnerships. IOM works in various humanitarian fields related to human movement, and I collaborated with Korean corporations to create projects that would benefit society. It was challenging, but I was passionate about the work and wanted to improve.

    One day, I realized I wanted to work from the business side and see how companies can contribute to society in a more meaningful way. I had seen many companies make one-off efforts without a genuine understanding of social issues, which was disappointing. As the person responsible for social contributions, I wanted to create projects that were more systematic and long-lasting.

    Then, I saw an advertisement for the Head of the Business Team at the NC Cultural Foundation. This organization, established in 2012, was growing and had a clear identity. I felt that I could try new things and make a real impact on social contributions there. Additionally, NC Cultural Foundation was a leader in ESG management in the gaming industry, and I was impressed by their understanding of current trends. I was lucky enough to join the NC Cultural Foundation in 2021.

    Engaging in Passionate Discussions

    The people at NC Cultural Foundation are incredibly warm and take pride in their work. Thanks to the flat company culture, everyone is comfortable expressing their thoughts and ideas. We use each other's nicknames, regardless of position, and engage in open and lively discussions. Although conversations can get heated at times, there's never any emotional conflict. This is because everyone approaches discussions with the understanding that it's about finding solutions, not attacking each other personally.

    I once read a quote that says a team that produces results is psychologically stable. That's definitely true of NC Cultural Foundation. The organizational culture is strong and supportive, which allows me to focus completely on my work without any distractions. I really appreciate the environment that encourages me to be productive and focused.

    Staying True to Our Vision While Making Steady Progress

    Focusing on the Essence

    When I first started at IOM, I struggled with self-doubt and negative feedback from my superiors. I ended up becoming more focused on pleasing my superiors than on my actual work, which resulted in decreased productivity and a loss of confidence. However, a coworker gave me some valuable advice to stop worrying about others' expectations and to focus on doing my job to the best of my ability. That advice was a turning point for me — it felt like a blurry lens had suddenly regained its focal point. I took the advice and spoke openly with my boss about my struggles, and by doing so, I was able to regain my confidence and get back on track.

    Later on, when the organization needed someone to plan a special event, I took the opportunity to step up and volunteer, even though it wasn't part of my official duties. I focused solely on doing a great job, without worrying about others' opinions. The event was a success, and I received positive feedback from the organization. This experience taught me the importance of embracing negative feedback and using it to grow and improve. It also led to increased responsibilities in my role at IOM.

    Maximizing Everyone’s Potential

    I aspire to be like salt, enhancing the natural flavors of others, be it their sweetness or sourness, with just a touch. I have a keen sense of the environment and adapt well to the personalities of those I work with. My aim is to seamlessly integrate into the organization and foster a sense of unity.

    As a team leader, I understand that each of my team members is unique and brings their own personality to the table. I reflect on my own career goals and communication style to become a leader who recognizes and leverages the strengths of each team member. I strive to be a resource for my team, helping them to grow and become better versions of themselves.

    Introducing Improved “My AAC”

    Come 2023, we're excited to unveil the newly improved version of the "My AAC" app, which has been a big hit in Korea and ranks #1 in AAC app downloads. Despite its popularity, we realized there were areas for improvement in terms of usability. The user interface and experience will undergo a major revamp and our AI technology will be applied to enhance the voice output, making it sound more natural. We'll also be collecting and analyzing user behavior data. Our aim is to continuously improve the app to meet the evolving needs of our users, not just to make a one-time fix.

    I had the opportunity to conduct surveys at special schools and speech therapy centers before we revamped the app, and I learned a lot. While there is a need for AAC, many people are still unaware of it or struggle to use it effectively. Our goal goes beyond just creating a great AAC app — we want to make it more accessible and raise awareness about its benefits. Along with restructuring the app, we plan to incorporate education and make it a more integral part of the overall business.

    I Am Happy to Ignite Positive Change

    I am driven by the responsibility of being viewed as a reliable colleague at work and a sense of pride in doing something that benefits society. Instead of focusing on long-term goals, I strive to always give my best and believe that this approach will ultimately lead me to success.

    In the coming year, I plan to put more emphasis on promoting NC Cultural Foundation and the overall project. We were able to gather perspectives from beyond the foundation at the 10th anniversary conference, and similar to that, we will find ways to raise awareness about the foundation's activities and work towards advancing it.

    * The content stated in this interview is the personal opinion of the interviewee and does not represent the official position of NCSOFT.