Why We Recruit is a series of interviews with our recruiting partners to discuss everything from their experience of working with HBS to what they want students to know. Each week, we will release a new interview that dives into a unique perspective of recruiting.
Name, Title and Organization
Jake Junghyun Suh, Senior Manager, Samsung GSG
Describe your organization in three to five sentences.
Samsung Group is comprised of 25 affiliated companies spanning a wide range of industries, generating -in excess of $300B in annual revenues with global-market leading products from smartphones and TVs to semiconductors and container ships. Samsung has set a vision 2020 goal of reaching $400B in revenues by exploring new territories such as biotechnology, virtual reality, and applications of 5G wireless technology, among others.
In this backdrop of Samsung, the Global Strategy Group (GSG) recruits the best talent from top business schools and develops them into high-caliber global general managers for Samsung Group companies. At Samsung GSG, one learns essential management skills by working across diverse geographies, industries and functions in Samsung-affiliated businesses. Samsung GSG works on consulting projects at both the corporate and subsidiary level that provide strategic insights, innovative ideas and fresh perspectives to Samsung’s top executives worldwide. The program has had more than 120 alumni all over the globe. These alums have gone on to rank in key positions such as directors, senior managers and executives, all in charge of leading Samsung’s global growth.
How long has your organization been recruiting at Harvard Business School and what
roles do you hire for?
We have been recruiting at HBS for nearly 20 years. Within GSG, we hire interns, and for second-years, we focus on filling a role called Global Strategist. Interns spend two months living and working in our headquarters in downtown Seoul. Global Strategists work as internal consultants for our various business units for 1.5 to 2 years, after which they’re placed into business units where they will work in a variety of roles, including marketing, strategy, or channel management among others, before transferring to one of our 90 subsidiaries and 15 regional headquarters to further develop their careers with Samsung.
What recruiting tactics have you found most successful in engaging with students
and/or alumni at HBS?
We have leveraged events, resume databases, HBS alumni and club partnerships and more to engage with HBS students. Understanding that recruiting is not a one-and-done proposition, our strategy in 2015 was to increase touch points
with students beyond just the company presentation and engage with students meaningfully at every step of the way so that GSG would stay top-of-mind.
At Samsung, one of our core principles is “a company is its people,” which is at the heart of every decision we make. In recruiting, this has been the case as well. What we’ve found to be the most successful tactic is involving and showcasing our people. Our recruiting team facilitated many meetings between our interns and people including, GSG alumni in different businesses. Our interns were great ambassadors for us on campus and helped tremendously in converting other full-timers to join them. We have even brought an HBS alumnus who previously worked at GSG Korea before transferring to the New York office to our company presentation as a way to effectively show students that GSG could be the right fit. We also add a personal touch by having our senior staff make congratulatory calls to offerees and match candidates with current GSG members to give further exposure.
Lastly, in the past we have invited HBS students who received offers but wanted to see what it was like to work and live in Seoul to our offices to meet the teams in person. They were also able to take a tour of the city and enjoy a few social nights with HBS alumni in the GSG program. Every student we offered this to signed with Samsung after the trip.
Give us your elevator pitch – what is the one thing students should know about
working for you?
If you are adventurous, open-minded, and looking for global business experience, Samsung GSG is the place for you. There’s no place like Samsung GSG where you can work on anything such as growing the #1 global smartphone brand in Europe, exploring cutting edge battery technology in southeast Asia, or developing new channel strategies for our medical device business in China and India. You will work across regions, industries and functions like no other organization in the world, all in preparation to develop you into a global executive at Samsung. Besides your professional growth, you’ll have the opportunity to travel throughout Asia on your weekends and holidays with other recent MBA graduates from around the world. Coming to Korea and GSG will be an adventure and decision you won’t regret.
Is there anything else you would like to share with fellow recruiters or those who are new to recruiting with HBS?
It’s not easy recruiting HBS students. You are up against many competitors who are going after the same talent pool. It comes down to finding the right type of HBS students who are looking for the opportunities that your organization is offering and to invest your time, energy, and resources to convince them to join your company. We have always been impressed by the perspective,
diversity of insight, and passion that our HBS members have, and we believe
recruiting these students provides a foundations for our long-term growth and
success. This is why we recruit and we wish all organizations much success in
recruiting at HBS as well.