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The Real Story of SNU Students

  • February 3, 2020
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Founders of YouTube Channel Studio Sha: Ryu Seo-hwan (Department of Design), Park Jeong-won (Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering)
Founders of YouTube Channel Studio Sha: Ryu Seo-hwan (Department of Design), Park Jeong-won (Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering)

An honest look at campus life

We are currently in the midst of the YouTube age, where people are constantly consuming video content according to their own interests and tastes. Among young people, especially high school students preparing for the infamous College Scholastic Ability Test (CSAT), the YouTube channel Studio Sha has been rapidly gaining traction. The 70,000 subscribers and 14,000,000 views it has garnered in its first year reflect a positive response to the look into the daily lives of SNU students that the channel seeks to portray. The channel includes videos such as “Things to Remember on the Day of the CSAT,” “For People Looking to Improve on Their Relationships,” and “First Day of School Vlog.” The channel was conceived by Park Jeong-won (Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering), who came up with the idea in the Entrepreneurship Lab class offered by the Department of Entrepreneurship, and Ryu Seo-hwan (Department of Design), who worked to solidify the channel’s brand image.

“Students from various other universities run their own channels, but there was no existing channel that captured life at SNU. But if you search for Seoul National University on YouTube, you will find that the videos have many times the number of views, simply because they have to do with the school. I saw great potential in this.” – Park Jeong-won.

Park quickly put his idea into action, setting up a team and uploading the first video of the channel within three weeks. The results far exceeded their target goal of 10,000 views: the video attracted over 200,000 views and the channel gained 10,000 subscribers.

“SNU students have the image of being studious, pursuing their own success while tucked away on Gwanak Mountain. But the reality is that we’re just ordinary students in our 20s, with fun stories to tell about our ordinary lives. I think people take an interest in our channel because we try to communicate things as they are.” – Ryu Seo-hwan.

Park and Ryu’s brainchild is now an effort garnering the participation of 29 students. At first, the channel primarily featured Q&A style videos, but since March 2019 has been trending toward videos starring student creators. According to Park, “after we launched our channel, similar channels were soon created and we were no longer novel. There were also limitations with the interview format – it was hard for us to attract constant attention without regularly featured personalities for the audience to connect to. We needed a change, and we also wanted to attract a wider age range in our audience.”

The root of laughter is an earnest heart

Confidence in this direction of change for the channel grew when a “Day in the Life of an Architecture Student” vlog, filmed by a student creator, drew increased numbers of views and subscribers. Despite the numerous changes made over a short period of time, the creators’ goal remains the same as when they first opened the channel.

“I hope Studio Sha provides a window for people to vicariously experience college life. We try to ensure diverse representation in our student creators, by taking into account gender ratios, department association and admission track.” – Park Jeong-won.

While on average, a typical YouTube video is completed in three to four days, Studio Sha videos take a month to plan, produce and upload. As the channel’s following and influence has grown, the creators have had to be more mindful about not harming the name of the school.

“For each video, we have two planning meetings and one final meeting where we look over the video together before its release. The process is part of our consistent effort to create relatable content for the audience, and also to check that the content will not be misconstrued. We are committed to taking into account constructive criticism in order to create better content and become a channel that embodies the SNU spirit.” – Ryu Seo-hwan.

Park and Ryu agree that it is time to use their established process and platform to experiment with more adventurous content. They are currently planning an advice column-style video where they take submissions from the audience, as well as a camping trip with subscribers. Studio Sha presents a fresh, new face for SNU with its characteristic wit, sincerity and friendly touch.

Source: 서울대 사람들
Written by Minju Kim, SNU English Editor, minjukimm@snu.ac.kr
Reviewed by Professor Travis Smith, Department of Asian Languages and Civilizations, tlsmith@snu.ac.kr

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