Juliana Park

Founder, HRX Brasil

1. Do you remember a time when you were happiest as a child? Where were you, who were you with and what were you doing?

My parents immigrated from South Korea to Brazil when I was 6 years old. My happiest memories were when we lived in Korea, I was about 4 maybe… and my dad used to travel a lot with my mum, me and my 2 sisters and took a lot of pictures of us in that period. Actually I consider myself more Brazilian than Korean and love Brazilian people but in my memory the happiest time as a child was in Korea.

2. What seemed like an inconsequential decision at the time, but in hindsight turned out to fundamentally reshape your life?

Before starting in the recruitment industry I had a fashion ecommerce business. Sales fell dramatically with the pandemic and I was about to shut down the firm. At that time a headhunter reached out to me offering a sales position in a recruitment firm. He has been serving Japanese companies in the Brazilian market for over 35 years and wanted to expand business attracting Korean and Chinese firms – as Asian firms have similarities. At the beginning I thought – HR is not that interesting for me, as I have an engineering background. Would it be something that I want to do in the long term period? He is a very charismatic person and I accepted a trial period. But at that time, it didn’t work and I decided to not move forward. After one year, he started another business, also in the Recruitment market and offered me a similar position again. At that time I don ́t know why but just felt that it could be different and in a short period of time I got customers and it worked out. After some months, I became a partner and last year I started my own business, as all the operations of my clients were up to me.

This decision certainly reshaped my life and I believe in the power of the connections.

3. What habit or behavior or belief have you recently acquired? Why is it now in your life?

Although I look like a positive person, when I face a hard decision or something bad happens, I have a tendency to fix my mind on the bad points or judge in a wrong way. When I start overthinking, I tend to create a lot of hypothetical, sometimes crazy and unreal situations in my mind.

I’ve been in therapy for a while and there I discovered how harmful overthinking can be sometimes and decided to intentionally stop when I think a lot about bad things. It’s not easy, but I believe that we can re-train our way of thinking. I also believe that in most circumstances what makes difference is more about how we see things and not about what the fact is, and what moves forward or puts down is more about internal limitation, not external.

4. When was the last time you changed your mind about something really important? What was it and what led you to change your view?

I’ve always liked initiatives to support women, whether it’s entrepreneurship, women in technology or STEM(science, technology, engineering and math) but I’ve never been formally involved. Recently I have researched some data about and also talked to some people and I concluded that we need men ́s support too. Women groups are powerful to give emotional support as our universe is completely different and to inspire others with successful stories but just it is not enough to make things change and leverage women rates.

5. What’s one misconception people generally have about you?

That is hard to please me and I am a picky person. Actually, there was a time when I was a little picky, but I realized that you tend to miss opportunities to enjoy something new or unexpected. Now I consider myself highly adaptable and I really enjoy trying new things and facing challenging situations (sometimes).

6. What is a Ted Talk that changed your life?

Grit – The Power of Passion and Perseverance – Angela Lee Duckworth.

The most important point for me was that grit, that is very important to be successful, usually is potentialized or increased in hard situations, when you are in the position of a failed person. So, falling is part of a successful journey in the end. Situations of failure can represent the turning point or also give you the extra strength to get out of that situation. Another analogy is when someone faces a humiliating situation and that creates extra motivation to overcome your weakness and put in more effort than “common people” – this situation frequently happens with immigrant people.

The Power of Vulnerability – Brene Brown.

A lot of people mentioned this Ted talk. I watched it during the pandemic and was highly impacted.

The most important point for me was that no matter what your intellectual level is, social condition or position, culture etc.. human beings have something in common in their essence. We all want to be approved, recognized and be loved, and we all have fears and have vulnerabilities..

7. What is that thing which is OK to ask you about, but which other people are wary to do so?

From time to time someone asks me: Why didn’t you get married and have children? Give me congratulations! (just kidding).
To be honest it has never been my personal goal or dream. I really believe in family as an institution to build emotional support and trust that can also potentialize our best..

8. When was the last time you felt like an outsider in a group? What/How did you learn?

In my last job, when I was hired I was the oldest of the team(regardless of the founder that hired me). So, at the beginning I felt embarrassed for not having the same view and interests but after sometime I totally adapted and this experience made me feel younger and impacted positively in my daily routine. Also, although they were young, they were all hard working, so it was an opportunity to get to know more about this generation and demystify some stereotypes..

