Column: Working for the National Administration
Column: Working for the National Administration
  • Jung-in Youn
  • 승인 2022.12.10 01:30
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 Please introduce yourself
 Hello, my name is Jung-in Youn, head of the Special Tax Treatment Division of the Tax and Customs Office, Ministry of Economy and Finance. I began my work as an officer at the International Finance Bureau, and worked through a variety of fields including national budget, policy, and tax, and returned to my current position at the Tax and Customs Office. I earned a doctorate in economics in the U.S. and worked for the Presidential Council on Nation Branding, where I wrote a book called “Korea Brand Power” that deals with national status. I also worked at the World Bank in Washington D.C.

 What is the main focus of your work?
 In the Special Tax Treatment Division, where I currently belong, we provide a variety of tax benefits to people. Any workers, firms, small business owners, local transfer companies, or even vulnerable groups are all eligible to receive these benefits.

 What is the role of the International Finance Bureau amid the global inflation era?
 In the global era, foreign economic policies or situations greatly influence other countries. For example, we have seen how China’s Zero-COVID or U.S. inflation affected the South Korean economies significantly. That is why forums like G20 (Group of Twenty), which aim towards international policy cooperation, exist. South Korea also attends G20 meetings and issues joint declarations that encompass all important issues including finance, budget, health, and climate. In the face of recent global inflation, we, domestically, jointly monitor the foreign exchange market with the Bank of Korea and create countermeasures against high exchange rates, after which we respond with proper fiscal and monetary policies. Internationally, we participate in G20 meetings where we actively demand appropriate policy cooperation with major international organizations such as the IMF and WB.

 In this current situation, do you have any advice for college student investors?
 I believe small stock and asset investing may help, and it is crucial to understand interest rate variables. The basis of investment is portfolio investment, whereas investments that put everything in one basket or cause excess leverage will eventually lead to greater risk due to unclear boundaries with speculation.

 How did you start working at the International Finance Bureau of the Ministry of Economy and Finance and the World Bank?
 After a two-year training at the Judicial Research and Training Institute where I had hands-on court and prosecutor work experience, I realized that this field did not suit me. On the contrary, I knew that the Civil Service exam is only useful when you join the administrative department, so I went for it and selected to work for the Ministry of Economy and Finance. There, among many bureaus, I became part of the International Finance Bureau.

 How is the career as a public official at a government agency such as the Ministry of Economy and Finance?
 After completing the Administrative Training Institute, you can apply to the ministry of your choice based on your grades. There, you can make policies related to the ministry. At the Ministry of Economy and Finance, you can create and implement economic policies; at the Ministry of Oceans and Fisheries, one creates and implements maritime policies. You can also have a chance to study abroad or work at international organizations, stay in public office to become a minister or vice minister, or leave for a law firm or private company. Compared to the past, social values for jobs have diversified, so more people are moving to the private sector with relatively higher salaries.

 How do you apply your major knowledge in managing the country, specifically?
 In regard to examinations, the bar exam, which is now abolished, was mostly taken by students who majored in law, but there were also other students in other major fields such as business, economics, philosophy, or engineering. For the Civil Service exam, there are specific areas one can apply to, including general administration, finance, or legal administration. Although, for example, the finance area is mostly composed of students who majored in economics or business, there are also students from the engineering or administration fields, so it is not always major-related. The technology exam, which is mostly taken by students in the engineering field, however, is mostly major-related as it is managed by the Ministry of Science and Technology. In addition to examinations, career positions such as lawyers, accountants, or doctors are also selected. For example, the Ministry of Health and Welfare is composed of many former doctors and pharmacists.

 How did you overcome the difficulties you experienced in your studies or work?
 The nature of studying for exams and studying abroad for a doctorate differs. Although the current Civil Service exam is a bit different, in the past, there was a huge study load that led to difficulties, and I overcame this by having study groups with my colleagues and exercising. Even when I was earning my doctorate, I managed my pace efficiently and overcame difficulties through hobbies like golfing and having conversations with my colleagues. At work, problems often come from people rather than the work itself. Encountering colleagues who are not compatible with you is often very stressful. To deal with this, I believe having a personal hobby will encourage you and help you to have a richer life. 

 If there is something you must do during college life, what would it be?
 The importance of learning your major and becoming cultured cannot be stressed enough. In the end, life is a process of finding and getting to know oneself. During this process, you may feel pain, anxiety, or frustration, but these will turn into joy, peace, and passion as you get to know yourself better. Thus, I hope you get to know yourself during college. Reading (or writing), traveling, or having a hobby will assist you.

 Any final words to Postechians?
 I believe Postechians will be at a crossroads on whether they should decide to stay in academia or be employed. It is most important  that they do what suits them. I recommend trying to study abroad, if possible, as experiencing a new world provides something else. I also recommend starting a business. If you choose to find employment, find a company that suits your interests. Always have a young mindset to never fear challenges, whether it be at home or abroad.