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The following guide is intended to provide information regarding living and working in Seoul. For further information, please contact GSG directly.

Recruiting Process (4)

  • 01 Who is eligible to apply for a Global Strategist position?
    GSG only considers applicants from selected top MBA programs across the globe: CEIBS, Chicago Booth, Columbia Business School, Darden (University of Virginia), Fuqua (Duke), Haas (Berkeley), Harvard Business School, IMD, INSEAD, Kellogg (Northwestern), London Business School, Peking University, Ross (Michigan), Sloan (MIT), Stern (NYU), Stanford University, Tsinghua University, Tuck (Dartmouth), Wharton (University of Pennsylvania), and Yale School of Management. We welcome all full-time MBA candidates from these schools to apply for a position. Within this list of business schools, GSG is also opened to receiving applications from PhD graduates.
  • 02 What are the steps of the GSG recruiting process? Which deadlines should candidates bear in mind?
    You can submit your application to GSG through our online application tool. After thoroughly screening all applications received, GSG will conduct on-campus fit, case, and group interviews jointly in one single round for selected applicants.

    On-campus recruiting deadlines for each school are posted on GSG website. Please check “Recruiting > On-campus recruiting” for further reference.
  • 03 What are the most critical personality traits that we are looking for?
    Global Citizen
    Embraces risks, seeks new experiences and is adaptable
    Teamwork
    Thrives in a group setting – flexible, open-minded, patient
    Global Perspective
    Comfortable working in multicultural teams and / or global environments
    Diversity
    Has diverse industry, functional and market perspectives
    Proven Leadership
    Able to articulate a clear vision, influence others to support change, and be accountable for delivering on that vision
    Career Mindset
    Can articulate long-term career interest in the company and relevant business sector
  • 04 What individuals are NOT encouraged to apply to Samsung GSG?
    1. Unwilling to relocate to Korea: Working at Samsung in South Korea for 4 years is a fundamental component of the overall development experience.

      2. Specialization seeking : GSG offers a program aiming to develop general managers. As a result, those MBAs looking to develop a deep expertise in a specific field would not be able to meet their goals.

      3. Low cultural adaptability: Understanding Korean and Samsung’s hard and fast working environment is paramount to succeed as a future Samsung leader of tomorrow.

GSG Career/Life (10)

  • 01 What is GSG?
    GSG is Samsung’s Global Strategy Group, which acts as the incubation center for future high-caliber, globally-minded general managers across Samsung Group. Global Strategists (GS) provide fresh perspectives and innovative ideas to Samsung’s top executives worldwide, while developing their skill set and building a deep understanding of the organization. After 2 years working at GSG, GSs are expected to transition to a Samsung team as Line Manager or Strategic Staff to continue growing professionally and eventually take a leadership role at overseas or in South Korea.
  • 02 Is Korean language required to work at Samsung GSG?
    Knowing Korean is not mandatory to work at GSG. Our working language is English and, as such, all internal interactions with GSG members and clients are in English.
    However, learning Korean is beneficial for GSs in order to connect better with clients as well as to understand culture better. On that note, GSG offers free Korean lessons to its members and spouses, so that everyone has the opportunity to learn the language if they would like to.
  • 03 What is the compensation package provided?
    GSG offers a competitive compensation package. Included in the package is a competitive base salary, signing bonus, annual performance bonus, housing allowance and a range of additional benefits including full global healthcare coverage for you and your family, home leave air travel, and support of school tuition for eligible children. The compensation package is set in US dollars and taxed at the Korean tax rate, which is competitive compared to many countries.
  • 04 Can I get in contact with a woman in GSG for her perspective?
    Yes, we recommend reaching out to your School Champion with specific questions and he/she will refer you to the appropriate Global Strategist.
  • 05 What types of projects will you participate in? (Function, industry, scope)
    ­We do projects across most industries Samsung participates in (consumer electronics (including mobile), semiconductors, financial services, construction, bio tech and energy, etc.). We do projects in a number of different functions, which provides members with tremendous breadth of competencies. Examples of project topics include market entry, target due diligence, opportunity/technology assessment, brand/marketing strategy, organization design, etc. Our projects typically have senior (President, Head of Business Unit) visibility.
  • 06 Do you have to travel for your projects?
    It depends on the project you are staffed in. Generally, projects require 1-2 weeks of travel throughout the duration of the engagement (typically projects last for 12 weeks), but travel requirements vary from project to project. Some engagements don’t require any travelling while some others may require a few more weeks on the road depending on its nature.
    On a side note, we typically work from our office located in Seoul’s city center (Samsung Electronics HQ in Gangnam), but sometimes we seek further interaction with the client and hence we are collocated to its office for 2-3 days a week. Commute to client’s office is relatively short, since Samsung affiliates offices are either based in Seoul or nearby (i.e. ~45- minute ride from our office to Suwon, Giheung or Hwasong).
  • 07 How are you assigned to projects?
    The staffing manager, along with the management team, assigns projects based on your (i) career progression (e.g. development needs, transition goals), (ii) preferences and interests (e.g. industry, function) and (iii) skill set and background (e.g. pre-GSG experience, language skills)

