Career Design Studio: Pitch Yourself Boot Camp

We thank everyone for being a part of the event and turning it into a great success. There was an amazing turnout of more than 130 people from all around the world.

Participants at Career Design Studio

There were many charismatic speakers in the event. Stéphane Emmanuel Fouché shared the journey of his career in Japan, and one of his tricks to making a pitch awesome was to “make your self relatable to the audience”. Yuma Saito roped the audience into the theory of “My story, Our story, Now” which was the key to engage everyone around you in your missions. Last but not the least, Mayuko Yamaura made a great pitch about Edison.ai, and used the kanji character 「楽」to explain why you need to strive hard to achieve your goals.

Pitch yourself bootcamp

About Deloitte Tohmatsu Venture Support

Groundbreaking ideas too often do not reach the market because of a lack of customers or a mismatch with market needs. DTVS nurtures startups according to their needs and at all stages of development, by leveraging the extensive Deloitte network and our in-house expertise in venture affairs. With a firm belief that startups are the lifeblood of an ecosystem, DTVS offers a broad range of expert services free of charge to startups.

Our role is to act as a catalyst, to accelerate the rate of innovation. We believe this is of paramount importance for brilliant and disruptive ideas to take form and to be implemented as solutions that benefit both the economy and the society. At TVS, we support, connect and cooperate with startups and corporations in order to transform bold ideas into tangible, innovative solutions. So far, we have supported over 3000 promising startups as well as assisted hundreds of our clients to implement open innovation programs.

Acknowledgments

We sincerely thank Deloitte Tohmatsu Venture Support for providing us with the financial support. We love EDGEof for providing us with the venue. We also thank all the DTVS staff members, EDGEof staff members, BizJapan, BLINK, and MEXT Scholars Association – 文部科学省国費留学生協会 members who have helped us with the event.

Pitch yourself bootcamp

We are always grateful to our guest speakers Stéphane Emmanuel FouchéYuma Saito, and Mayuko Yamaura, for kindly agreeing to join the panel at such short notice, and for all the time and energy that they have dedicated to this event. Last but not the least, the response from the audience was overwhelming. Thanks a lot for being there for us and making the event a grand success. We at Career Design Studio hope that you had valuable takeaways, and we look forward to seeing you again at our next event!

Pitch yourself bootcamp

===========================
Career Design Studio’s Partners:
BizJapan (http://bizjapan.org )
BLINK (https://www.facebook.com/BlinkEntrepreneurs/ )
MEXT Scholars Association: (http://mextsa.org )

New Year Shrine Visit in Kyoto

On Saturday, the 20th of January, 2018, the MSA Kansai team organized a visit to two important landmarks in Kyoto; the Seimei Shrine and the Imperial Palace. 8 people attended the event despite the frigid winter. Gu, a Master student in Kyoto University, from China and Marcela, a Master student in Doshisha University from Chile were two new comers.

The first stop was Seimei Jinja, a shrine constructed in the memory of a prominent Diviner, Abe no Seimei. Upon arriving at the shrine, committee member Jyven took on the role of the guide. She, aided by Chong and Fabian (both MSA Kansai team members), explained the special features and translated many stories related to the shrine. For example, a statue of a peach which is supposed to be able to ward off back luck, a 300-year-old tree that energizes followers who embrace it, a series of drawings, which chronicled defining moments in the Diviner’s history and so forth.

The statue of Peach, which guards off bad luck, Seimei Jinja, Kyoto

The group also learnt how the Chinese five elements influenced the positioning of Kyoto’s famous landmarks and that public buses and trains were furnished with Omamori from the shrine. Some also tried their hands at the Omikuji (fortune-telling sticks).

After Seimei Jinja, the local burger joint Grand Burger was the choice for lunch.

Lunch at Grand Burger, Kyoto

After lunch, the group set off to their second destination, the Kyoto Imperial Palace, just in time for the 2 PM guided English tour. The group was greeted by a local guide, Ms. Hanasaka, who enthusiastically explained the history and significance of the palace compound and its present-day connection to the royal family. The event successfully concluded at 4pm.

At the Imperial Palace, Kyoto

We hope that everyone enjoyed themselves and look forward to seeing you at our next event!

