Kevin Yun has been my subordinate in the Republic of Korea Army. During this time, I was captain of the 27th regiment who are tasked to guard the demilitarized zone (DMZ) along the borders of North and South Korea. I was a member of the Guard Post for six years until my early retirement due to large intestine cancer. It was here that I had the chance to work with this person from a platoon leader until his temporary installation of sub-commander in the middle of 2007. Looking at our responsibilities, the GP were positioned in the area for several reasons.
It revolves around the task to watch and monitor enemy movement on a 24/7 basis and extract possible intrusions under the framework of the DMZ rules and regulations. During my assignment in the ‘search company’ comprising of three GP’s (177, 178 and 179), I first came to know the aspiring Kevin Yun. He first came into the company after my promotion as a commander. He has been under my orders for 21 months until I was forced to retire because of my ailment. Kevin Yun was a talented and spirited soldier who has showed significant expertise and discipline in his responsibilities.
Due to this, he was assigned to be the platoon leader from the first day until 2007 of March. During this time, he continued to show his skills both as a soldier and a leader to his comrades that it paved the way for his designation as a sub-commander of my previous company. He was chosen among others who were seniors because he exemplified better characteristics and capabilities that can lead the team. Compare to others in a similar capacity, how would you assess the applicant’s talents and strengths? Assessing Kevin Yun’s capability among his counterparts, I can say and attest that he was born to be a leader.
He possesses the needed characteristics and values that are needed to influence and help other people follow a specific goals and cause. I had seen him grow and develop during his tenure in the military and if given proper attention and training he can be an important contributor in any field that he chooses. I say this because before arrived and became a platoon leader in our division, the whole regiment was in chaos. We encountered mishaps and difficulties due to lack of communication and understanding of protocols and rules; such external pressure to perform better made life stressful for everyone.
To add up, the overall evaluation for promotion was coming up which made life increasingly difficult. During this time, Kevin Yun was assigned to our company. Due to the mishap that happened in one of my platoons, we were forced to get new ones to be assigned (around 25 people). It was in here that Kevin Yun was assigned to the company. He was an exemplary graduate of training school. After he was placed head of the platoon, he wasted no time training with his men and preferred not to go to BOQ (officers’ accommodation).
Rather he dedicated his time training and improving his men’s capabilities. During this one month, he transcended his leadership and skills to his platoon. He motivated them to work for the better. He imparted in them the values of integrity and dignity by showing them how it is done and lived. That was why his subordinates highly respected him. How would you assess his weaknesses, and in what ways can he improve and what efforts has the applicant made to improve in these areas? One important weakness of Kevin Yun revolves around the way he addresses his tasks and responsibilities.
It is vital to note that he is dedicated and passionate about the work he does. However, I am pretty much concerned about how he handles his time of work and the amount of rest that he requires. Seeing this, it is important that he must develop further on how he manages his time so that he can maximize on his potential. I had observed this during the time when he was leading the platoon. During the day, he was busy training and helping his companions about the strategies and rules surrounding guard patrol (GP). He lectures and provides instruction on how to address a particular situation.
At night, he devotes himself to further study of what needs to be done the next day. The same process goes on as he tries to make the best out of his team. Though this incident can be considered positive in nature, it has in itself several drawbacks that Kevin has to consider. Yes, it is the military and several rules and protocols must be followed especially when it comes to time and management. But he must also look after his health for his career to expand a long way. If he learns how to maximize his time and do multi-tasking activities, then this weakness shall clearly be overcome.
Seeing this, I had observed Kevin transform his schedule and routine during his stay at the GP. He made efforts to balance everything by trying to teach his platoon about the important strategies, regulations and rules and studying according to his preferred schedule. Describe a specific project that the applicant led or in which the applicant played an important role. What was his contribution? Was the project successful? Kevin Yun has played a significant role in the transformation his platoon during my tenure as commander of the Guard Patrol (GP).
He was able to create discipline and better communication among the soldiers and their superiors because of him. He was both a good team leader and a member as he tried to create new ideas and changes which is still congruent to the standards and protocols of the overall military unit. Commenting on his ability to work part of the team, I can rate him to be an exceptional one. Since he became a platoon leader, he provided leadership by example. He tried to impart to his members that following orders is strictly mandatory while at the same time opening up to his men.
He was never afraid that these actions may be taken against him. Rather he used it as a tool to create deeper relationship predicated on camaraderie and loyalty. He spent several sleepless nights deciphering on what models can be used to better educate and increase productivity of his platoon. Kevin trained his men passionately during the day and sought to improve himself at night by studying. With regards to his interpersonal skills and relationships, he was always open for communication. He never disregarded what his men had to say provided that it should be administered in a proper manner.
Kevin was always sympathetic about his men but still led them in a militaristic manner. For example, he was open to bull sessions to hear his men’s complaints surrounding issues that he failed to address or he points out his men’s shortcomings so that a particular resolution can be made. Describe a specific occasion when you observed the applicant’s leadership abilities. How would you describe his leadership skills or potential? I had a chance to work with Kevin Yun directly with one of our missions as GP. It is in here that I had a first hand glimpse of what he is like as a leader.