    During project scoping stage, new projects are internally advertised and each GS has the opportunity to express his/her interest and be considered for staffing (Note: GSs are only staffed on one single project at a time).
  • 08 What are the career development opportunities at GSG and Samsung?
    You will receive extensive hard and soft skills training from both GSG and Samsung. Development programs focus on three areas:

      • Capabilities –Develop industry expertise from Industry-focused practice groups and basic and advanced consulting skills from GSG training courses.

      • Core values & leadership –Samsung is big on training and career development, and you will likely get the opportunity to spend some time at Samsung’s Human Resource training center, with your colleagues for some unique learning experiences. Trainings include global new-comers course as well as global management courses.

      • Language –Optional Korean classes at the office are offered for all student levels (e.g. survival, basic, business). Classes are imparted at flexible times to accommodate our schedules.
  • 09 What are the differences of a career in GSG versus a traditional management consulting firm?
    Here are some key differences between the proposition of GSG and that of a traditional consulting firm:

    • Clear transition to line management – In addition to the strategic projects you will take on during your first two years, GSG is designed to help you find the right transition opportunity directly into a Samsung business unit in order to further develop your career as a general manager.

    • Interest alignment – There is usually a greater level of trust, leading to stronger client interaction, greater access to information, and a better understanding of how the business really works.

    • Visibility on implementation – Some of the projects by nature are more hands-on, less theoretical (e.g. developing alliances) and you can see the fruits of your labor. In addition, many projects entail multiple phases, each getting more and more granular and tactical. Some GSs also decide to transition to their client’s team in order to bring to fruition his/her own recommendations.

    • Truly global reach –GSG can offer you access to a truly global experience. A few examples: throughout your GSG experience you might travel across 5 continents to implement a retail management plan for home appliances, visit China to identify collaboration opportunities with Internet Chinese giants (BAT – Baidu, Alibaba and Tencent) or go to the US in order to develop a go-to-market strategy for mobile payments.
  • 10 How is performance assessed at GSG?
    GSs performance is mainly assessed based on their project performance across 5 different dimensions: (i) project delivery (e.g. work stream management), (ii) impact & value creation (e.g. business judgment), (iii) problem solving (e.g. insights development), (iv) communication & presence (e.g. credibility) and (v) people & client management (e.g. teaming). GSs assessment is complemented with their Non-Project Contributions (NPC) to internal GSG initiatives such as knowledge management, training preparation and Industry-focused Practice Group activities.

Transitions (5)

