By Stephen Satkowski
USACE Far East District Public Affairs
SEOUL, South Korea - Ka Young Shim, an architect in Engineering Division’s Design Branch, was recently selected as the Far East District’s “Emerging Leader.” The emerging leader program is a U.S. Army Corps of Engineers initiative geared to develop employees’ leadership skills and future development.
Shim takes over for James Lee, an engineer in the Central Resident Office.
Her selection didn’t surprise Anirban Bhattacharyya, the Far East District Engineering Division Chief. “Ms. Shim is a highly skilled architect with unlimited potential. She will serve the district well in this new role.”
A native of Chicago, Shim moved to Seoul in 2010 to work for Amkor A&E Inc., an engineering company that works closely with the Far East District. In 2012 she made the move from the contractor side of the house to FED to get experience in the government sector.
A Korean-American, Shim is taking advantage of her time in Korea to reacquaint herself to some of the Korean customs and way of life.
“It’s exciting living here and re-learning the culture and the language,” said Shim. “Seeing where my ancestors came from is a good personal experience.”
Shim said she feels it is important for her to take on new challenges and positions as she progresses in her job at the district. This is one of the reasons why she applied for the “Emerging Leader” role.
“I feel for any new architect or professional it’s important to take on leadership positions or get trained in leadership programs.”
As the “Emerging Leader” she will attend all corporate board meetings for the next year and is aiming to learn all she can and be an example for others by sharing her experience with her peers.
“I see myself as a link between the leadership and the younger generation employees,” said Shim. “I have relationships with many younger employees. I feel I can be that connection.”
Other than attending the corporate board meetings, Shim also attended the 2016 3rd Quarter Executive Governance Meeting held in Washington D.C. where all district commanders came together and shared their challenges and achievements.
“I’m so honored I got to experience that and hear their discussions,” said Shim. “It gave me a broader perspective and hearing about their campaign strategy plan gave me a better viewpoint on why we do the things we do here every day. Seeing them talk about our organization and its future – it’s very motivating and inspiring.”
Shim plans to build a page on the district sharepoint site to share her experiences and offer insight for future young leaders and for others who will follow in her footsteps.