Logo: University of Southern California

Korean Air Students Learn on the Fly

A Viterbi Distance Education Network first: students win degrees while studying outside the U.S.
Bob Calverley
May 16, 2008 —

Byeong Ho Gong and Chan K. Song won M.S. degrees from the Epstein Department of Industrial and Systems Engineering while studying in their native Korea.

Their employer, Korean Air, facilitiated the process by providing the two engineers with three round-trip flights per semester to Los Angeles. But most of their classroom time was spent on the computer at their offices and homes, interacting with instructors and fellow-students thousands of miles away through the Viterbi School’s Distance Education Network interface via phone and email chat.

 Byeong Gong , left and Chan Song

“This program helped my management skills and knowledge for engineering management,” said Gong, who won a degee in Systems Architecture and Engineering. “I learned collaboration and team work through the team projects as well.”

“A degree from USC is very important for our careers,” said Song, who now holds a Viterbi M.S. in Engineering Management. He added that he is ready to be back to work with a high degree of motivation and managerial skills.  His overriding feeling on graduation was a strong feeling of obligation to the company that had invested so much in him.

 “I am proud to be a USC alumnus,” says Gong, who has since been promoted to General Manager in the Seoul office of Korean Air. “I strongly encourage my colleagues to take the ticket when the chance is available.”