One of the many reasons why I chose Myongji University for my exchange year in Korea was the variety of program that is offered for student to participate in. Next to their cultural and volunteering activities they also offer opportunities to get more acquainted with Korean enterprises and their business strategies. One example of this was my trip to “Chicken University” last winter.
BBQ Chicken is one of the biggest – and most delicious – fried chicken vendors in Korea. They even expanded to several other Asian countries and plan to reach the western market too. This is why it might make sense that this big company orientated itself at the “Hamburger University”, which was first established by the McDonalds Company, and slightly changed that concept to match its own agenda. As I had never been to any food university before I didn’t quite know what to expect but I was certainly looking forward to making this experience.
When we arrived at the „Chicken University“ we were surprised how normal it looked – until we noticed the statue of the school mascot, which of course was a huge chicken. From that point on it only got more interesting. First, we were lead into the main conference room where we heard a presentation about the company, from its very beginnings to its future expansion plans. It was very interesting to see how a formerly small company was able to keep up with global giants like McDonalds and still made it in the fast food market.
After the presentation was finished, the most anticipated part of the program was next: We entered the university’s kitchen facilities and got ready to prepare our very own BBQ chicken. One of the head chefs explained to us the complex procedure of preparing the trademark BBQ Chicken and how much work goes into it as well as all the details that need to be taken care of while preparing the chicken. After he coached us we finally were able to try our hand at preparing the chicken.
While it was a lot of fun it also was much harder than we imagined getting the right amount of seasoning on the chicken meat, not letting it sit in the flour-and-egg mixture for too long and put it into the deep fryer in the correct way. However, all the work was well worth it when we finally got our cooked chicken out of the fryer. After we learned how to perfectly assemble it in a BBQ Chicken take-out box we were allowed to take our chicken to the university’s cafeteria and enjoy our hard work as our lunch. I don’t think I’ve ever tasted fried chicken as delicious as the one we made ourselves that day. The excursion to „Chicken University“ ended much too soon for our liking but it was a very unique experience. We learned something both about Korean business models as well as about chicken preparation methods which was an interesting and entertaining combination. I would definitely advise you to take all the chances you can get to broaden your horizon while staying at Myongji University! 🙂