Interview with Cici, the First Ever Dabler from Abroad
Dable is one of the nation’s largest native advertising companies, which now has affiliate partnerships with more than 400 media firms. Recently, Dable has stepped up to become the best not only in Korea but also in entire Asia, continuing its effort to attract global talents for this ambition.
Cici, who became the company’s first foreign employee, is a talent who honed her trade at a Taiwan based Korean company. She is a multi-linguist, who has an excellent command of languages including Chinese, English, and Korean.
How does she feel about Dable as someone from abroad and life in Korea? To find out, we had a chat with Cici who recently joined the overseas business team.
Hello, can we have a short introduction of yourself and the job you do in the company?
Hello, I am Cici from Taiwan. (Yes, your pronunciation is the same as CC for campus couple lol) Nice to meet you. I joined the company in May this year and my job is to collaborate with Taiwanese companies. I am also working on exploring new overseas markets.
Why did you come to Korea and why do you want to apply for Dable?
I was interested in foreign languages and cultures, so I came here as an exchange student in Korea six years ago. I wasn’t particularly interested in Korea. But when I came to Korea, I found life in Korea more interesting than I thought. I think Koreans are very kind and the food is just right for me. My experience as an exchange student made me interested in Korea. After graduating from college, I joined a Taiwanese company and built my career, then I decided to come back to Korea.
Naturally, marketing-related tasks require insight, so the criteria are high. Ad-tech is a field of marketing and logical mind is more important than creativity compared to traditional marketing. I wanted to work in the ad-tech field which I find attractive because of the high criteria and it is more logical. Also, business development is a role that I am interested in and want to learn. So, I noticed the rise of an ad-tech company called Dable, and I applied for the job in overseas business teams. I am confident that I can make a full use of my experiences.
Have you had any memorable episodes in Korea so far?
Yes, I have have had a lot of special experiences since I moved to Korea.
Most of all, I think the first day at Dable was the most memorable. My name and a big greeting in Chinese was written on the notice board. I am a very shy person so this really moved me.
What language do you communicate in at work? Do you have any communication problems at work?
I speak English with my colleagues in the overseas business team. Since everyone is so fluent, there is no big problem communicating in English.
I talk in Korean with other Dablers. It’s never been a problem. But I’m constantly working on my Korean because I want to improve.
What is the difference between Taiwanese and Korean corporate culture?
Before applying for Korean companies, I felt nervous about a few things. Especially after watching the Korean drama “Misaeng” which paints a rather bleak picture of the Korean corporate culture.
1) Hierarchy (age/position)
In Korea, there are positions such as deputy, section chief, and vice president etc. You should use honorifics when talking to your boss. But in Taiwan, everyone is on the same footing, regardless of rank. It is very relaxed and people even make fun of each other.
2) Excessive overtime and staff dinners/drinks
And I think in Korean companies the overtimes are too extreme. If not, there are the team drinks and dinners on weekdays which often carries on till small hours of the night. Back in Taiwan, I rarely drank when dining out with colleagues on weekdays. If you drink on weekdays, your body will suffer the next day. It is also because it saves precious time with family.
3) Gender inequality
I think in Korea women, in general, are made to do many things that have nothing to do with the job and they are often paid unfairly. A female employee must try several times more than a male employee to demonstrate her ability.
It’s only been a month since I joined the company, but I think Dable is a little different from other Korean companies. I don’t think I’m treated specially because I am a foreigner, it just feels that there is a genuine culture of respect regardless of class/age/gender.
What do you want to achieve with Dable?
I’ve been in the company for less than two months. First of all, I want to learn more about the company itself and ad-tech, as well as the overseas business and business development that I am working in. I will say my goal is to build up the experience and skills to become one of the future board members of Dable’s Asia branch.
Is there anything you want to say to your Dable colleagues?
I was so moved by the warm hearts of the Dabler colleagues who work with me. I would like to thank them for giving me the confidence and the welcome they showed me. I love everything about working for such a wonderful company in Korea, learning about Korean culture and living in a city like Seoul.
I really wish that this wonderful time together will continue for a very long time.