Discussion with EJ Shin, Marketing Director at Jenax Inc., Head of International Marketing.
EJ: As Marketing Director at Jenax Inc., the first private sector at the forefront of pioneering the next-generation of reusable and flexible batteries, mother of three, and math teacher in training, EJ Shin works closely with the STEM community, while also challenging and inspiring the young minds around her in any way she can.
EJ started her journey by studying International Relations and Political Science. She pursued a career in diplomacy to "make a difference in the world". Due to the demand of constant relocation that jobs in this field would require, EJ decided to change her career path and focus on starting her family. She received her MBA from Yonsei University, and began some consulting work, leading to her current role at Jenax.
BIOTOC Connection was granted the opportunity to sit down with EJ over Zoom to find out more about her journey, and to discuss her thoughts on what it means to be a good leader.
Could you explain how your company, Jenax, is affiliated in the STEM world?
EJ: We talk with many companies who are looking for next generation, innovative devices. We combine the plain idea with how to design it creatively so that the consumer actually feels that there is a significant difference. Once we get an inquiry from the customer, I sit down with engineers to create a solution. We do a lot of engineering to make this superior battery, but it is not just about the inside of the battery—we do a lot outside of the battery to provide a more customized solution for various companies, be it tech, design, fashion, lifestyle—you name it. Everyone needs batteries. Though I didn’t major in chemistry or mechanics, I’ve been highly involved in that regard.
What made you decide to join Jenax specifically?
EJ: That has to do with our five core values: belief, challenge, love, passion, and gratitude. I actually love challenges. When I heard of this opportunity, it was something that I had never done before, and they were just starting out as a start-up company. I liked being able to try new things, gather knowledge and wisdom from those around me, and jump into this hot industry.
How do your company goals translate to your personal goals?
EJ: The battery industry is on the rise, and the competition is getting fierce—everyone wants better quality with a lower price. Our company is in alignment with this trend, so I believe our timing with the growing industry is great. In the end, it will all come down to whoever provides a better solution for the customers, and whoever will bring out the best results. Using our company as an example, I am training my kids, and would like to encourage young women to take the challenge and be a leader in the industry. This doesn't mean you have to be on the top, but rather, it means positively influencing other people in any way possible.
Regarding our goal of empowering women in STEM by encouraging them to be leaders and make contributions to society, do you have any advice for the community?
EJ: The more I involve myself in this industry, the more I see so many intelligent people with amazing solutions. It makes you wonder, how did they get to this point? It is more than just mastering skills. It’s knowing who you are, and mastering self-confidence. While educating my kids, I realize the world will continue to change generation after generation, but the constant will be their integrity. That’s why I focus on teaching them how to build themselves up and set core values.
Everyday practices, like offering the water delivery man something to drink and walking him to the door, show that you care about other people—that’s how you build up the values you need to become a leader. When you’re on top, it is not just your skills or knowledge that matters, but who you are and how you treat people. STEM, tech, or any other skills are just tools to express yourself, and do not define who you are. Knowledge is powerful when used for a good purpose, and that all depends on how you grow yourself internally.
You mentioned that you are deeply into skin care. What would you say “beauty” means to you?
EJ: Yes, skin care is my joy. Starting from brushing your teeth and washing your face to taking good care of your skin and eating vitamins, I consider these as being responsible for what is given to you. Inner beauty is the most important thing, but skin care and exercising is just as important. As a supporter of the STEM fields, I'd like to emphasize that STEM is a collection of skills, and helps you think in a different way. What really matters, though, is who you are, what you think, and your inner beauty. Education is just a tool to become a good person and leader. I try to set an example for my kids and their friends, and push them to think in different ways. I actually recently became a math teacher in training because I want to be a part of the process of training our leaders of tomorrow.
This conversation has been edited and condensed for brevity.
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