Describing India as having "a very special place in my heart," UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon recalled that he deliberately chose to begin his diplomatic career in New Delhi, which he saw as an "important and adventurous posting".
In a write-up titled 'What I Gained from Choosing the Rocky Road' posted on professional networking site LinkedIn for a series in which professionals recall the first jobs that launched their careers, Mr Ki-moon said after graduating from the diplomacy programme in South Korea, he had the opportunity to select his first assignment from among any of the capitals where his country had embassies.
"As an entry-level junior professional, I deliberately chose what I saw as an important and adventurous posting, in New Delhi," he said in the post. Working in a small-sized Korean Embassy in New Delhi gave him the "incomparable opportunity" early in his career to work in a post where there were more tasks than hands on deck.
"That allowed - even forced - me to stretch

in new directions and take on challenges I would not have learned to surmount under more comfortable conditions. With far fewer fellow officials than in other major hubs, I could pay my dues and still handle the policy issues that had attracted me to diplomacy in the first place," Mr Ki-moon said.
The UN chief said choosing New Delhi over other posts "paid off" as besides making plenty of copies and running errands in New Delhi, he also got the chance to write briefs, generate analysis, meet with officials, and apply the education he had received from day one of his job.
"I developed a strong affinity for the region that went far beyond what it gave me professionally. India and South Asia as a whole have a very special place in my heart," he wrote.
Mr Ki-moon also fondly wrote that his second child, a son, was born in India and his daughter married an Indian man. "I like to joke that my favourite Korean-Indian joint venture is the grandchild she added to our family," he said.

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