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Interview with Dr. ATIENZA Vella, APU Graduate working at IDE-JETRO

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Aug 26, 2010


On July 9, 2010, Dr. ATIENZA Vella (PhD graduate, spring 2009, Philippines) visited APU and spoke at a career seminar for students aiming to work in international organizations or government agencies. Dr. ATIENZA is currently employed as a Research Fellow at the Institute of Developing Economies, Japan External Trade Organization (IDE-JETRO), in Chiba, Japan.


"I came to Japan because I wanted to take on new challenges and explore new things. I had been involved in various research projects in the Philippines prior to coming to Japan, but my experiences were mostly focused on the Philippines. Therefore, I decided to continue my studies abroad to further widen my perspectives. I was able to come to Japan as a recipient of the Asia Japan Alumni (ASJA) International Scholarship and this opportunity gave me the chance to grow both personally and professionally".

Dr. ATIENZA is currently involved in three research projects. She is a member of the Economic Research Institute for ASEAN and East Asia (ERIA) 3R (Reduce, Reuse, Recycle) Working Group under the theme of "3R Policies in Southeast and East Asia"; the IDE's Research Study Group for "Economic Integration and Recycling in Asia"; and is also working with the National Institute for Environmental Studies (NIES) project looking into the "Classification of E-waste Recycling Technology in Asian Developing Countries". Her research focuses on innovative strategies to improve waste management systems, the trading of recyclables, environmental governance, and the development of industrial standards for recycled goods.

"I enjoy this kind of work because I love doing research and it is always a challenge to find innovative ideas. This is more than a job for me because it provides the opportunity to contribute my research findings to the fight to alleviate poverty and the tackling of environmental issues particularly waste management".

Dr. ATIENZA also spoke fondly of her time at APU, "APU is like a UN laboratory - a truly multi-culturally diverse environment but with a friendly atmosphere. Coming from various countries around the world, we each have different cultures, beliefs and personalities, but I honestly feel that we can develop many deep friendships during our time here together at APU. My job often involves overseas travel but thanks to APU wherever I go there is always someone I know! The first-hand multicultural experience at APU has helped me to broaden my horizon and to deal more effectively with people from different nations".

She offered a message to current APU students, "Firstly, know your priorities as a student, maintain a good balance between study and recreation time, and make the most of this great opportunity to learn and make new friends. Always aim for excellence and avoid taking shortcuts. Do not settle for just "average" but also remember that it's not all about getting A+ grades, rather it's what you learn that is important. You are far away from home and there will always be trials or problems you encounter along the way, but don't give up. Always pray, stay focused and remember your purpose and vision".

Reporter, Student Press Assistant (SPA): SETHURAM Shyamala (APM2, India)




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