Congratulations to Hyunsuk Ko, a current MCL member, for getting an offer from the Electronics and Telecommunications Research Institute (ERTI).ETRI is one of the best known Korean research labs in the area of information and communications technologies with international reputation and visibility. Hyunsuk has accepted the offer and will join the Department of “Realistic Broadcasting Media Research” as a senior researcher. He will conduct research on 3D/UHDTV broadcasting technology, high-efficiency/scalable video coding etc. in the next several years.

Hyunsuk said, “Most companies are actively hiring good candidates nowadays. There are more openings for software engineers than any other positions because giant IT companies such as Google, Amazon, Facebook etc. are leading the market. On the other hand, if you have an expertise in big data analysis, machine learning and computer vision, the chance to get a decent offer increases significantly, which means that MCL members do have a bright future.”

Hyunsuk got offers from Korean companies such as Samsung and LG and Korean national research lab, ETRI. He had interviews with US companies such as Apple, Google, and Amazon as well. After pondering his future career between ETRI and these IT companies, Hyunsuk eventually decided to join ETRI to be an academic researcher rather than being an engineer. Besides, his research background fits the need of the ETRI team very well.

Looking backward on his PhD life, Hyunsuk said that his major growth came from the process of being trained as an independent researcher. Hyunsuk got his MS degree by working on H.264/AVC video coding only. In contrast, he conducted research on quite a few topics during his PhD years, such as 2D-to-3D conversion, HEVC-based 3D video, objective quality metric development for stereoscopic images, and other stereovision topics. “Although these research topics were all 3D-related, the whole process was still demanding since I started from the literature survey, developed new innovative technologies, and conducted extensive experiments for performance evaluation.” Hyunsuk added, “On the other hand, I have learned the way to do the research independently from the experience with Prof. Kuo’s guidance. Now I am very confident when a new research topic is assigned to me.” Hyunsuk also thanks the big MCL group for shaping him a better team member.

Hyunsuk provided some suggestions for MCL members. For junior PhD students, Hyunsuk encouraged them to improve their capability of independent thinking. The PhD study is a period to learn how to conduct research rather than to passively learn something new. To achieve this goal, one method is to keep discussing with senior students since they are experienced and their advice might save your time a lot. Also, it would be better to finish the first main thesis chapter as soon as possible. Once you go through the entire process (from the literature survey to paper publication), you will learn a lot. Then, the following chapters can be finished much faster.

Senior PhD students should consider career objectives carefully. If you plan to go to the industry and are especially interested in a software engineer position, you should be well prepared for answering coding/algorithm/data structure problems. There are good references, e.g., the book “Cracking the code interview” or the website “leetcode”. On the other hand, if you are interested in a research position such as a computer vision or a video coding engineer, the interview is more about your research background although the coding part is still there but it will not be that tough.

Hyunsuk also said that the best way to obtain an interview opportunity is through internal references. Our MCL members have a tremendous advantage along his line because MCL alumni are almost everywhere in the industry. Be proactive in contacting them! Also, try to increase your visibility online by regularly updating your profile on the Linkedin page. Finally, your internship experience will help and increase your chance to get an offer as well.