I am not an extreme feminist, however, I have to say we can quite often see “Woman power” in every field in the world now, and even careers people used to be traditionally male such as politician (South Korea had recently its first female president!), top-level chef, orchestra conductor, or scientist. Here I present a proud Korean, Dr. JaeRyeon Ryu, who works as research scientist at the University of Calgary.
Q1. Tell me about yourself.
I am Jae-Ryeon Ryu mother of two daughters, 16 years and 10 years old. I have a Ph. Doctoral degree of Molecular Biology and have been working for 20 years in my field.
I am working at the University of Calgary, Calgary, Alberta.
Currently, I am working in the Molecular Biology and Biochemistry Department as a research associate, researching and studying basic science, animal science, and medical science. My research project is characterizing the factors during angiogenesis using Zebra fish as a model system, which recapitalize human blood vessel processing and help us understand human diseases like cancer and stroke.
Q2. What made you immigrate to Canada?
The direct reason is that my husband received an opportunity to work in Canada when he was finishing his study in USA. The other reason is that I had an interest in living in foreign countries.
Q3. How did you get this job? Wasn’t it hard?
I haven’t taken any English test, either TOFEL or TOEIC, in Korea, but studied English speaking and grammar during my school days there. I have read many books and watched movies which help my understanding of cultural differences.
And also as a Ph.D I have many chances to attend international conferences, do teaching at universities, and work in the institute as a scientist. Frequently, I need to present a research project in seminars, unlike others. Relevant experience and technical skills are helpful to get a working opportunity.
Q4. Do you feel any difference in working circumstances between Korea and Canada?
Respect, it makes for everyone working with pride in Canada, and I even call my boss by his first name. But, I feel there is no respect between men and women in the Korean community, I have to call a Ph.D colleague Dr. , but he never calls me Dr. Ryu.
Q5. When do you feel proud of being a Korean?
I am very proud of my nationality; Korea is a leading country of Science and IT industry in the world.
Apparently, people know Koreans are smart, diligent, and very responsible about completing jobs.
I personally feel pride in my heritage when I publish my scientific results in an international journal, or I when I search published data and find Korean authors.
Q6. What are your goals in the future?
Personally, I’d like to be the best scientist in my field and to run my own laboratory.
Q7. What is your advice to the people who want to join the mainstream of Canadian society?
I strongly say “don’t give up, do your best.” Honestly, everyone has their own talent and with it you can accomplish your goal in this country.