Young people who are passionate about championing social causes are often interested to learn more about available opportunities for them to make a positive impact, as well as hear from professionals about how they overcome challenges faced in their own philanthropic work.
One such youth is Hae Jin Chang, a tertiary student from the Hankuk University of Foreign Studies, who has volunteered for various nonprofit programmes to prepare for a career path in this sector.
Hae Jin Chang, a tertiary student from the Hankuk University of Foreign Studies was one of 28 youth who attended the recent Microsoft Korea event that showcased its commitment to addressing the needs of disadvantaged communities.
"As compared to my exposure to working with nonprofits, I feel that there are not enough opportunities to learn from multinational firms about their corporate social responsibility (CSR) work," she lamented.
Ms Chang was one of 28 youth recently invited to the Microsoft Korea office to take a closer look into the company’s commitment to address the needs of disadvantaged communities across the country, especially through the use of information technology (IT).
Jointly organized by Microsoft and Dream Together, a programme helmed by the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism, the event provided Microsoft the platform to showcase its CSR initiatives in three main areas: human rights, environmental issues and corporate governance. Microsoft Korea employees who are involved in leading CSR efforts took the opportunity to highlight their own experiences in supporting community projects and making a social contribution.
Jin Hee Bae, Corporate Affairs Specialist at Microsoft Korea, said, “From my personal perspective as someone who joined Microsoft without much prior knowledge of CSR work, I have been exposed to many opportunities to learn through training and mentorship programmes, plus getting involved in our various social initiatives.”
Ms Chang said, “By interacting with Microsoft Korea's CSR team, I was able to gain valuable insights into how I can work towards accomplishing my dream job and learn more about how they execute their CSR programmes.”
The CSR team at Microsoft Korea is focused on a wide range of activities that have a direct social and environmental impact. These activities include participation in high-level discussions to help shape public policies, collaborating with local nonprofits and boosting the technology capacity of young South Koreans.
Under its global YouthSpark initiative, Microsoft Korea has launched a series of youth-focused programmes aimed at addressing youth unemployment and closing the opportunity divide. These include collaborating with around 149 South Korean universities to boost IT capabilities as well as encouraging young innovators to take part in the annual Imagine Cup competition, which serves as a catalyst for youth to develop innovative technology solutions to address global problems.
Another recent highlight of Microsoft’s programmes is the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) signed with the South Korean Ministry of Unification and the North Korean Refugee Foundation to provide IT education and training support for youth defectors from North Korea.
Hwan Lee Kim from the Korea Social Responsibility Institute (KOSRI) highlighted how the CSR initiatives from Microsoft Korea are setting a good example for other South Korean corporations.
Ms Kim noted, “Microsoft Korea has key CSR strategies such as spreading education and IT opportunity equally, which is deeply integrated into its business. I am delighted to attend this event because Microsoft's mission to help social enterprises is aligned with KOSRI's objectives. I am also grateful for this collaboration between Dream Together and Microsoft Korea, and hope Dream Together will continue encouraging Korean companies to further their social contribution.”
“The CSR team at Microsoft Korea is focused on a wide range of activities that have a direct social and environmental impact.”
Jin Hee Bae, Corporate Affairs Specialist, Microsoft Korea