“Debating is a Way of Learning about Difference”
Jinsu Park (Business ’13), winner of the encouragement award in the 13th National University Debating Tournament.

Jinsu Park (Business ’13) has won the encouragement award in the 13th National University Debating Tournament sponsored by National Election Broadcasting Debate Commission, Solbridge International Business School and Korean Political Communication Association. Park said, “Before debating, I was a shy boy who was not good at puboic speaking” and added, “There is nothing like debating to bolster your confidence.” We talked to him about how he felt about the award.

Q. Please tell us about yourself.
I am in my third year in business school. My minor is a joint degree in public governance leadership. My dream is going to a law school and becoming a prosecutor.

Q. Could you tell us about the tournament?
The competition I participated in is called “National College Debating Competition” which is sponsored by National Election Broadcasting Debate Commission. The main rounds took place between 3rd and 4th August in Solbridge International School of Business, Daejeon. There were a total of 176 undergraduate students, and 88 teams that participated in the tournament. The preliminaries and semifinals were about "implementing basic income policies" and the main rounds and final was about "recall of members of Congress." The topics are released a month before the competition and the participating teams will put together their pro and con arguments. The preliminary rounds are contested by 94 teams and they are operated with teams of 3 competing in a league system.

Q. What made you decide to participate in a debating competition?
During my military service, I decided I wanted to become an attorney. To accomplish my goal, I wanted to learn the art of persuading other people which ultimately led me to join "GoranDoran," a debating society. Having worked hard in the club, I wanted to test my debating skills and that is why I participated in the competition. I was very happy to win the encouragement award in my first competition and I believe it was a very rewarding experience.

Q. What kind of activities were you involved in the debating club?
We would meet once a week and debate about a chosen topic, and have an impromptu 1 minute speech. There are about 30 active members each semester, and people can see from different perspectives because there most of the members have different majors. On a microscopic level, debating may seem like a clash between two opposing claims, but the speech translates the speaker’s life. The kind of argument one can construct depends on the life he has led. It was difficult distributing roles on looking up for data or working on strategies but I think now it helped us improve.

Q. How do you feel about being awarded the encouragement award?
I would like to express my gratitude to my teammate Sangmin Lee, who is a political science major. He was the one whom I could connect with the most easily, and it was because of him I won the award. My teammates were my biggest moral support during the preparation. The topic for the preliminary rounds was "basic income" and the main rounds, “recalls of MPs;” the former being business related and the latter being more in the field of political science. I think the fact that our majors differed were very helpful. To be frank, I am very shy and not much of a public speaker. But interacting with the members of the club, and following the club’s systemic curriculum I was able to convert debating into a hobby. I would like to thank GoranDoran for that achievement.

Q. What did you like or found difficult during your preparation for the competition?
The topics were unusual, and it was difficult and time consuming ironing out the logical structure of our data and assigning roles. The topics are announced a month before the competition, and the teams have to prepare both the pro/con arguments. In essence, there are two topics, but the teams have to basically prepare four. Also, both of my teammates had very distinct characters and it was hard matching their differences. But this too turned out to be a memorable experience, and the fact that I was able to test my hobby was itself very rewarding.

Q. How did being a business major help you in your competition?
There has been an increase in the number of discussion based lectures in KUBS. Through the lessons, I was able to cultivate my communication and listening skills. I was also able to enhance my confidence and individual capacity. The things I learned in the debating society were applicable in class discussions or lessons that required rigorous debating. The fact that business studies are a very comprehensive subject helped me in cultivating various perspectives in lessons.

Q. Is there anything you would like to say to your KUBS peers?
I did not have much chance to contribute to the prestige of KU, so it was an honor to do so. I would like to recommend KUBS students to actively participate in any kind of club activities. I was able to grow as a person and foster my confidence in GoranDoran. There are many activities that have a very organized learning curriculum so if there is anything you would like to learn clubs are the right places to go.