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Top>Hakumon CHUO [2011 Early Spring Issue]>[The spring of a lively bunch] Life philosophy of "100% study, 120% play" Making use of two study trips to America at his job in a trading company

Hakumon CHUOIndex

The spring of a lively bunch

Life philosophy of "100% study, 120% play"
Making use of two study trips to America at his job in a trading company

Takeshi Aida
Faculty of Policy Studies (Seijo Gakuen High School graduate)

Takeshi Aida

"At the Faculty of Policy Studies, you don't learn uniform or individual subjects, but you study a wide range of interdisciplinary courses such as politics, sociology and economics," says Aida, who has had a clear sense of purpose since entering university. He adds that the Faculty of Policy Studies' "global policy aligned with my own direction in life."

In his first year, he took the Japan Chamber of Commerce and Industry bookkeeping course at the Institute of Accounting Research. On another side, he also belonged to the athletics team. In lessons, accounting research and club activities, and in the classroom and on the field, Aida lived everyday by his life philosophy of "100 percent study, 120 percent play."

In the summer of his first year, he set his sights firmly on becoming a global business leader and went on a short-term exchange to Carleton College in the US. It was his first experience on an exchange, yet he sensed, "I can do this. English is only a tool, so if I can get my feelings across I can communicate no matter how poor my English skills are."

From September of his second year, he went to the University of Arizona to study business for a year as an exchange student. "Apart from Saturdays and Sundays, I was only sleeping about three hours every day because of my studies." But he didn't only get stuck into his studies, he was also involved in extracurricular activities such as belonging to the international NPO SIFE, which presents educational opportunities to nurture the next generation of business leaders. Now, Aida works as a program manager for SIFE Japan.

At the end of his exchange, Aida did an internship at a Californian advertisement agency. For that, he had to apply for a visa extension in advance but was turned down on numerous occasions. "I came to America to do an internship at a local business," so the rejections didn't deter him and following three months of persistent negotiations, on the morning of the day he was to leave Arizona for California, his visa extension finally came through. Through this experience, Aida says, "I learnt that I must never give up."

After experiencing both flooding in Arizona and power outages in California, Aida came to think, "I want to enter a company that can implement next-generation infrastructure development projects and show Japan to the world." So he applied for an internship at a major general trading company while still in America and, on the day after returning to Japan, participated in a three-day internship camp for thinking up new project plans.

For his job-hunting activities, Aida didn't register with any recruitment sites, instead going directly to workplaces to hear the voices of as many graduates as possible. In February he made an appointment with a resident employee at a trading company in Shanghai and went over to meet him in person. "There I was given strict comments on my entry-sheet and it became a switch to rethink and reevaluate myself."

Aida, who will work for the Mitsubishi Corporation starting in the spring, stresses, "in job-hunting activities, it is important that you convey your 'willingness to do anything to work for that company' which has been instilled in you through your experiences." He also says "links with people" earned through visiting graduates are also important. And as encouragement to his juniors, Aida adds, "I want you to venture beyond the Hachioji area and gain inspiration through extracurricular activities."