Yongsun Paik, Professor of International Business and Management for the top-ranked LMU College of Business Administration, aims to give his students the world — in every sense of the word. The first faculty member from the business school to be honored with LMU’s 2021 Rains Award for Excellence in Scholarship and Creative Works, Professor Paik challenges his students’ understanding of international markets and motivates them to address the world’s most significant issues through global awareness and collaborations.
“In this global economy, my responsibility as an educator is to help students broaden their perspectives and develop global mindsets,” Paik said. “It’s crucial to becoming a leader in the ever-changing business world. You have to be ready to work with anyone, anytime, anywhere... comfortably.”
The key in doing so, and the takeaway from his courses, is to acquire actionable knowledge and out of it, build capital —intellectual, psychological, social, and so on.
“To better understand and communicate with people from other countries, one has to be familiar with context on a variety of levels; lingual, historical, cultural,” Paik, originally from South Korea, said. “It’s this actionable knowledge that will allow you to do business with people from other parts of the world much more comfortably.”
Part of this actionable knowledge, Paik adds, has to be acquired beyond the classroom through experiential learning , such as the opportunity to study abroad and international internships.
Professor Paik leads several global study abroad courses including “Exploring Asian Culture.” As Director of LMU’s Center for Asian Business, he immerses LMU students in the culture and history of East Asian countries and helps them develop a more in-depth understanding of the current state of the Asian economy and its impact on businesses.
“Seeing is believing,” Paik said. “You cannot learn about a culture, its people, or business practices in the classroom. It’s important to experience the very place you are trying to understand and learn about, and study abroad is a great way to do just that.”
Aside from developing his students, Paik is also a prolific researcher and has published more than sixty articles in highly regarded peer-reviewed journals, such as Journal of International Business Studies, Journal of World Business, Academy of Management Perspectives, and Journal of Business Ethics, in addition to several books, book chapters, and numerous conference proceedings. His knowledge and insight has not only received thousands of citations but also earned him many recognitions, such as Fulbright Scholar, best paper awards, and research grants from influential institutions.
Additionally, Paik is the principal investigator of the prominent Center for International Business Education (CIBE) grant that LMU has received from the U.S. Department of Education in 2018. The CIBE grant has provided funding for curriculum development, scholarly research, faculty development, and community outreach projects. Under his leadership, the Center for Asian Business (CAB) has received grants from International Communication Foundation and the D. K. Kim Foundation to support student exchange and faculty research.
As for what advice he has for future LMU Lions?
“It’s important that you get to know your professors,” Paik said. “I encourage you to stop by during their office hours and learn about their interests. Even a small talk can lead to an internship or eventually a job. Serendipity is always there.”
Paik earned a master’s degree in Latin American Studies from the University of Texas at Austin, and a Ph.D. in International Business from the University of Washington, Seattle.