K.STORM is a student-led club that provides a platform for people to come together to promote and learn more about Korean Culture. The club had been dubbed “K.STORM” to describe the growing popularity of Korean entertainment and culture that has surged in recent years. It is through this “storm” that members are able to have fun, meet new people, and gain knowledge of Korean Culture.
Some of their past events have included Korean game nights, K-Pop dance classes, Korean food socials, and karaoke nights. I had the chance to sit down with K.STORM’s current president, Jason Yeh, to talk a bit about his experience with K.STORM and how interested students can get involved with this club.
To begin, how did you get involved with K.STORM and why?
Korean culture has grown immensely throughout the years. Five years ago, I felt as if I was the only person who was into K-Pop, Korean dramas, or Korean variety shows amongst my peers. For this reason, I had to resort to online forums and communities to find others who had the same interests as me. Things eventually changed as the “Hallyu” or Korean Wave became more prominent internationally. During my second semester at SFU, I was ecstatic to see the emergence of a club dedicated to educating and bringing together those interested - or simply curious - about Korean culture. I immediately joined as a member and attended as many of the events I could. After enjoying my time at their events and creating friendships with the founders, executives, and other members of the club, it felt like a natural progression for me to join the K.STORM executive team. In Summer 2012, I officially joined their team as a Web Administrator. My experience with graphics design made it a natural fit. Fast forward 2 years and here I am!
In all, my initial desire to find other like-minded individuals eventually progressed into a big opportunity to develop myself personally and professionally!
What has been your favourite event that the club has hosted and why?
Our Running Man events are always my favourite. Running Man is a popular Korean variety show where several teams are competing to win a variety of games or challenges. Winning them will provide the team with an advantage for the second section of the event. The second portion is the name-tag game, heavily lauded as the unique and most exciting part of Running Man. This section requires the teams to rip the name-tag that is placed on the back of each participant's t-shirt.
Running Man is very different to other "game-type" events, mostly because it combines physical capability, mental fortitude, teamwork, and luck. Creating the games and challenges are fun, but seeing the teams have their try at it is even more exciting.
Running Man is definitely an ordeal to both plan and execute. But the excitement and thrill of it definitely keeps me waiting for the time we plan the next Running Man event! Plus, there is a reason why it is our most popular event!
What skills have you gained from your experience here at SFU K.STORM?
It would be no doubt management and leadership skills. Most people have this belief that leaders are born - but that is entirely not the case. Like anything else, qualities to become a leader are learned and cultivated. K.STORM has allowed me to develop leadership skills by giving me the opportunity to manage a diverse team and to motivate them to do their best. Being able to do this in a safe environment (compared to in the real world) allows me to properly prepare for future situations of my career.
What are some events that the club will be hosting this summer that we can look forward to?
The summer semester is a little different from the others. This is because I like to approach it as a semester where we can try to be more creative and experimental. What I can reveal right now is that we will be having a food social, Running Man, and a picnic event.
Finally, I want to ask you - what motivates you to get involved on campus? Do you have any tips for students also looking to join clubs or to hold exec positions?
I'm a big believer of personal development and progression. I have a strong drive to learn new skills, develop my current skills, and to become the best version of myself - that motivates me to become involved. These are incredibly important life values that I try to teach my executives.
When it comes to becoming an executive, I find that many people are either too lazy or have this feeling of self-doubt. People need to realize that work experience is becoming more and more important in the working world. Those who cruise by post-secondary without adding anything to their resume will have an extremely hard time after their degree is completed. What clubs - and being an executive - does is provide individuals work experience and fun at the same time. I cannot put to words how integral clubs are to my personal and professional development. K.STORM has provided me with a close network of friends, important transferable skills, confidence, and more. It has dramatically changed my lacklustre post-secondary experience into one that is both memorable and rewarding.
I suggest everyone have a crack at becoming an executive in a club they have interest and passion for. Even if it doesn't work out - oh well. You've already progressed by stepping out of your comfort zone!