9. What’s your favourite meal? Can you say why?

From time to time it changes. At this moment, I am more likely to choose Korean food. I love Korean pork belly with sweet and spicy sauce, this combination is amazing and when it is made as a barbecue it creates a crunchy surface outside and smooth texture inside that is perfect with rice and sesame leaf. If you like spicy and sweet combinations, I highly recommend it.

10. What would be the perfect gift that someone could buy you right now?

Actually in recent years, I have become a more conscious consumer and it is rare to desire something. But this is something that I want to buy on my next trip to Korea. Really want to try a LED Light Therapy Mask. “A few minutes a day does more than just look cool – these nifty devices stimulate collagen production, reduce fine lines and wrinkles, combat inflammation, and leave skin healthier and glowing.”

11. If you were to own a bar, and you could design it how you wanted, what would it look like?

An open place on the beach with a stunning sunset, some chairs and tables just to eat something and drink and talk.

12. If you could witness one moment in history which one would it be and why?

The moment in the Egypt story during the pharaoh Ramses(or Ramesses) II period, specifically the moment when the red sea opened to Moses. This is a famous story from the Bible that is related when Moses and the Israelites were fleeing the Egyptians when they came to the Red Sea. God split the Red Sea to give safe passage to the Israelites. There are a lot of theories related to this time and also one that there is no historical evidence supporting this.

But, as a Christian, I believe that this really happened and my motivation to witness this moment is experiencing the manifestation of God’s greatness and power, to impact my life with faith renewal. I believe that at that time people had a purer heart, so there was this kind of manifestation. Maybe it could sound crazy or ingenuine for those who are skeptical or do not believe..

13. Can you give an example of a time when you had to learn the lesson the hard way?

When I shut down a business – a fashion retail ecommerce store. In fact, the logistics of this kind of business were even more complex than I could imagine. To maintain the down period I needed to have a higher working capital, because even if you don’t have sales, you need to feed the store with new clothes( with some colour options+sizes). Also, the average retail profit is about 10-20%. In the end, my cash flow became negative, I reduced costs but at that time, with the lockdown people were not buying new clothes.

The other mistake I made(that is common) was that I used to mix personal and business earnings and costs. It is essential to separate both to have a real metric about the business.

So, my conclusion was unless you have a great margin( just for producers), fashion retail is not worth it for small businesses.

14. What's a skill that isn’t on your resume, but your former bosses would recognise as one of the reasons you are successful?

I am a very determined person. If I decide to go for a project and it is possible, I will never give up. So, probably I will be the one that encourages others in hard times.

15. What’s the one bad quality you wouldn’t mind in a colleague? Why?


I don’t feel bothered when a colleague or partner contacts me after business hours or at weekends, showing anxiety because he wants to accomplish a goal and wants me to help somehow. I am not saying that I will give support any time, but if I can, I will do that. I don’t believe in success without hard work..

16. Have you ever been the weakest member of a team? How did you handle it?

In my first internship experience. It was a corporate department of an investment bank and the other interns were men with more experience and smarter than me. It was hard and they used to delegate me tasks they didn’t want to do. It was a challenging experience and maybe if I had more emotional intelligence at that time, my performance would have been better.


17. What’s one industry challenge you don’t actually think will ever get solved?

There are a few qualified candidates in Brazil, especially when it comes to positions that demand English speaking skills. In the RH industry, tech recruiters also don’t have basic technology knowledge. Is common to hear that the technical team from recruitment platforms spend a lot of time with the RH professionals because they don´t know how to manage the tools.

18. What is your biggest professional regret? What do you think might have happened otherwise?

I should have started discovering my self knowledge process earlier or should have found a mentor at the beginning to build a more linear career.

19. If you could add one question to the next person to answer what would it be?

If you have the opportunity to do whatever you want in one day life without considering budget, distance and you have the power to talk to anyone you want, which would be the 3 things you would do?(you will continue living after this day)

20. Who would you recommend to do the next 20 questions with and why?

Karina Behavia, founder of Ollo. She has an interesting and successful story and also is a very creative person.

Thank you to Juliana for taking 20 Questions for The Brainfood Tribune. Make sure to follow Juliana on LinkedIn

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