From Scholars to Scholars in Kansai

As international students in Japan, questions such as ‘What are the options I have once I graduate?’ lurk in the mind of almost every scholar. As the country goes through the process of internationalization, the importance of answering these questions are increasing day by day. MEXT Scholars Association understands the gravity of this situation and is taking initiatives to deliver at least some kind of direction to MEXT Scholars in particular and the international community at large.
With this motivation, on Sunday, July 8, the Kansai division of MEXT Scholars Association organized an exchange of information between current scholars and alumni which we call “From Scholars To Scholars (FSTS)”. The venue was the prestigious Kyoto University in Japan. Three speakers coming from different backgrounds shared their experiences and tips with the eagerly listening audience. Around 25 people, from different universities in the Kansai area joined the interactive program.

The first speaker was Oula Aabkari, a scholar from Morocco and currently a 2nd year Master student at the Graduate School of Engineering, Kyoto University. She recently cracked a job at a construction consulting company and shared her job-hunting experience targeting a general audience.

The second speaker was Fernando Palacio, a scholar from Argentina, who came to Japan with the MEXT scholarship in 2004 and finished his Masters and PhD at Tokyo University of Foreign Studies. At present, he is a “Program special senior lecturer” in Kyoto University at the International Strategy Office and shared his experiences both as a student and a professional.

The third speaker was Austin Zeng, a Singaporean scholar, who graduated from the University of Tokyo in 2017. He is currently working for multiple startups in the Tokyo tech scene and is a member of a research group at RIETI researching about the laboural scene for foreigners in Japan. He is also the current President of the MEXT Scholars Association. He shared his career experience and his knowledge on the difficulties and opportunities as a foreigner looking for a career in Japan.

After the three speakers finished their presentations there was a Q&A session where the audience freely interacted with the speakers and cleared many of their doubts.

The event had a special attendee. Yukari Mitsuhashi, the Vice-Director of the International Strategy Office Kyoto University decided to surprise us with her humble presence and addressed the students with a short speech.

 

MEXT Scholars Association would like to thank everyone who joined us and made this event a success. We will try our best to bring more and more career related events to the Kansai area in the future!

Click here to download the presentations

Pictures taken by Fabian Hia

From Scholars To Scholars IV

On the 17th of June 2018, MSA held its fourth ‘From Scholars To Scholars’ speakers series, where we bring together current students with OBOG alumni, who have made for themselves a career here in Japan.

This time it was held at the prestigious University of Tokyo, and for the first time we managed to invite with us a Javanese guest career consultant, Reina Noguchi, to share with her expertise in Japan’s unique job market.

Our distinguished OBOGs this time included Iris Wieczorek, a researcher by training and founder of IRIS, and Gustavo Dore, UX designer and founder of Motify, who shared their rich career experiences and their entrepreneurial spirit with the current MSA scholars to carve out their own career here in Japan.

We are pleased with the positive response and would like to thank all participants and especially the speakers.

Seminar on Diversity at the Workplace

On the 26th of May, Saturday, the MEXT Scholars Association held a seminar on diversity at the workplace in partnership with Probity Global Search, a boutique recruiting agency, and Hofstede Insights Japan, an HR consultancy.

As an outreach event, this seminar was mainly attended by working members of the public, both foreign and Japanese. Its theme was Hofstede’s theory of cultural dimensions, a management framework widely employed in multinational companies worldwide.

Three facilitators from Hofstede Insights Japan provided a general introduction to the different aspects of the framework, interspersing their presentation with short group discussions for participants to share their experiences in a diverse work environment. Through the seminar, participants better recognized the dimensions in which one’s cultural makeup may differ from that of business acquaintances, and picked up effective methods of communication and decision-making that improve working relationships with people of different cultural backgrounds. The session concluded with drinks, snacks and light conversation.

Looking forward, the MEXT Scholars Association hopes to organize similar outreach events that both contribute to our alumni members’ career development, and promote among the general public an increased understanding of international diversity.

Welcome Events Spring 2018

In April MSA held welcome meet ups in Hokkaido, Tohoku, Kanto, Kansai and Kyushu. We would like to thank everyone who participated and contributed in making every single meet up a success!

To give you an impression of the events, here are some pictures:

 

Hokkaido

Tohoku

Kanto

 

Kansai

 

Kyushu

 

Thank you to all of those who were involved and who attended! We hope to see you at our next event!

Featured image taken from flickr.com (2018/05/04)

Cherry Blossom Meeting in Kansai

On Sunday, the 8th of April the MSA Kansai Team met with 28 MEXT scholars to celebrate the start of the spring semester and to pre-welcome the newly arrived scholars in Kansai.    

