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[싱크탱크] 미국 우드로윌슨센터 (WWICS) 박규현 2개월차

  • 등록일 2016.05.11

Monthly Report II: March

Name: Kyuhyun Park (박규현)
Organization: Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars
Position: Junior Scholar

1. Wilson Center events. I managed to participate in four Wilson Center events throughout March. The first, “Book Authors’ Group”, was an informal meeting where a number of scholars interested in writing a book convened in order to offer each other some tips about how to successfully write a book. The fact that there were a handful of fellows and scholars who’d already experienced publishing a book meant there were very useful, practical tips being exchanged. A number of advices I found very useful were, a) participate in a conference with your book topic so that you have a deadline to fulfill and could receive feedback from the participants, and b) create external pressure by telling close people around you that you’re writing a book. It was also interesting to observe how down-to-earth and open-minded these prestigious scholars were despite all of them being in the forefront of their respective fields of academia. The second event I participated in was Jamie P. Horsley’s “In China: Implications for China, US-China Relations and International Relations”, a work-in-progress session for a book about China’s struggle for open government in an authoritarian state. Not only was it interesting to observe for the first time how book presentations were given in a Western setting, but also the level of thought-provoking questions and ideas that followed during the Q&A session by the participating Wilson scholars. Moving on, the last event I participated in was a public book launch event by David Shambaugh, a renowned professor from George Washington University, on his new book, “China’s Future.” It was a valuable experience as it was my first time ever going to a book launch event. The high turnout of the event reflected just how significantly Americans were interested in China.

2. Wilson Center group activity. During March, there were two main group activities organized by the Center. The first was visiting the National Archives at College Park with my supervisor and my Korean colleagues from the North Korea International Documentation Project. National Archives is most famous for all the unclassified documents from the US government, and I discovered that it is a fantastic place for researchers to get access to primary sources. In order to reach the Archives, we convened at 7th St and Pennsylvania Ave and boarded a NARA shuttle that took about 45 minutes to arrive at the Archives. Do make sure to bring an official ID (preferably a passport) as it is required when passing through the security control or making your NARA ID. One more thing to note is that there may seem to be a deluge of petty rules and regulations (e.g. no jackets in archive room, permission to take photos of archival documents required, etc) but this is in order to preserve the integrity of the documents considering their historical value and rarity. If you’re planning on going by yourself, I’d advise you to request for an orientation at the Archives as there are so many rules to learn, such as how to request archival documents, how to use the database, how to use the index book, etc.

The second group activity that was hosted by the Center was the cherry blossom walk in Tidal Basin. There were two other events (tour of Arlington Cemetery and U.S. Capitol) which I didn’t attend, but information about these events are generally advertised by email to all Wilson Center members.

3. Outside events. Outside of the Center, I managed to participate in five events during March. The first one was the Library of Congress (LoC) orientation. My fellow KF Wilson colleague and I were recommended by the Wilson librarian to attend the orientation session as LoC was the biggest library in the world and had a treasure trove of valuable sources (books, journals, tapes, films, etc) for all sorts of research. The orientation turned out to be extremely helpful in understanding how to conduct research at LoC. The second event I participated in was the “Reception & Open House to celebrate NBR's New Washington, D.C., Location.” It was a great opportunity to network with people from various think tanks in D.C. as well as people who were on their postgraduate programs who were studying something similar to me. The third event was “Professional Development Conference” that was organized by the George Washington University Korean society and held at the GWU campus. A number of mentors from different sectors (international organization, think tank, non-profit organization, Korean embassy, Samsung, consultancy, etc) were invited to give advice to mainly undergraduate Korean students about finding a job and working in D.C. Not only was it a great occasion to receive practical insights and network with the mentors, but also a great opportunity to meet undergraduate and postgraduate Korean students in D.C. The fourth event I went to was the Johns Hopkins SAIS Cherry Blossom Ball, where I was able to network with SAIS grad school students. The last event I participated in during March was “North Korea Sanctions & Post-Sunshine Engagement” with Joshua Stanton as the main guest speaker that took place in Woo Lae Oak Korean restaurant near Tysons Corner, hosted by The Committee for Human Rights in North Korea (HRNK). It was a great opportunity not only to know more about the practicalities of sanctions imposed on North Korea, but also for meeting people from HRNK and others who were passionate about North Korea.

4. Working at IMF (international organization) vs. The Committee for Human Rights in North Korea (HRNK) (non-profit organization). An IMF research assistant came to the “Professional Development Conference” and spoke about the key requirements needed in order to work for IMF and they included a bachelor’s degree in Economics, an Economics-related master’s degree from the US, and much preferably knowledge of macroeconomics and how to use Stata (a data analysis and statistical software) — similar prerequisites applied to working for the World Bank. When it came to work atmosphere, the mood was very relaxed and there was no pressure to participate in organizational social gatherings. Moving on, requirements for HRNK were somewhat different. Rather than demanding a particular degree or skillset, HRNK seemed to cherish more a candidate’s passions and determination.