He was indeed a good choice for the platoon for he never backed down on any challenge and was a good example to his men. Seeing all of these, I feel that he has great potential in everything that he does and can be successful in any path that he chooses. Looking at this specific mission, my company needed to scan and clean the area in the DMZ to create safe paths. The problem surrounding this was it was composed of many undocumented and unknown land mines. Even though Kevin was the youngest among the officers I have, I chose him because of his skill and expertise.
During the two months, we were successful in creating 16 new paths which totaled 32 kilometers. Though I tend to push him a lot, he never complained and was completely professional about it. Elaborating on his leadership skills, I feel that Kevin is a good fit for our company during the time when change is badly needed. He was idealistic in nature but sought to make things better for everyone without compromising other people. He had the appropriate leadership perspective in handling his team. His astuteness, diligence, honesty and patience have garnered the respect of his colleagues.
He devised new strategies and applied it in a practical and realistic manner. It is all these efforts and commitment to his field that made all including the regimental commander recognize his contributions and work. Please comment on the applicant’s achievement, motivation, and potential for achievement in the program and for long-term success in a managerial career as a manager and leader I believe that Kevin Yun can be a good candidate in the program because he has showcased his capabilities in the military service. He has considerably accomplished and changed the Guard Patrol (GP) at such a short period of time.
Similarly, he was able to touch the lives of his followers and superiors because of the values he portrayed and practiced. Commenting on his achievement, I feel that he has completed many successful missions and brought pride to my company. Looking back, he was able to train and develop capabilities during his tenure as a platoon commander in one month. He persevered and worked hard to accomplish these things that it even garnered the praise of the corps commander. At the same time, he took the challenge of introducing change to the division by living on his values and examples.
This in turn transcended into a positive reaction among each member. Lastly, he was able to overcome pressure, huge workload and stress and deliver in the best way possible. At the same time, I saw his motivation and passion in his work. He barely complained about the obstacles and challenges that are present. Rather, he used them as a tool to persevere better and come up with new ways to innovate and learn. Seeing all of these, I feel that he is equipped with the experience and training for the program and can generate a successful career.
If he is given the proper education under the program, I feel that he is going to use it to better the organization/company he is going to work for and become a vital asset whatever profession he chooses. Do you feel graduate study is appropriate for the applicant at this time? I feel that Kevin Yun is prepared and ready for graduate study. He has the principles and right mindset that can land him the application. He shall continue to persevere and work hard to accomplish his goals. At the same time, he tries to expand on how he can use his leadership to better communicate with other people.
The military service not only taught him to be disciplined, it also opened his eyes to the realities of the world and how difficult it is. Kevin Yun chose not to stay in the military because he wanted to pursue further education. However, during his short stay in the Guard Patrol, he was able to move lives and impart his values and ideals to other people. He gave them the opportunity to develop their skills and capabilities while also improving his own. It is through this that I believe he can be a vital asset in your MBA program. In the end, he used the military as a stepping stone to garner experience and further hone his skills.
In here he developed his keen sense and passion for the welfare of others and sought creative ways to expand and diversify his character. Intellectual ability When it comes to intellectual ability, Kevin Yun can be considered above average to excellent. He is exceptional in devising models and plans hat can better suit the environment he is. He can equally grasp concepts that are important in a particular subject or field. This can be seen in his results during his training at the officers’ school where he studied. His proficiency in this subject can be gauge of how he does his work.
During his tenure at the military, he was able to develop his multi-tasking skills because of the huge work loads given to him. Though this may seem to be the case, he remains to be sharp and dynamic given the stressful situations given. Similarly, he was always interested in helping and leading other people. This was brought up when we were in a mission together. He mentions that he plans to work in KOTRA to further its cause of providing service to others. Lastly, he tries his best to cope up and blend in with the current environment and scenario given to him.
He makes it a point that he studies his lessons everyday to have a firm grasp of the subject at hand. Administrative skills; ability to manage work load Kevin has always found time for everything. I pointed out once that it may burn him out if he continuously does this. However, I observed that he sought to follow his devised routine and schedule so that everything can be done appropriately and effectively. He was able to multi-task and addresses numerous amount of work all at the same time. Moreover, he never tries to beat the deadline but rather tries to do it ahead of time to lower the chances of stress and pressure.
At the same time, Kevin has been thorough and precise when it comes to his work. Since we are in a military setup, everything has to be in order and it must be in its proper place. With this discipline, he was able to apply this in his work. He was very particular about the elements of the work; from the important details down to the least recognized ones. He wanted everything to be laid out accordingly and then plan his way of approaching it. Lastly, the way he does his reports are clear and comprehensive in nature. He tries to incorporate important details and uses the proper tone and words fit for the situation.
Initiative and follow through With regards to initiative, Kevin is quite resourceful when it comes to approaching his work. He tries to create his own ways of doing things given the impression that it still follows the rules and regulations. He tries to innovate ways so that it can have greater impact on the people around him. Using different strategies, he examines appropriate models and uses it towards the cause of other people. This was why he was able to create change within the Guard Patrol at such a short time. Kevin also seeks to look for ways that he can help.
He never tries to measure his work or its extent. Rather, he sees this as an opportunity to gain knowledge and experience of practice. On the other hand, when it comes to follow through, Kevin makes it a point to motivate others to do a good job in their individual responsibilities and skills. He encourages participation among his members and tries to incorporate his own values towards them on the notion that they too would do the same. Lastly, Kevin has always been open to feedbacks among his subordinates. He never dismisses what they believe in and tries to listen to them.