The event started at 1 pm near the banks of Kamogawa; this river is an integral part of the student life in Kyoto. Everyone gathered around and had a quick introduction session while enjoying beverages. People from far off- places like Kobe and Nagoya also attended the event.

Meeting at the banks of Kamogawa, Kyoto

It was a chilly spring day. So, after around half an hour, the party made its way towards Falafeel Garden, the designated lunch venue near Demachiyanagi Station. Here they met up with other scholars. While enjoying the light lunch together, the MSA team came to understand, the expectations and aspirations of the newly arrived scholars, which set foundations for new networking opportunities. The event ended at 5 pm with a promise to meet again at the official end-of-April MSA welcome parties in different parts of Kansai.

Lunch at Falafeel Garden, Kyoto

 

It was a memorable day! Looking forward to meeting y’all again!

Hanami in Kyushu

Cherry blossom season is a magical time to experience the joy of being in Japan and to celebrate the start of spring under blooming cherry blossom trees!

The Kyushu team organized a Hanami or cherry blossom viewing event on the 30th of March in Maizuru Park, Fukuoka. It was a perfect sunny day to enjoy the Sakura trees in full bloom. The event started at 10:30 am, but the numbers kept increasing till 2:00 pm. A hearty lunch followed, consisting of snacks and drinks, sponsored by both MSA and scholars participating in the event.

Hanami at Maizuru Park, Fukuoka

The MVP of the event was Maximiano Cassal from Brazil, who baked and brought a delicious chocolate cake. After some hours chatting and getting to know each other while sitting under cherry blossom trees, the scholars and their friends attending the event walked around Maizuru park and checked out the ruins of the Fukuoka Castle.

The event came to an end at around 5 pm, with the promise of meeting again during the spring intake welcome event.

Hanami at Maizuru Park, Fukuoka

Hope everyone had a great time and we can’t wait to to see you at our next event!

Welcome Events for Spring 2018!

Spring is just around the corner and soon new students will come to Japan to start a new chapter in their lives. MSA is organizing welcome events for new MEXT scholars all throughout Japan from mid to late April and everyone is welcome to participate, doesn’t matter if you are a new or current scholar or even an alumnus! If you would like to meet and get to know fellow newcomers or your juniors or seniors in a friendly atmosphere, you are more than welcome to join us!

Check the schedule below for the details of all of our welcome events for this term and sign up here if you want to join one of our welcome events!

 

KANTO

SHIBUYA

Date : 15th April

Time : 5:00 PM

Meeting place: Shibuya (Meet at Hachiko Statue)

Contact : jorel.chan@gmail.com, tazbir_sajid@yahoo.com

 

HONGO

Date : 22nd April

Time : 5:00 PM

Meeting place: Akamon of the University of Tokyo

Contact : jorel.chan@gmail.com, stephysics.flores@gmail.com

 

KANSAI

KYOTO

Date: 21st April

Time: 5:00 PM

Meeting place: Clock Tower, Yoshida Campus, Kyoto University

Contact: noemi.dupertuis@gmail.com

 

OSAKA

Date: 28th April

Time: 5:00 PM

Meeting place: International Student Room, Toyonaka Campus, Osaka University

Contact: devangi.yadav@gmail.com

 

KOBE

Date : 29th April

Time : 12:30 PM

Meeting place: Rokkodai Campus, Kobe University

Contact: childsdaryk@gmail.com

 

KYUSHU

FUKUOKA

Date: 28th April

Time: 5:00 PM

Meeting place: Tenjin Subway Station, Kuko line central gate (underground), Fukuoka

Contact: mazzei9@gmail.com

 

HOKKAIDO

SAPPORO

Date: 29th April

Time: 12:00 PM

Meeting place: Maruyama Koen, Sapporo

Contact: wisengama@gmail.com

 

TOHOKU

SENDAI

Date: 13th April

Time: 4:30 PM

Meeting place: International House Sanjo 2 at Tohoku University

Contact: ruiz41@hotmail.com

 

Image taken from flickr.com (2018/03/16)

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

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

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!

MEXT Scholarship Alumni Party

The MEXT Scholars’ Network held the 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, there was a sizable turnout of 26 people from all around the Kanto region. A grand buffet was presented by a chef specializing in Italian cuisine. There was also 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 the participants took the opportunity to share their thoughts on cross-border innovations.

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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The inaugural alumni meet of The MEXT Scholars’ Network, Meguro