|Kang Seo-young, an engineer of display materials development at Samsung SDI / Courtesy of Samsung SDI|
By Kang Seung-woo
Looking for a better balance between work and after-hours life, many office workers are trying diverse yet unique hobbies.
Kang Seo-young, an engineer of display materials development at battery maker Samsung SDI, may be one of them, but she is pursuing an activity that does not fit the typical image of her job.
Kang is a boxer.
"After I joined the company and was dispatched temporarily to a factory in Cheongju, North Chungcheong Province, in March 2017, I set a goal of trying something that did not befit me. Keeping that in mind, I tried many sports and it was boxing that won my heart," Kang told The Korea Times.
Kang, who has good physical strength, initially thought the sport was quite feasible for her ― although it did not take long before her outlook changed.
"As soon as I began boxing training, I found that the sport was not what I thought it was. Only one week after I started it, I could not walk very well," she admitted.
"However, I did not quit and worked hard under the guidance of my coach, and as a result, my stamina improved and I felt a sense of accomplishment and success."
In the second half of the year, Kang was transferred to the firm's facility in Suwon, Gyeonggi Province, which forced her to hang up her gloves temporarily as she had to get accustomed to a new work environment, but it did not take too long before she picked up where she left off.
"While I was away from boxing, I became extremely lethargic and felt as if there was nothing in my life other than the company. So, I decided to put on my gloves and searched around for a new gym," Kang said.
"It was a good decision as it refreshed me."
Kang said boxing has helped her a lot in her career.
"My job of display materials development requires a lot of energy and I often got exhausted due to the intense workload, but boxing has built me up," she said.
"In addition, it gives me a confidence boost and I never give up when I encounter unexpected challenges."
Now, the 27-year-old has one goal in mind, winning a fight.
Last December, she had a flyweight bout, but failed to claim a victory.
"Although I did not win, the fight itself gave me a sense of accomplishment," Kang said.