Today’s company visit was to Naver, which is common reffered to as ‘Korean Google.’ Naver serves as the primary search engine for most Korean’s, and they invest heavily in various AI projects such as text recognition and translation, live-following cameras, and voice synthesis. The company tour was very interesting, as they showed us some of the very impressive employee benefits along the way. The office building featured discounted meals and convenience stores, in addition to insurance desks, medical doctors, and a post office. Since Samsung Biologics had similar incentives for its employees, this seems to be a common trend among large corporations in South Korea.
After Naver’s visit was some of the most fun I have ever had. A small group and I signed up for a Taekwondo class and I was very excited. Upon arrival, everyone changed into dobok and I knew it was on. Our instructor explained the meaning of Taekwondo as well as provided a few (very) impressive demonstrations. After some interesting stretches, we started with upper body techniques (punches) then moved on to basic kicks. To end our lesson, we were each given a board on which we wrote a goal for the future. We then broke all our boards to show that our goals are acheivable, and the lesson was concluded with certificates of completion. Taekwondo was surprisingly fun, and it almost made me wish I participated in a martial art as a child.
After dinner, we ended the day with a very successful outing to the market. All of us made various good purchases for ourselves and others, and enjoyed walking through the city at night. My favorite place to shop was a 4-story, outdoor shopping square where you can just walk in circles until reaching the top floor, where you have a nice view of the murals and artwork below.