5. How to know about Wilson and Outside events. There will be an email sent out at the end of each week informing every Wilson member about all the events that are going to take place within the Center on the following week. There will also be separate emails about upcoming events where you can RSVP on the provided link. Lastly, the Wilson website also has a designated page with all the future events.

As for outside events there are the following ways: 1) get notified by KF, 2) check out different think tank websites, and 3) network with people from various think tanks and notify each other about useful events.

6. Networking pool. I can’t begin to mention the number of times the importance of networking was brought up by Koreans who were working full-time in D.C. when finding a job. For instance, a research assistant from IMF said she successfully landed her job after being referred to by her friend who had already been working in the organization. She, of course, had to send in her application but the point is that openings are rarely posted on the IMF website or any other careers pages and candidates are usually selected through referrals through people who work within the organization. Moving on, I thought I’d share the pool of people I mostly interact with in D.C. in order to give an idea of the network you could create in Washington as a KF Junior Scholar.

Korean network:
Fellow KF colleagues
ASAN colleagues in same think tank
Local undergraduate and graduate students from GWU, Johns Hopkins University, American University, etc
Interns from Korea through non-KF and non-Asan programs (e.g. WEST 프래그램)
Koreans working in DC (IMF, Samsung, Korean Embassy, etc)

Foreigner network:
Fellow scholars in think tank (I have friends from Ghana, Kenya, and Switzerland)
Fellow think tank interns coming from U.S. colleges
People from events and seminars*
Friends from middle school and high school
*Events and seminars are probably the best way to meet people.

7. Research. Throughout March, I mainly focused on continuing to strengthen my thesis argument by reading various books that I borrowed from the Library of Congress and journal articles that I downloaded from the Wilson Center database as well as from other online sources. For your information, borrowing a book from LoC takes about 2-5 business days to arrive whereas receiving one from a non-LoC outside institution takes about 4-7 days. That aside, I also discovered a very useful database in the Center. As my research topic was “American public perception of North Korea as influenced by American mass media,” I had a natural interest on how North Korea had been historically and was currently being depicted on American news. And upon telling the librarian about my research, she recommended me Nexis, a database containing all the print newspaper articles that were ever published in the U.S. since the 1970s by major newspaper outlets along with trans from television news. So I signed up for a tutorial session with the librarian and she was extremely helpful in demonstrating how the database worked. Last but not least, I had to come up with a progress report to my supervisor based on all the work I’d done in March as well as my plans on how to further develop my research in the future. Writing the report was very useful in a sense that I was able to formulate all the information I’d collected in a structured manner which helped me brainstorm and continuously organize my paper.

8. Assignments. There were two main assignments in March. One was searching for relevant documents in a given archive index, and translating the short deions of those documents from Korean to English. And the other was selecting relevant historical documents from an archive in order to make an appendix.

9. Leisurely activities. In March, I was fortunate to get a free ticket to the Washington Wizards vs. Atlanta Hawks game from the Center as the fellow who had originally planned on going decided not to and posted the ticket on Wilson email for grabs. Do try to take advantage of happy hour as it is a huge part of D.C. culture and is a great way to socialize and network with people, not to mention all drinks are half price. I’m a huge fan of movies and have been to the cinema a number of times already in D.C. If you’re a moviegoer yourself I would recommend “Regal Gallery Place Stadium 14” and “AMC Loews Georgetown 14”. In D.C. there’s no reservation for seats but first come, first served; as in even if you buy a ticket at the cinema there are no designated seats and the first person to enter the auditorium gets to choose any vacant seat. If you’re craving Korean food and not planning on going all the way to Koreatown in Annandale, Virginia, I would recommend “Bul” in Adams Morgan and “Mandu” in City Vista — these are the most popular Korean restaurants in D.C. amongst both Koreans and foreigners. If you’re a male and would like to get a decent haircut at an affordable price, I’d recommend “Diego’s Hair Salon” ($25 for men’s cut) in Dupont Circle. The place is owned by Mr. Diego (a South American native) and his female hairdressers who come from all over South America. Caution: do not expect too fancy a haircut, though, and make sure to give as detailed explanation as you can in terms of the style you are going for. Speak Spanish would help a lot.

10. General mood. Life in D.C. has gotten a lot more comfortable in the second month. Please let me know if you have any questions about anything at kyuhyunpark1990@yonsei.ac.kr!

Kyuhyun Park