Dulwich Alumni | Yoo Sungjoon: Sailing the World with Mission and Passion

"Graduates of Dulwich have so many options worldwide. You could end up in Europe, the US or Asia. I believe there are no right choices - only good choices and better ones."

Only five years have passed since Yoo Sungjoon graduated from Dulwich College Beijing, yet he has already studied and worked in some of South-East Asia's most exciting cities and even sailed the world! Perhaps Sungjoon, a South Korean national, has sailed full circle, having most recently undertaken a teaching and counselling placement at Dulwich College Seoul. 

Throughout his varied, life-shaping experiences, Sungjoon is committed to following the spark of enthusiasm, the source of energy and excitement, and the guidance of mission and intuition.

And that commitment started as early as Sungjoon's Dulwich days. 

xm Sungjoon with the DCSL UCC team

"Our school offered economics and gave me the foundation for academia," he says. "I was a co-founder of the Student Challenge Investor Club. We invested in the FTSE and learned the basics of finance."

Sungjoon credits Dulwich College Beijing with instilling students with a business mindset. It was, however, the distinctly Chinese invention of bubble tea that Sungjoon thanks for channelling his early enthusiasm.

"Bubble tea was a very popular item," Sungjoon recalls. "Student Council Charity Campaigns would regularly sell Bubble tea to raise money. From logistics to marketing to finance, we were essentially running a business on a small scale, but it also offered soft skills and nurtured me in that way."

Sungjoon looked all set for a career in business and economics when he graduated from Dulwich and accepted a place at National University of Singapore to study Business Administration. 

xmwebp Sungjoon presenting to DCSL students

Before too long, though, Sungjoon’s early talent and curiosity were tempered by the sobering reality of cold, hard figures, algorithms and statistics. “When truly experiencing the field, I couldn’t find a connection between our work and the real world,” he admits. 

This realisation proved a turning point in Sungjoon’s course of life. That spark of enthusiasm and excitement, once faded, was rekindled during his days of circumnavigating the globe, when he was fulfilling his obligatory national service in the South Korean navy. 

“We travelled the world - to the Middle East, the Americas, Hawaii,” says Sungjoon. “I was also stationed at the Korean Naval Academy as a language instructor and taught English to military officers. I enjoyed teaching. It got me thinking about it more seriously. After my discharge, I started working as an education consultant.”

Confident that his future lay in the classroom, Sungjoon reached out to his former school. 

“I spoke to Lucien Giordano (EiM Group Director of International Outreach and Alumni Engagement) about how I could work with the schools, supporting IB teaching and university counselling pupils,” he recalls. “One memorable event was the University Counselling Support Summit, where Dulwich counsellors shared their valuable experiences and data.”


“As a university counsellor assistant in Seoul, I offered students my reflections on why I chose to study in Singapore,” says Sungjoon. “Graduates of Dulwich have so many options worldwide. You could end up in Europe, the US or Asia. I believe there are no right choices - only good choices and better ones.”

The next chapter in Sungjoon’s life takes him to London, where he will study for a Postgraduate Certificate of Secondary Education (PGCE), the UK's professional teaching qualification. “London is a cosmopolitan city,” he says. “I would like to help second-generation immigrants with their studies. I would love that experience.”

Having gained many benefits from it himself, Yoo Sungjoon is a vocal advocate of Dulwich’s influential Worldwise Alumni Network (WAN). He encourages others to register and be active in the community. “I will be in Europe next year, where I intend to reach out to our alumni,” he says. “I urge all alumni to go online and input their data into the interactive map – it helps to make our community stronger.” 

In giving back to the community that once nurtured him, Sungjoon believes that his Dulwich years in Beijing left a profound mark upon his character. 

“It seems that wherever I go, I find a Dulwich campus.”

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