All About Expat Life in Michigan – Part 2

In the previous episode, we looked at the roles of expatriates at LG Energy Solution working in Michigan, USA, and satisfying work and life as expats. In the second part, they share their candid stories about living abroad as well as advice for juniors who want to become expatriates! Let’s get started!

Q. Have you ever regretted coming to the United States as an expatriate?

(Team leader Jae-cheol Yang, Manufacturing Capacity Building Team)
There was a lot of pressure because I’d never spent so much time abroad. It was initially difficult to adjust to English or other cultures, and I wondered, “Did I make the right decision?” but now I think, “I am glad I came!” Anyone can face these difficulties at first, but they can overcome them because there are well-prepared manuals for newcomers and people willing to assist them.

Q. Have you ever missed Korea or wished you hadn’t come here?

(Associate Hyun-jun Cha, North America Construction Team)
I’m having a great time here. We have a good time fishing, camping, swimming, and so on, and the cafeteria serves good Korean food, so there’s no need to go out to eat Korean food.

Q. How closely does the present match your expectations of expat life?

(Associate Hyun-jun Cha, North America Construction Team)
I’d say it’s close to 80%. I didn’t come with fantasies, but it was surprising that there were many activities and interesting things that weren’t available in Korea. However, the work is tougher here.

(Team leader Jae-cheol Yang, Manufacturing Capacity Building Team)
Before I came here, I assumed I’d have to start from scratch with others. However, because our team had joined the Michigan corporation early on, we had everything we needed. The only difference between here and Korea was the language. I think I was overly concerned at first. I think it’s much better than I expected.

Q. What are the three most important things for expatriates?

(Associate Hyun-jun Cha, North America Construction Team)
The first is the ability to adapt quickly, the second is the tolerance for leading and understanding local people and team members, and the third is the mindset to enjoy local life. I believe you will have no trouble working as an expatriate if you have the ability to adapt, the mindset to enjoy, and the ability to embrace the various cultures of local people.

(Team leader Ki-jeong Jang, Pack QA Team)
The most important thing, in my opinion, is to develop a mindset for understanding other cultures.

(Associate Hyun-jun Cha, North America Construction Team)
If you do not accept the culture here and do it your way, I believe you will have difficulty integrating into the company and the local culture.

Q. Could you please speak to juniors who want to work as expatriates?

(Team leader Ki-jeong Jang, Pack QA Team)
If you work hard at your job, opportunities will undoubtedly present themselves. That is why it is critical to always prepare by doing your best at work.

(Associate Hyun-jun Cha, North America Construction Team)
I believe it is an excellent opportunity for those seeking new challenges and experiences to apply for the position. It will allow them to test and expand their boundaries.

(Team leader Jae-cheol Yang, Manufacturing Capacity Building Team)
There are currently numerous openings in various fields. It is best to find the area and job you want to work in, then talk to the expats who are already there. Above all, I believe it is critical to meet the minimum requirements, such as language scores, in advance so that you can apply immediately when the opportunity arises. And if you hesitate, it’s too late!

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