Exploring the Beat of K-Pop and Fashion: An EMBA Adventure in South Korea
The Executive MBA (EMBA) Global Capstone Project goes beyond traditional classroom lectures and case studies. It’s an immersive experience that introduces students to real-world issues and topics that are impacting the business world on a global scale.
This past spring, students in the EMBA program completed their Global Capstone Project in Seoul, South Korea, where they explored K-pop, a form of popular music in the country, as well as the Korean fashion markets.
Here, Albey Miner (EMBA’24) shares details about his exhilarating journey through the vibrant streets of South Korea where he delved into the realms of K-pop and the world of Korean fashion while immersing himself in the tapestry of international culture.
Why did you choose to work on a consulting project about U.S. entry strategies for the K-pop and Korean fashion markets?
My first choice for our consulting project in Seoul was KAI Media. I’ve always been passionate about the arts and was excited to delve into a rich genre I had limited knowledge of: K-pop. When we met the KAI Media’s founder, we discovered their need for a U.S. retail entry plan, and I couldn’t resist the opportunity to combine my passion with this type of research. Additionally, learning about the K-pop fan communities in various American cities was especially fascinating.
How did traveling to South Korea contribute to the project deliverable?
Being in Seoul immersed us in the bustling youth culture that fuels K-pop. Our project team’s visit to one of the world’s top K-pop stores, mobbed with fans of the music, was an incredible experience. Seeing the excitement surrounding the genre firsthand enriched our understanding of its popularity and brought a level of authenticity to our recommendations.
What have been your biggest takeaways from working with your client?
It was a profound experience to see the synergy of creativity and business acumen that led our client to early success. Working closely with the co-founder gave us insights into the core of the company and its values, which go beyond what marketing materials can convey. Witnessing the tireless dedication of the founders during the early and expansion phases of their company was eye-opening, and the genuine gratitude of the entire company for our work was heartwarming.
What was your favorite moment of the trip?
This trip was a bonding experience for our already close-knit cohort. Exploring Seoul’s culturally vibrant city was incredible, but a visit to a historic palace with my fellow students was particularly special. And of course, we had a blast enjoying some delicious Korean fried chicken together.
How did the trip impact your understanding of global perspectives in business?
While the United States is undeniably an international business leader, the bustling business community of Seoul was incredibly inspiring. We met with business leaders at some of South Korea’s largest companies and most entrepreneurial centers and witnessed the incredible innovation taking place in the country. This experience expanded my horizons and deepened my appreciation for the global business landscape.
Is there anything you’d like to share with future EMBA students about this experience?
To future EMBA students, I’d say, trust the program. Even if you think you know a place well, working with a great client and traveling with your cohort can turn it into an entirely new and unforgettable experience. The EMBA journey is more than just a degree; it’s a transformative adventure that will take you to remarkable places.