End of Year Party in Kanto

On the 16th of December, the Kanto Regional Committee organized a year-end party for MEXT scholars and alumni at a pizza parlor in Shimokitazawa, Tokyo. The party had a total attendance of 28 people, of which 5 were alumni. The majority of attendees were newcomers to Japan, who had heard about the year-end party at a previous welcome event that was co-organized with MEXT. It was a great chance for fellow scholars to swap stories about starting life in Japan, and alumni to share tales about corporate Japan.

The pizza parlor was the same restaurant at which MSA had its first year-end party in 2016. Drink and laughter flowed freely in the casual atmosphere, and the chefs were kind enough to cater to the varied dietary restrictions of an international crowd.

Winter had just arrived, and the offbeat streets of Shimokitazawa glowed in the warmth of Christmas lights and tipsy crowds. For some, 2017 was the exciting start of a new journey in a foreign land; for others, it was a year of discovery, and yet others, a year of uncertainty. Bidding farewell under the festive streetlamps, everyone each went their separate ways, looking forward to what the new year would bring.

We hope you had a great start into 2018 and look forward to seeing you at our next event!

Kyoto Arashiyama Hanatouro Festival Outing

On the 9th of December, MSA organized the Kyoto Arashiyama Hanatouro Festival Outing. Over 40 people, led by Kansai committee members, Chika and Daniel, first went over to the famous Togetsu bridge to see the mesmerizing, hand-made laterns. Along the way, everyone got to know each other, learning about each other’s schools, studies, and respective countries. The journey continued onward towards the main attraction of the day: the bamboo forest, which had beautiful lights to highlight its subtle beauty.

The Bamboo Forest, Kyoto

The entire road was a little crowded, being one of the most popular spots in Kyoto, yet everyone still managed to take amazing pictures of the illuminated forest. The group then continued to the villa, where group photos were taken. After which they explored the maze-like temple and finished the day’s  trip at the pond that had beautiful mirror like reflections of the surrounding forest and temple. The trip finally ended close to the starting point, so as to make it easy for everyone to go back home.
The trip was a success, having brought MEXT and other government scholars from the Kansai area (and beyond!) closer together and everyone looks forward to the next trip!

Reception for MEXT Scholar in Tokyo on the 18th of November

On the 18th of November, MEXT and JASSO co-organized a reception for new MEXT scholars in Tokyo. At the reception, the scholars were enlightebed by the speeches given by representatives from MEXT, JASSO and MSA. They could experience the Japanese culture through events like the demonstration of  Japanese tea ceremony. They could also get to know fellow MEXT scholars from a range of universities in the Kanto area.

MSA was not only present at its own booth, answering questions, handing out flyers in both English and Japanese and helping new MEXT scholars in becoming members of the association; MSA also held seminars about the job hunting process and the daily life of international students in Japan. Furthermore, ice-breaking session was also organized during the networking party in the last leg of the event, consisting of a ラジオ体操 (radio exercise) and a quiz on fun facts about Japan.

Greetings from Mr. Kiyoshi Saito at the Reception of MEXT scholars 2017, Tokyo

One of the committee members of MSA gave an encouraging speech as a representative of successfully integrated alumni.

Greetings from Mr. Royce Lee at the Reception of MEXT scholars 2017, Tokyo

This was the first reception, where MSA played a significant role in organizing and making sure that everything ran smoothly. Hoping this event paves way for many more such events for the MSA in the future.

The MSA committee at the Reception of MEXT scholars 2017, Tokyo

We hope, that each and every one of the near 500 attendees had a great time, got to know fellow MEXT scholars and got a better idea of what is going to await them in the near future in Japan. No matter what, don’t forget that MSA is always there for you during your journey as a MEXT scholar or alumni in Japan!

Autumn Outing To Kyoto’s Mt.Hiei

On Sunday, 12th of November, the MSA Kansai team organised an outing to enjoy the autumn colours of Kyoto. The chosen location was Mt. Hiei, a popular destination to enjoy the changing colours.

In the afternoon, 20 scholars assembled at Demachiyanagi station in Kyoto. It was a good mix of scholars from Osaka and Kyoto. The journey started with a train ride to Yase-Hiezanguchi station. Right outside the station, the welcome colours of red and yellow could already be seen.  