  • 01 What are the different/most common ways in which people find opportunities to transition to the line?
    In order of frequency: (i) via projects (project sponsor wants to keep you), (ii) via GSG (a specific Samsung team has a hiring need and approaches GSG, which shares the opportunity with its members), (iii) via networking (interactions through practice groups, personal networking, etc.)
  • 02 What types of roles are open for transitions?
    There is a broad and diverse range of potential transition opportunities available in business units and at a corporate level. Recently, GSG alums have transitioned to strategy, marketing, product development and new business development roles in business units. Some other Global Strategists have decided to move to a Group role working on corporate strategy, M&A, partnerships, communications, human resources and venture capital.
  • 03 What and where is Suwon? Are all SEC opportunities only in Suwon?
    The campus in Suwon is the heart of the consumer electronics business units of Samsung Electronics (TVs, phones, computers, etc). There are other campuses in Giheung and Hwasong for our semiconductor business. The campus is located approximately 45 minutes south of GSG’s Seoul office, and is easy to access via free Samsung shuttle buses. There are Samsung Electronics opportunities in Seoul, but mostly in corporate staff roles (corporate strategy, M&A, HR, and audit).
  • 04 How easy is it to transition?
    Like the recruiting process you just underwent as an MBA, the transition process is a mix of a push from GSG and pull from affiliate companies. It will require experience in multiple projects, building a strong network, and keeping GSG and affiliates aware of your career plans.
  • 05 What does it take / what is the process for a successful transition? And have there ever been cases where a transition was not smooth or a wrong "match"? If so, what happened?
    You need to take a long-term view of what makes a transition successful. It needs to be good for you in the short and long-term. For the short-term, it’s ensuring that you are in a role where you can learn a lot/be challenged, it’s ending up under a manager who is adept at dealing with foreigners, and it’s ending up in a role where you can make an impact in the near-term. For longer-term happiness, you need to ensure that your transition choice gives you skills that are appreciated by subsidiaries or regional HQs to increase your odds of finding a good role outside of Korea. You need to ensure that you develop skills/qualities that give you differentiated value vis-a-vis a locally hired MBA grad.

    In case that a transition is not as successful as expected, the organization (i.e. GS’s affiliate company and GSG) works hand-in-hand with the GS to relocate him/her to a more suitable team.

Transitions to Subsidiaries overseas (3)

  • 01 Which roles can I take when leaving Korea? Where can I go?
    Samsung has many types of operations overseas (design centers, R&D, sales & marketing) and those operations are either local or regional, with local offices being more sales-oriented and regional headquarters having more coordination and strategy and planning roles. Our alumni have taken jobs mostly in sales & marketing subsidiaries and regional headquarters. Recent transitions include roles in: product management, digital marketing, market intelligence, corporate marketing, and corporate strategy in geographies like the USA, Europe, Brazil and Middle East.
  • 02 What are the most common ways people get to a subsidiary?
    There is no one right or one most common way. In the past, there has been an even distribution between various ways including: via project (for a subsidiary client), via HQ champion/endorsement, via GSG, via personal network (a classmate in a subsidiary).
  • 03 How long does it take to transition back to my home country and what are some of the ways in which people have done so in the past?
    GSs typically transition to an overseas office after 4 years in Korea. The thing that will make it easier for a subsidiary to accept you is to ensure that you have differentiated value vis-a-vis a local hire (imagine a classmate of yours that has spent the last few years working at a competitor and is now interviewing for the same spot you want). It takes time to build that differentiated value (which includes things like understanding how HQ works, having an HQ network, knowing how to drive change at HQ, etc.). Based on past experiences, while working at an affiliate company in Korea, your manager will typically staff you in global projects facilitating your ability to expand your overseas network. There are also many GSG alumni around the globe who have successfully transitioned to an overseas subsidiary and who would be keen to assist a fellow GS.

Life in Korea (2)

  • 01 How have you adjusted to living in Korea?
    “I adjusted quite fast. Living in Korea has been a unique and wonderful experience because there are so many things to do such as exploring different places in the country, understanding the culture and learning the language in a casual manner. Seoul is a high-energy city with great nightlife, dining and beautiful outdoors. Also, during the times that you need a quick getaway, you can choose from so many Asian countries that are readily accessible”

    “Very well. There’s a great support network of other GSG families, Korean classmates who are back in Seoul, and GSG staff. We’ve found that not-speaking the local language has not been an impediment to getting around, ordering food, and enjoying life. The internet speeds are amazing, allowing us to make video calls to our friends and family back home easily”.

    - GSG members -
  • 02 Can GSG help my partner to find a job within the organization?
    While the Group doesn't offer formal placement assistance for spouses/partners, GSG can facilitate introductions based on relevant skills and background. Historically, without a direct match in skills, this has proven challenging, so partners should be prepared to navigate their own job searches.
    GSG tries to help make introductions and other GS members help as well. Over the years, we have seen some success story with spouses/partners finding good jobs in places ranging from Samsung to University teaching positions to Porsche Korea to the European Chamber of Commerce.