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Behind the Scenes with Sunil Sohn: Shaping the Future at Nova Korea

At the heart of Nova Korea's dynamic team is Sunil Sohn, our HR manager. Sunil, with her unique background in French Literature, took a fascinating turn into the high-tech industry, weaving through companies like Motorola and Nokia, before landing with us at Nova in 2021. Her journey is anything but ordinary, driven by a love for cutting-edge technology and a company culture that's all about dreaming big and daring to innovate. Today, we're chatting with Sunil to uncover the heartbeat of Nova Korea and to see what makes it tick for someone with such a rich tapestry of experiences. Let's get the inside scoop directly from Sunil and find out what it's really like to be part of the Nova family.   

Sunil, could you share a little about your background before joining Nova?

Certainly. My education in French Language and Literature wasn’t a typical starting point for my tech-oriented HR career but here I am. I began at Motorola, moved through several high-tech companies, and joined Nova in 2021. For over 21 years, I've been drawn to companies that are at the forefront of technology because they push us towards a smarter, better life. Nova's commitment to innovation and this deeply resonated with me, making my decision to join an easy one. What motivates me to stay at Nova are the company values and vision and how they are being implemented daily: dream, dare, listen, innovate, and execute.

What should candidates know when they start the interview process with Nova Korea?

We are looking for passionate individuals with a positive mindset and agility. Our culture is one of equal opportunities, fair treatment, and mutual respect.

Based on our mutual trust, we operate on a hybrid model, balancing work-from-home policies with in-office engagement, emphasizing accountability and the value of each employee's voice.

Additionally, as a global company with various subsidiaries, working at Nova opens up opportunities for our employees to travel to customers and other offices for learning and training purposes, as well as options for extended business travels.

Just a few weeks ago, two Nova Korea employees, who recently joined, traveled to Nova Germany for training in the Chemical Metrology Division (CMD). Not only did they learn and train on our Chemical Metrology products, but they also established great working relationships with their colleagues in Germany. Their feedback was that they had a great time both professionally and personally.  

Can you describe how Nova Korea upholds the values of DEIB  in its overall approach and philosophy and as part of Nova's culture?

I’d like to mention just how much our management is totally on board with the diversity and inclusion mindset

We've also rolled out DEIB training for our leaders and managers. It's all about making them more aware and figuring out how to weave these ideas into our day-to-day work.

Opportunities like these let everyone show what they're made of and grow. And that ultimately make Nova Korea employees feel that they have a real impact.

Nova Korea's new office space is designed to enhance employee experience and represents Nova’s strategy of One Nova, where everyone feels at home at any of Nova offices worldwide. What are some of the unique office features that employees are most excited about?

Our new office really matches the look and feel of Nova’s global offices, and it's all set up with ESG and sustainability in mind. When we walk in first thing in the morning, the reception area at the main entrance really makes us feel good and proud to be part of Nova.

What the employees really love are the informal meeting rooms. They've got comfy sofas, nice carpets, and decorations that make everything feel cozy, not to forget the plants. They can take a break, maybe even sneak in a nap, or just chat with someone from a different department. It's all about relaxing and recharging.

In these rooms, people tend to open up more, be honest, and really listen to each other. I've noticed that these special touches help a lot with making everyone more productive and boosting morale and engagement around here.

What development opportunities does Nova Korea offer to ensure both professional and personal growth for its employees?

We're really focused on and dedicated to our employees' personal and professional growth, using a variety of tools and methods. We offer a personal coaching program, English training, leadership trainings, technical trainings, and an Employee Education Assistance Program. We also encourage our employees to experience global mobility by working in other territories, like the USA, for short-term assignments (2-3 months extended business trips). Beyond just global mobility, we give our employees the chance to move internally—from Service to Apps, Apps to Sales—to support their career development.

And then there's our learning platform, METRO, which makes it super easy for employees to access and benefit from online training courses. This includes everything from tech seminars and forum contents to soft skills courses. 

What steps does Nova Korea take to foster an environment where every employee feels seen, heard and valued?

We make sure that employees feel seen and heard all the time. Our working culture is built on friendliness, mutual respect, and trust, no matter what your job level or how long you've been with us. Every employee is treated fairly and equally. We take their voices and feedback very seriously, using DEIB surveys to gather their thoughts, and our staff and management team are fully committed to creating action plans in response to this feedback.

What initiatives are in place at Nova Korea to help employees improve their English and facilitate better global communication?

Most of our employees already speak English quite well, which is important because, as a multinational company, we test all candidates for their language proficiency during the interview process. Recognizing that language skills are crucial for business and communication, we offer one-on-one English training with native instructors, as well as business English courses offline, like presentation skills courses, among others.

Could you share some insights into the business travel opportunities available to Nova Korea employees and how these experiences contribute to their professional development?

People in tech roles at Nova Korea, like those in Application and Service, are always eager to expand their knowledge with the latest technologies. That's why we provide opportunities for business travel to places like Israel and the US, where they can pick up advanced technical skills. For longer business trips, employees have the option to bring their families along for 2-3 months. This way, they not only gain professional experience but also enjoy family time and immerse themselves in a completely new culture.
Just recently one of our product experts, was sent, with his family, for an extended business trip in the USA, where he gained valuable training which required a longer stay in the USA. He shared that he and his family all had a great experience, exploring a new country and culture. He expanded his professional skills and knowledge, while his family enjoyed a peep into a different perspective and they came back to Korea with unforgettable memories.

Can you describe some of the fun activities that Nova Korea has introduced to create an engaging and responsible workplace culture and promoting a One Nova employee experience?

We've got many activities lined up every year to keep the workplace lively and responsible. For starters, there's the Tuesday meet-up, Happy Hour, team-building activities, Chimak Day, and the end-of-year party, just to name a few.

Among these activities, "Body Training" and our sort of Sports Day are huge hits with everyone. Back in 2022, we all headed to Jeju Island for a 3-day body training retreat. It was amazing—just chilling, enjoying great food, Soju and Somac, and taking in the beautiful views.

Then, last year, we spiced things up with a Volleyball Competition Day in Yongin. We could feel the bonding, positive energy and vibes and passion of our employees. It did wonders for bringing us all closer as a team.


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Link: https://www.novami.com/careers/working-at-nova/

Nova Team
Nova Team

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