At Demachiyanagi station, Kyoto

The next step of the journey involved using the Eizan Cable Car and ropeway all the way to the top of Mt. Hiei. The view on the way was simply mesmerising.

Mt. Hiei, Kyoto

Once the top of the mountain was reached, it was time for a small hike to the temple complex. The main attraction in Mt. Hiei is Enryaku-ji, one of the most important monasteries in Japanese history and headquarters of the Tendai sect of Japanese Buddhism. On the way, there were many viewing spots. It was a beautiful day with clear view of the valley.

Hike to Enryaku-ji, Mt. Hiei, Kyoto
Near Enryaku-ji, Mt. Hiei, Kyoto

When the group reached the entrance of the Enryaku-ji temple, it was already close to closing time and so they were actually allowed to go in without paying any entry fees. The short time was utilized by trying to bask in the serene atmosphere. Many photos of the beautiful temple complexes were. However, the main temple was actually inaccessible due to repair works.

On the way back, it was quite chilly and started to get dark. However, some illuminations could be seen on the way back, that somehow compensated the struggle against the cold weather. The outing ended with a lovely middle-eastern dinner and smiles on peoples’ faces.

Photographs by Fabian Hia and Anirban Chakraborty

Deloitte Tohmatsu Venture Support x MSA: Find your mission workshop

We thank everyone for being a part of the event and turning it into a great success (despite the heavy rain). We have had an amazing turn out of MEXT scholars and alumni.

A quick snap of the event:

Alba told her amazing story of how she moved from biotechnology to entrepreneurship and what she learnt from the journey. Later, Saito san involved the participants in his talk by having them plot out their life as a graph and built meaningful discussions around the plots.

 

A little more on Deloitte Tohmatsu Venture Support:

Groundbreaking ideas too often do not reach the market because of a lack of customers or a mismatch with market needs. DTVS nurtures startups according to their needs and at all stages of development, by leveraging the extensive Deloitte network and our in-house expertise in venture affairs. With a firm belief that startups are the lifeblood of an ecosystem, DTVS offers a broad range of expert services free of charge to startups.

Our role is to act as a catalyst, to accelerate the rate of innovation. We believe this is of paramount importance for brilliant and disruptive ideas to take form and to be implemented as solutions that benefit both the economy and the society. At TVS, we support, connect and cooperate with startups and corporations in order to transform bold ideas into tangible, innovative solutions. So far, we have supported over 3000 promising startups as well as assisted hundreds of our clients to implement open innovation programs.

Internship Opportunities:

Deloitte Tohmatsu Venture Support is currently hiring interns. It is a paid internship. For further details, refer to the website. (https://www2.deloitte.com/jp/en/pages/careers/articles/tohmatsu-venture-support-internships-student-hires.html )

Send your CV to Karthik.rampalli@tohmatsu.co.jp

Acknowledgments:

We sincerely thank Deloitte Tohmatsu Venture Support for providing us with the venue and the financial support. We also thank all the DTVS staff members, especially the speakers, Alba and Saito san, for all the time and energy that they have dedicated to this event. We love all the attendees for participating in our event.

Last but not the least, we have partnered with BLINK (https://www.facebook.com/BlinkEntrepreneurs/ ) for this event. Do check out their Facebook page.

Please follow, like and sign up with MEXT Scholars’ Association in order to receive the information at the earliest. This information was first sent out in our mailing list. Do sign up with the mailing list in order to receive the event information.

Tokyo Kaigi 2017

MSA co-hosted TOKYO KAIGI Conference 2017 on the 30th of September, in coordination with partner organization ZESDA. First, panel discussion was held among notable speakers (see below) on the theme “the Future of Cities”, focusing on Tokyo’s urban development after the 2020 Olympics. Next, participants took part in group discussions about such urban issues as social isolation, discrimination in the rental housing market, and outdated hiring practices of local companies. The event was attended by over 120 participants from over 30 countries, and was well-received by both participants and speakers.

