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Campus Now

Midsummer Issue (Jul.)

SPECIAL REPORT

Waseda University provides guidance for career formation

A career is more than just an employment history, a professional background and refined skills which all start from selecting an occupation. Instead, a career is the formation of one's life by accumulating a variety of experiences through interaction with society.
With a focus on our Career Center, Waseda University provides students with a variety of opportunities to consider their own career.
This report introduces current actions being taken by our university in order to redefine the concept of a career to allow students to consider their own career.

Part.4 Interview with Director of the Career Center

Waseda University Career Center: Assisting student in life planning

In this interview, we discussed the role of the Career Center and career support conducted by Waseda University.

Kazuyuki Sasakura
Professor, Faculty of Political Science and Economics
Director of Career Center

Providing hints for life after graduation

―Would you please discuss the history of the Career Center?

The Waseda University Career Center was founded in 2002. It was the second such center founded in all of Japan. The employment sections of each university began to change into career centers during the "employment ice age" around 2000. Until then, the majority of students searching for work were able to find employment fairly easily. However, around 2000, students unable to find employment started to appear. As a result, it became necessary for universities throughout Japan to create opportunities for considering careers from early academic years. Waseda had performed such activities beforehand and has always maintained a high employment rate regardless of conditions at that time. Since long ago, Waseda students have also been very independent and have actively grasped the chances provided. Therefore, the Career Center does not provide guidance by forcing students to take certain actions. We support the career formation of students by offering a rich variety of choices.

―What kind of career support do you believe is required from universities?

Put simply, we must assist students in life planning. One of the three founding principles of our university is the "creation of model citizens." This means that a university is a place for forming character. Students develop human character through academics and extracurricular activities. I believe that universities must provide career support which provides hints for life after graduation.

Conveying the actual voice of society and offering a rich variety of choices

―What kind of activities are conducted by the center?

For example, we invite professionals from various fields and hold several hundred lectures every year in order to provide students with information on different professions and corporations. Students receive stimulation by hearing directly from working professionals. This also leads to increased motivation for their daily studies.

One thing which we are considering for the future is enhancement of our internship system. Currently, the main target of the system is third year students, but we will expand the system to include students in lower grades. In order to connect even more students and corporations, I would like to further strengthen the relationship of trust between the Career Center and corporations.

―Finally, would you please discuss the role that parents play in the career formation of students?

If necessary, parents should share their life experiences with children. However, there is no meaning in parents telling their children that they must enter a certain company. Job searching activities involve costs such as purchasing an interview suit and travel expenses. Students don't have time to work part-time jobs during the interview process. Therefore, I think that providing economic support for students involved in the job search process is a very practical issue. I hope that parents will believe in the independence of students and will support their children as they thoroughly consider their own future.

Main activities of the Career Center

The Career Center holds a variety of events such as Job Search Seminars, the "Considering Lifestyle" series and the "Getting to Know Work" series. These activities provide students with an opportunity to consider their career.
The center contains individual consultation booths and has a fully developed student counseling system.
The center also publishes guidebooks such as the Job Search Guidebook, the Career Guidebook (for 1st/2nd year students) and the Internship Guidebook. Furthermore, the center's website provides information on career support activities such as events and internships.

Waseda University Career Center website▶ http://www.waseda.jp/career/

Guidebooks published by the Career Center

Scene from a career support seminar held on June 8th. Leading professionals from various fields discuss their experiences.

More than 7,000 students undergo individual consultation every year.