Wetskills-South Korea 2018

Free Olympic day today!

Wetskills-South Korea 2018 – After an amazing party and the exciting Wetskills finals yesterday, everyone could decide themselves today what they wanted to do. Some people went to Pyeongchang, some stayed in Donghae and I joined a group of people to go to Gangneung. There were also several people who had tickets for one of the Olympic games. We were dropped of at the train station of Gangneung, from there it was a 20 minutes’ walk to the Olympic venue of Gangneung. In front of the venue, we immediately met Soohorang, the mascot of the games, with whom we of course had to take a picture.     For a small entree fee, you could enter the venue and visit all the stands and stores and take a look at the stadiums. We enjoyed ourselves a lot, although it was quite cold sometimes because it was so windy. Apparently the people who visited...

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Last day before the finals!

Wetskills-South Korea 2018 - A different day today, no stress, no hard work. Instead, we went to Gangneung for the Olympics!   Around noon we met the Dutch case owners and went in the bus altogether. The first and second pitchers had the chance to practice their pitches even more. After a 3,5-hour bus drive, we arrived in Gangneung at the Holland House. We changed in our orange clothes and were ready to enter the Holland House. We were almost the first visitors, the Holland House was still quite empty. However, the first beers and “bitterballen” were consumed. The first “bitterbal” ever for most Korean participants!       Because the opening ceremony was beginning at 8 o’clock, we wandered around Gangneug. Gangneung has a beautiful beach and is famous for its fish restaurants, so enough to see. We walked along the Fire Festival, an art festival during the Olympics with large wooden sculptures. And took...

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Deadline day

Wetskills-South Korea 2018 - Deadlines. Some people love them, some people hate them. Personally, I’m leaning more to the loving side, as the anticipation provides a sense of urgency that makes me work more efficiently.   Today was deadline day for the Wetskills program, as all participants were to submit the posters and papers before 18.00. To increase the pressure, some of us also had to rehearse our pitches in front of the Wetskills organizers. In my observatory role as blog writer for today, I was reminded of the popular Dutch television show ‘Idols’ when I saw all pitch presenters (including the substitutes) working on their posture, speech and hand gestures in the same ‘waiting’ room.        Remarkably, in the end not many of the teams needed all the time available to finish the deliverables. The overall atmosphere was actually quite relaxed.  Apparently, a ’17.59 submittal time’ does not provide that same feeling...

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The big three production day!

Wetskills-South Korea 2018 – Today is the day that the actual production begins. Last days we were all busy with brainstorming about solutions and ideas. Now every group has come up with a solution for the problems. In my case we did not have to solve a problem, but we had to design a game competition between islands to stimulate water saving innovative thinking. With the concept ready it was now time to start the production process of the big three: Poster, Pitch and Paper.   Our case owner prefers graphics above text so we spend the whole day creating flow charts and figures. The idea is that by only looking at these figures you can figure out the main concept of the game competition very well. This a difficult job when you want to be professional and therefore refuse to work with Paint. Fortunately one of my group members is a...

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Wetskills teams work on Saturday

Wetskills-South Korea 2018 – Koreans are known to be working long days at the office. In one of the guidebooks on Korea I read that “working in Korea may be a challenge for foreigners who are unwilling to put in the hours and efforts that many Korean nationals are used to.” I have to say all five Wetskills teams are making a huge effort to fit into the Korean work spirit as we worked on our cases the entire Saturday.     Another fact that was investigated further: is the area around Hongik university indeed the best area for partying in South Korea? The answer is yes: beer, karaoke, food, bowling, virtual games and more beer, the neighbourhood has it all. And on Friday and Saturday evening the streets are filled with students dressed in the latest fashion, going clubbing, drinking beer and enjoying themselves.   Some of us partied until after the closing time...

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Brainstorming ahead!

Wetskills-South Korea 2018 – Today is a day of action! We had a great day with a lot of impressions yesterday and now we have to work because our first deadline is already coming up. The action plan needs to be handed in at 12.00h, which is enough reason for the first bit of stressing out.   The first thing to do was looking into the overload of information of yesterday. What was usable and what not, what did we still need to know, what do we need to research and a lot of brainstorming already. The  actual writing of the action plan started at 11.20 so my group had to hurry. But we handed it in on time and it felt like a good plan.   Lunch contained Udon, which is very delicious Japanese food. But it also had these weird thick noodles that are very different from the Korean noodles… much easier...

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Water sommeliers

Wetskills-South Korea 2018 - It is the third day in Korea and our second field trip. This was a perfect opportunity to continue our team-building and know each other better before the actual work starts. “K-water” - one of the Wetskills partners and case owner organized a visit to the headquarter, which is located in Daejen. From Seoul, it took more than 2 hours to get there. Because of traffic, we arrived later than it was planned and went directly to a small and cozy traditional restaurant. The lunch was impressive. There were “pancakes” from vegetables, smoked duck and an absolute favorite dish of the day – Maesaengi soup.     After lunch, we got a very warm welcome from the “K-water” employees.  Above all, the “K-water” director came to meet our delegation to shake hands. Further as a part of our excursion, we visited a start-up hub, where people can work on...

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Shall we begin?

Wetskills-South Korea 2018 - Finally, we gathered here, in Hongik University! It was a bit hard to get up early in the morning as I am not used to that, but at the same time I was really excited to meet new people from The Netherlands. As people arrived, we shared some shy smiles to each other.     After having lunch, we went on a field trip. The first place we headed was Sihwa Lake Tidal Power Plant. At low tide, the water of lake moves into the sea. And the gate is closed when the sea water goes up. After enough tidal difference is made, the gate is opened and energy is created by turbine. We went up to moon tower to see it from high altitude. And there was glass floor on which we were really excited.   After this we also went to Gyungin-Ara water way. The name is from...

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Arrival in Korea for Wetskills!

Wetskills-South Korea 2018 - Before Wetskills South Korea really began, every Dutch participant had a long flight. South Korea is 8 hours ahead of the Netherlands and a direct flight takes anywhere between 10 and 12 hours. On Sunday at 18.00 we had to gather in the lobby of the University of Hongik in Seoul. Some participants arrived a day or even a week earlier to sleep off their jet-lag and to see the sights. I decided to fly on Saturday night, so I arrived on Sunday afternoon.     It was a long night flight. By the end of the flight, I could enjoy the beautiful landscape of China, near Beijing, from above. After crossing the Yellow Sea, the plane landed in Incheon international airport. The airport was brand new, very large and very shiny. It already demonstrated how modern South Korea is nowadays.   After a smooth walk to the luggage-belts I met...

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Why did I apply for Wetskills-South Korea?

Wetskills-South Korea 2018 – Before, I didn’t have many chances to use the things I learned in university for I am still a bachelor student and our faculty’s study field is too broad. After 4 years of studying and studying, I was sick of just studying in a room and only reading books! Then I got to know Wetskills program which looks interesting. I thought it would be the best chance for me to use all I have learned before my graduation and decided to join this program. There are few more reasons that helped me to make  up my mind. I was fascinated by the schedule of going to PyeongChang for our final. It will be the first time for me to visit an Olympic city! And most of all, I feel really close to Dutch people and Netherlands for I lived in Netherlands as an exchange student which...

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