Participants at the Tokyo Kaigi 2017, Tokyo

・Panel speakers:
Mr. Tsunehiro Uno, a journalist and commentator
Mr. Ryosuke Toura, executive of Tokyu Corporation
Mr. Dennis Chia, founder of Sosei Partners
Ms. Nhu Quynh Tran, ex-chief officer of the ASEAN Youth Network in Japan
Mr. Cory Baird, co-founder of Tokyo Interlopers

Panel speakers at the Tokyo Kaigi 2017, Tokyo

In the next few months, the organizing committee will be compiling a white paper based on the ideas shared at the event. We hope for your continued support!

Kobe Port Fireworks Festival Event

On Saturday, 5th August the Kansai Team of MSA organized an evening hang-out to enjoy the brilliant display of fireworks in Kobe Port area. Every year on the first Saturday of August around 10,000 fireworks are blasted into the sky and they flower into a dazzling spectacle of colors. This year was special, as it is the 150th anniversary of the Port of Kobe and the quantity of fireworks had been increased, making it the biggest fireworks display in Kansai area.

Near Port of Kobe, Kobe

The planning and preparations started weeks before the event day. On Saturday, the MSA volunteers reached the venue quite early to make arrangements for everyone’s accommodation and reserve a good viewing spot till the evening. The MSA, especially, appreciates their Japanese friends who came out to help out with the preparation. Slowly, people started to gather and the seemingly empty space was filled with chattering and excitement. By 5:30 pm, most of members had arrived and the wait for the fireworks continued. At that time, 23 people from all over Kansai area joined the event and MSA was very happy to see many known faces from the last event in Kyoto.

Kobe Port area city-scape, Kobe

The Kobe Port area view is amazingly beautiful even without any fireworks. As wait continued, the group witnessed a beautiful sunset-show with the Port Tower area in the background. Then they were greeted by an amazing transition of the Kobe City-scape into a brilliantly lit nightscape. The view is considered one of the best in Japan.

Kobe Port area nightscape, Kobe

At 7:30 pm, it was finally the time for the fireworks to start and the next one hour was dominated by the thundering display of colorful lights in the sky. It was simply awe-inspiring. The fireworks finished at 8:30 pm but as crowded as it was expected to be most of them made it to the station just in time to catch the last train back to home. It was a beautiful evening and the enthusiasm of the participants made worth all the effort that was put in. The MSA also wants to thank our friends from other scholarship organizations who decided to join us and make the time spent more beautiful.

Gion Matsuri!

On Sunday, 16th July, 2017 the Kansai division of MSA organized an evening walk to the Gion-festival in Kyoto. Despite the bad-weather with occasional heavy downpour, 33 people joined the event. It is important to note that this was one of the first MSA events in Kansai and so, the support shown by the fellow MEXT scholars was a great source of motivation for the organizers. People came not only from all parts of Kansai (Kyoto, Osaka and Kobe) but also, there were 2 participants from Okayama and Kagoshima.

The evening started with a visit to the Yasaka Shrine, which is the shrine for the Gion-festival. As it was the day of Yoi-Yama, the day before the procession of floats, there were many special events in and around Yasaka Shrine. One of those was the performance of Iwami-Kagura, an ancient Japanese dance form usually performed in shrines to please the deities. Iwami-Kagura is from the Western part of Shimane-Prefecture and depicts a fight-scene of Susanoo, the Kami of Storm with an eight-headed serpentine monster. The participants tried to blend-in with the crowd despite the hot-weather and became a part of the festive-mood.

During the Gion-Matsuri, Kyoto

After the performance, the group walked towards the Shijo-Karasuma area. The next stop was the floats (or the Yama-bokos) which are the prime symbols of Gion-Matsuri. The crowded street was filled with people in yukatas and it was a beautiful sight. The Yama-bokos were all beautifully decorated and stationed elegantly as if all of them were looking forward to the procession on the next day. The evening ended with the enjoyment of the local street-foods which were in plenty and also another attraction of the festival.

In a short span of a few hours, many of the participants became friends with each-other. Most of the participants were happy as this was their first official outing with other MEXT scholars. The breaking of ice was the primary objective of organizing this event. The plan is to work towards building a very strong family of MEXT scholars in Kansai area and beyond. The wheel has been set into motion and the Kansai team is now already discussing about their next event.