Chuo Online

  • Top
  • Opinion
  • Research
  • Education
  • People
  • RSS

Top>HAKUMON Chuo [2013 Early Spring Issue]>[Chuo University High School: Cultivating future leaders] Participating in Contemplating My Way of Life――A career seminar for high school students

Hakumon CHUOIndex

Chuo University High School: Cultivating future leaders

Participating in Contemplating My Way of Life
――A career seminar for high school students

Ayako Sasase
(1st-year Master’s Program student; majoring in Industrial and Systems Engineering in the Graduate School of Science and Engineering, Chuo University)

From December 2012 to March 2013, a career seminar was held for high school students enrolled at Chuo University High School Korakuen Campus, an affiliated school of Chuo University.

The phrase career seminar creates an image of introductions of corporations by experts and introductions of required skills. However, the recent seminar was not simply an opportunity to gather information. Instead, through group work, the seminar sought to raise students' awareness towards abilities required as a working professional and to instill students with those skills.

Seigo Kiuchi of FujiFilm supports students during the seminar

The desire to improve society

According to seminar representative Yasuko Nakayama (Toshiba), the seeds of the seminar were planted two years ago at a study meeting held by corporate employees in charge of personnel development. At the meeting, participants discussed their desire to improve society and cultivate professionals to serve as leaders in the future.

After forming a partnership with WISE CHUO programs implemented by the Chuo University Faculty of Science and Engineering, cooperation began between Chuo University High School, which was considering how to implement new classes, and corporate members including Nakayama, who conducted career education. This was the beginning of the recent seminar for both male and female high school students who are considering their future career path.

The project grew to include six cooperating corporations: Toshiba, Hakuhodo, Morinaga Co., Ltd. FujiFilm, Honda Motor Co., Ltd. and Mitsubishi Chemical Engineering Corporation. Your Partner Co., Ltd. is in charge of facilitator development.

Total of five 80-minute programs

Chuo University High School on Korakuen Campus

In the high school career seminar, students extract themes from a variety of social issues and then hold discussions to propose countermeasures. Participation is voluntary and open to students in the 2nd and 3rd grades of Chuo University High School. A total of six teams are formed, each consisting of five to six students.

The seminar is composed of a total of five 80-minute programs. In the final program, students hold a presentation in front of the entire school. Each team is supported by a corporate facilitator and a Chuo University student assistant to the facilitator.

Facilitators prepared by taking preliminary training. I participated in the seminar as a student aid.

Theme responses are unlimited

Diverse themes were raised by each team, from uncertainty toward the future and other feelings experienced by students to social themes such as contributing to society. Unlike examination problems, there is no one correct answer for these themes. Discussing the themes requires strong initiative from each student. It is an experience they cannot get from usual class at high school.

However, as someone who is currently searching for employment after graduation, I believe that such abilities are required when entering society in the future.

At first, the team in which I participated was hesitant to give their opinions. However, they became more assertive in expressing their opinions with each program. By the end of the program, they had reached the level of active discussion. When our team reflected on activities at the end of the 4th program, many students expressed opinions such as "I was uneasy at first, but I learned how much fun it is working together to create something" and "I had fun expressing myself." Moreover, regarding the discovery of themes from the gap between current conditions and ideal conditions, one student expressed expectations by stating "it was useful to learn a new way of thinking that can't be studied at school (in class)."

Many students from other teams stated that their way of working had changed. It seems that students themselves feel that they have changed.

Taking the initiative to select a career path

Despite being busy with their daily work, facilitators provided comprehensive support from the preparation stage. I could sense their passion as they experimented with the best ways to interact with high school students. I'm sure that students could also sense their passion.

"I hope that students themselves will be able to see the value in what they are doing," says Nakayama. It appears that the students have taken the first step to doing that.

Passionate keynote address by Akinori Sakamoto, President of Reverse Career Partners Co., Ltd.

I firmly believe that having such experiences when in high school will enable students to take the initiative in selecting a career path and will give meaning to time spent at university, which will lead to the birth of new reliable leaders in the future.

The Japanese education system is still greatly lacking in terms of cultivating independence in students. However, independence is an ability which is absolutely necessary in society. Therefore, I truly hope that this type of program will spread.

I also believe that directly meeting and speaking with working professionals was a wonderful opportunity for high school students. When speaking with high school students, I feel that their image of working professionals is correlated to social conditions. By conversing with passionate working professionals as part of the program, I wanted students to eliminate their uneasiness and gain new hope for the future.

The high schools students are currently preparing to give a comprehensive presentation. I am looking forward to seeing what kind of presentation is given by each time.

An industrial career education program for female students of science and engineering. WISE means Women in Science and Engineering Chuo University.
The program is taught by outstanding women (role models) who are leading a life stage as females involved in science and engineering at various corporations.

  • Through small-group classes and practical exercises, students are taught how their studies and research at university will lead to certain types of work in industry.
  • Students are taught about the role of women in industry (product planning and development which incorporates the sense of women) and tips for women to easily continue working for a long period of time.

A person who organizes statements made based on the themes/agendas of meetings and assemblies, thus seeking to encourage smooth and unbiased proceedings. Facilitators do not possess any decision-making authority at meetings.