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Campus Now

Autumn Issue (Nov.)

Career Compass

True value exists in difficulties and challenges experienced overseas

Mr. Yoshiyuki Ugaeri
Executive Director Toshiba Logistics Corporation

In this series, we discuss the latest career search information with corporate staff responsible for hiring decisions. We also examine the thought process of staff during hiring activities. This report contains a discussion with Mr. Ugaeri of Toshiba Logistics Corporation.

Balance required in true global professionals

Our control controls logistics for the Toshiba Group. We handle everything from product packaging to the design and operation of logistics systems which specify details such as transportation methods. Due to the nature of our business, we have always performed a large amount of work through overseas cooperation. Recently, there has been an increase in overseas business throughout the entire Toshiba Group. As a result, our company has an even greater need for professionals capable of performing on a global stage. For example, more than half of new employees joining our company in 2010 were graduates of foreign universities or participated in long-term foreign study.

Generally speaking, society seems to believe that a global professional is anyone with proficient ability in a foreign language. However, our company has a different view. Of course, it is always best to possess proficient language skills. However, we place even more emphasis on communication ability, adaptability and the ability to take on challenges. Overseas is a completely different environment where business does not proceed as smoothly as expected. In such cases, it is necessary to show understanding towards the culture and climate of both Japan and that country, without being limited by stereotypes and preconceptions. Furthermore, global professionals must have the ability to use such understanding as a basis for overcoming difficulties through partnerships and cooperation.

Although frequently overlooked, it is extremely important for global professionals to be healthy. Overseas business travel includes negotiations with important individuals. If an employee suddenly falls ill while traveling overseas, it creates trouble for business partners and influences the progress of work. Self-management is essential when working overseas. I believe that global professionals are individuals who possess a good balance of various abilities in addition to language proficiency.

I want to hear the personal history of applicants

One of my duties is to conduct interviews as part of employment tests. I often ask applicants to talk about their personal history. If the applicant has studied abroad, I will ask questions such as "What drove you to study abroad?", "What effort did you make to prepare for studying abroad?", "How did you change or how did you attempt to change yourself?" and "In the future, how will you utilize what you learned in society?" To repeat myself, it is important to have a positive attitude of being willing to try anything, as well as to possess a spirit of challenging and determination for influencing situations. All students probably experience a certain amount of uneasiness and uncertainty when first living abroad. Students find themselves in a situation where they have no friends and are faced with a language barrier. More than anything, I want to know what kind of experiences are accumulated by students in such situations, how students establish their own place in society, and how they acquire a global perspective.

Further along in the applicant selection process, our company has students converse in a foreign language with a native speaker. Although the conversation last only about 5 minutes, the quality of time that a student spent studying overseas is evident from factors such as the use of language. I would like students to speak with confidence regarding their personal history.

Driven to study abroad by strong curiosity

I believe that students should select an employer which matches their own temperament and personality. For example, if a low-strung person enters a company which requires constant tension in order to keep pace with business, that person will ultimately experience difficulty in the workplace. It is important to be to act naturally and to be able to devote yourself to work. In order to select such an employer, it is necessary to gather information which can only be obtained through networking. It is important to get a first-hand look by visiting corporations and speaking with representatives.

Every new employee is starting from nothing. As long as an individual has a strong desire for self-improvement, it is possible to increase skills such as language ability. However, one's seniors of the company may consist of younger individuals or significantly older individuals, and new employees may be surrounded by people the likes of which they have never encountered before. Therefore, new employees who are modest and straightforward will grow the most. I feel happy when seeing a young individual grow as a member of society through their work.

Finally, I would like to encourage students who will study abroad in the future to be curious, to absorb many new things and to broaden their perspective through encounters with people from other cultures. In addition to language ability, the experience of overcoming difficulties in a foreign land and the ability to consider matters using a global perspective are priceless assets. Our company seeks students who continue to engage in such bold challenges.

Message from the Career Center
A boom in "global professionals"

A feature of employment opportunities for current 4th-year students is the rapid increase of needs for global professionals. This includes foreign exchange students in Japan. It seems that now is a time of globalization in all industries.

Mr. Yoshiyuki Ugaeri
Executive Director at Toshiba Logistics Corporation

Born in Fukuoka Prefecture. Graduated from the Chuo University Faculty of Law. Obtained employment at Toshiba Corporation, holding positions in the Public Relations Department and General Affairs Department. At Toshiba Logistics Corporation, participates in internal and external career forums as an Executive Director and Manager of the General Affairs Department. Responsible for the discovery and hiring of global professionals. As introduced by the mass media, his detailed cultivation of professionals includes management-level training at locations to which new employees are assigned. Currently serves as a supervisor of management operations in the construction industry, while also acting as a pipeline between students and corporations. He is also a Buddhist priest.

Toshiba Logistics Corporation
Established in 1974. In addition to handling logistics control within the Toshiba Group, also conducts various logistic services for general corporations. Expands a global logistics business through its network of 13 overseas subsidiaries China, Asia, America and Europe.