MEXT Scholars Welcome Party (Tokyo ’16)

On the 19th of November, both MEXT Scholars Exchange Platform (MSEP) and MEXT Scholars’ Network (MSN)  participated in the MEXT Scholars Welcome Party held at JASSO’s Odaiba dormitory.

The event was organized by MEXT and more than 300 participants from universities from all over Japan gathered.

We thank all the scholars for participating in the event and hope that the event gave everyone a chance to get to know fellow scholars, as well as MEXT scholar groups such as MSN and MSEP which aim to further and deepen the community between scholars.

The next party will be held probably in the middle of 2017 in Kansai so we hope to see you there!

“From Scholars to Scholars”: Speakers Series #2

#2: The Pathways of Engineering – Telecommunications, Civil, and Management.

“From Scholars to Scholars” is a series of panel discussions that feature alumni with outstanding professional experiences. We hope that in attending these sessions and interacting with other participants, both students and alumni alike will find the inspiration to contribute back to society in a larger capacity.

The 2nd iteration of the MEXT Scholars’ Network’s “From Scholars to Scholars” Speakers Series was held at the ASEAN-Japan Centre in Shinbashi on the 1 Oct 2016.

Our second panel discussion features the following three alumni speakers:

1. Sourabh Maiti, an Indian research engineer at Softbank.

2. Duangkamol Kamolyabutra, a Thai senior engineer at TÜV SÜD Japan, a German railway company.

3. Khoo Kai Siang, a Malaysian corporate strategy manager at Toyo Engineering Corporation.

We started off with the presentations of each speaker, personally sharing each of their educational experiences while studying her, as well as their career journeys ever since graduation. We then proceeded on to the panel discussion section, where we opened the floor to the audience to ask each of the speakers, personal questions regarding their experiences in each of the fields that they are involved in. Of note was especially how engineering as an education degree actually leads into very different and exciting pathways, as well as opening many doors, when it comes to career choices.

The discussion was concluded with a networking social session over pizza, drinks and other refreshments. The event was attended by over 30 alumni and current scholars alike, with academic field of expertise ranging from engineering to economics and international relations.
We would like to extend our heartfelt thanks especially to ASEAN-Japan Centre for once again opening this space for us to hold this unique event to build our community of MEXT scholars together. Last but not least, thanks to all of you who made it down to join us! See you at our next event!

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MEXT Scholarship Alumni Party

The MEXT Scholars’ Network held our inaugural alumni networking event on the 27th of August, 2016 at a cozy event space in Meguro. It was a rare opportunity for scholarship alumni from different professional backgrounds to reconnect with an internationally diverse community.

Though it was a rainy summer evening, we had a sizable turnout of 26 people from all around the Kanto region. There was a sizable buffet which was kindly prepared by a chef specializing in Italian cuisine, as well as a free flow of drinks.

The event was also attended by a few members of ZESDA (Zipang Economic System Design Association), a Japanese NPO that promotes social innovation through business, as well as JAPI (Japan Association for Promoting Internationalization). From diversity often comes new ideas and inspiration, and many of us took the opportunity to share our thoughts on cross-border innovation.

We would like to thank everyone for making this alumni party a success! We look forward to your continued support for future events at which alumni members may build their professional network.

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“From Scholars to Scholars”: Speakers Series #1

#1: Mobile Games, Student Ventures and Corporate Accounting

“From Scholars to Scholars” is a series of panel discussions that feature alumni with outstanding professional experiences. We hope that in attending these sessions and interacting with other participants, both students and alumni alike will find the inspiration to contribute back to society in a larger capacity.

The inaugural event of the MEXT Scholars’ Network “From Scholars to Scholars” Speakers Series was held at the ASEAN-Japan Center in Shinbashi on the 11th of June, 2016.

Our inaugural panel discussion featured the following three alumni:

  1. Thiago Kimura de Leon, a Brazilian creative director at Yodo1 Games, a Chinese mobile game software developer
  2. Goi Hoe Chin, a Singaporean senior researcher of entrepreneurship at Keio University
  3. Edmundo Prado, a Venezuelan accountant at INPEX Corporation, the largest Japanese oil and gas production company.

During the self-introduction section, each speaker kindly shared his personal and professional experiences in Japan, and also provided advice on how to choose one’s path in life. Then the panel discussion started, and with it a lively debate on the various merits and demerits of working in a small company as opposed to in a large, well-established corporation. Of particular interest to some participants was the role of tertiary education institutions in encouraging entrepreneurship.

The discussion ended with a reflection on “being hungry”, a point raised by one of the speakers. This was followed by a networking session with participants bonding over pizza and soft drinks. 

The event was attended by around 50 MEXT scholar and alumni, the latter of which hail from such diverse industries as business consulting, IT marketing and commodities trading.

Special thanks go to Sato Taiki of Fourth Valley Concierge for a speech on the challenges faced by international students in job hunting; to Akira Iyadomi, for starting development on a mobile platform that aims to connect MEXT scholars and alumni; to ASEAN-Japan Center for graciously allowing us the use of so accessible a venue. Last but not least, a big thank you goes to all the participants of our event. We hope to see you at our next event!

MEXT Scholars’ Association Launch Party

The launch party for the MEXT Scholars’ Network (MSN) was held in Kudanshita on Showa Day, 2016. It was the first day of Golden Week, a week-long stretch of public holidays in spring, and all of Tokyo was in a celebratory mood. 

At a wood-paneled reading room, we formally announced our organization’s name to a small gathering of about 20 MEXT scholars and alumni. In the opening presentation, we outlined the following goals for the MEXT Scholars’ Network: to encourage members of our community to be the best they can be, to engage with both public and private stakeholders in promoting the internationalization of Japanese society, and to elevate the profile of Japan and the MEXT Scholarship on the international stage. This we will achieve by building a platform for mutual support and information-sharing amongst members. 

Following the opening presentation were two speeches by active members of the community. The first was by Austin Zeng, a Singaporean MEXT Scholar from the University of Tokyo. He shared his experience interning at both a Japanese IT start-up and at a NGO that works closely with MEXT, and strongly encouraged the students among the audience to experience life outside of university too. The second was Tran Vu Ha Min, a Vietnamese alumnus who currently works at Odakyu Railways. She shared with us her experience contributing to her company’s business efforts in Vietnam, showing us how international students can bridge the gap between different countries and cultures. 

We then bonded over pizza and drinks, talking about life as a foreigner, career prospects in Japan, and sharing academic and business ideas. Some participants took the opportunity to catch up with old friends they had not seen in years. The after-event was held at a nearby izakaya, and the conversation continuied late into the warm spring night. 
Special thanks go to Akira Iyadomi from worldnavi for providing us the pizza and drink, and Hayato Kaneda from 営業課 for such a homely venue. A big thank you also goes to the participants, for supporting us in building this community. We hope to see everyone again at our next event!