In the Employee Spotlight series, we meet with Convosphere’s team members to find out who they are and what their job roles involve. In this interview, we talk to Wonkyung Shin, one of the analysts in our London-based Insights Team, who specialises in the Korean market and Korean language related projects.
Where are you from and where are you based?
“I’m originally from Jinhae, a famous cherry blossom village on the southern coast of South Korea. I moved between different countries and cities in my early 20s, including Busan and Seoul in South Korea as well as Los Angeles, so I’ve had the chance to experience a range of cultures. In 2013 – 2014, I did my master’s degree in Lancaster in the UK and I moved to London in 2017. These days I enjoy calling myself a Londoner.”
How many years experience do you have of social listening?
“I started my career in social listening in 2011. My first project involved analysing online conversations and news for a Korean tech company. It quickly turned me into something of a tech expert, especially when it came to smartphones. I knew all the pros and cons of virtually every device in the industry.”
What’s the most challenging thing about being a Social Media Analyst?
“Developing the queries at the beginning of a project is the most crucial part of my job – and also the hardest bit. To successfully build a query that maximises the reliability, accuracy and relevancy of the data, an analyst must have a fluent understanding of the language and behaviour of consumers in the particular market, as well as expertise in the topic or industry in question.”
What do you most enjoy about your job?
“I really enjoy converting simple digits and texts into meaningful messages – it helps me to see things from different angles. But what I love most about my job is working in a multinational team!”
What does a typical day look like for you and what are you currently working on?
“I’m far from a morning person. When I finally stumble out of bed around 7.30-8’o’clock, I grab a coffee and jump on the Tube to Hammersmith and our HQ office. I’m currently focused on developing the company’s business and sales in South Korea. Besides that, I am working on analysing the social media performance of one of our pharma clients and its competitors. After work, I turn into a gamer who gets shot way too often.”
What are your biggest professional challenges?
“Typically, I would say finding a way to achieve my own professional goals and at the same time bring meaningful benefits to the company. Thankfully, Convosphere supports me in a range of ways so I can achieve both.”
Can you share a funny expression/proverb in your language?
“Kimchi is everywhere in Korea, even proverbs! ’김칫국부터 마신다’ translates into ‘Already drunk your Kimchi juice’. It’s the abbreviated version of the saying ‘떡 줄 사람은 꿈도 안꾸는데 김칫국부터 마신다’, which literally translates into ‘Someone has a rice cake but does not even think about giving it to you, but you’ve already drunk your Kimchi juice’. According to Korean tradition, rice cakes and Kimchi should be consumed together. It can be likened to the English proverb ‘Don’t count your chickens before they hatch.’”
Can you give us an example of a false friend in your language?
“’파이팅’ (prononounced ‘fight-ing’) would be the most commonly used false friend in Korean. If you hear someone say ‘fighting’ in Korea, it’s got nothing to do with physical aggression. In Korea, ’파이팅’/’fighting’ actually means ‘cheer up’. ‘원샷’ (‘one-shot’) is another good example and hints at the country’s widespread drinking culture. If you’re in a bar in Korea and hear someone shouting ‘one shot’, there’s no need to panic. ‘One-shot’ means drinking all the liquor in your glass at once, similar to ‘bottoms up’ in English.”
What is your dream holiday?
“In South Korea, there’s no way to go abroad via car as it is impossible to cross the North Korean border. Since I settled in London, I’ve been taking the Eurostar to Paris and continued my journey at the wheel to explore France and the neighbouring countries. It’s great to be able to move around so freely. Checking my bank statement after the trips is less fun though… I hope to one day be able to visit Scandinavia and observe the aurora.”
What’s the most recent app you have downloaded?
“An app called Waterlogged. It’s all about tracking water consumption and reminding users to drink more water, which is very convenient now during the heatwave. But, according to the app, I’m always already hydrated enough which ironically means I’ve no real need for it.”