||Associate Professor, College of International Management
PhD in Management, University of Tsukuba
MBA, University of Tsukuba
|Research Interests :
||Innovation, corporate expansion, social network, and entrepreneurship
|Main teaching areas:
||Marketing and Organizational Behavior
||Playing with her daughter, watching movies and cooking
When asked why she first decided to come to Japan, Associate Professor ALCANTARA revealed that having her sister living in Japan was the personal reason for her studies here. Obtaining her higher education in Japan, she left for the US for a change of environment while considering whether she would come back to Japan one day. After two years working in the United States, Associate Professor ALCANTARA realized Japan would make a great place for her to raise her daughter, not to mention Japan is closer to her family in the Philippines, which led to her return to Japan. When she was thinking of returning to Japan, she found out about APU and her intention to come back was strengthened. She found the model of APU innovative, and was interested in the fact that many APU international students are granted scholarships to pursue their studies in Japan. “APU is young, so there’s room for improvement. In the upcoming 10 years, APU will be in a very competitive environment because a lot of universities are trying to pursue the model APU has, so we need to do better to survive the competition. Still, I have a positive outlook. I see APU has a big potential, and is ahead from other competitors, but I shouldn’t be satisfied with the current APU. I hope that I can help improve it further.”- Associate Professor ALCANTARA commented when asked how she thought of and viewed APU in the next 10 years.
Moving on to talk about her academic career, Associate Professor ALCANTARA let it be known that she actually did not plan to become a faculty. During her time at the University of Tsukuba, she had the opportunities to work as research assistant with many talented and kind professors, which introduced and motivated her to do research and pursue her PhD. Despite doing several teaching part-time jobs as an additional experience and source of income, she did not regard it as her goal in the long run. However, later it dawned on her that she actually enjoyed teaching, which encouraged her more to become a university professor. As a person with firm beliefs in being open to new experiences, she disclosed that she always reconsiders and reviews her plans, and stays flexible because “flexibility will help us not lose opportunities in front of us”. Besides, it is her students that inspire her to become a better person. “Hearing their future plans always reminds me that there are many more opportunities ahead. And honestly, sometimes I wish I could do more for them.”- She said. “Research has inspired me to become a professor. Teaching inspires me to become a better person.”- She passionately summarized her motivation.
Being a researcher, professor, and mother to an energetic daughter, when asked whether she had any tips for keeping the work-life balance, Associate Professor ALCANTARA admitted that she stopped trying to keep the balance. Instead, she tries to think of how she can do multitasking efficiently. “For example, I try to think of how research can help my teaching, and vice versa. 10 hours for research would bring more value if it can be used for teaching as well. Or when I have parties with my seminar students, I bring my family along so I can spend time with them all. I always try to hit two birds with one stone.” Being flexible to prioritize what needs to be done and find time to do, it is her tip to maximize her output in a limited amount of time. Nonetheless, she admitted that she continues to find it very challenging.
When asked whether she had any advice for APU students who are at the crossroads after graduation, Associate Professor ALCANTARA shared that moving forward and focusing on the positive side, even in times of tragedy or terrible mistakes, would be crucial. “There are just days when nothing makes sense, but after that, you have to be able to refocus your energy on moving forward. Don’t be afraid to make a decision, because you can always redirect yourself. Make a decision, make sure you’re in charge, so that you know you’ve done what you could.” She reassured us students who might be afraid to make our own choices at times. Another piece of advice would be “Don’t be afraid to seek help from others.” Admitting that she used to be the type not to ask for help because she did not want to be in debt and wanted to prove she could take things into her own hands, she reflected that opening ourselves to others actually enables us to help others as well. “Seeking help is not a sign of weakness. I now see it as a sign of an opportunity to better myself.”- She concluded her words of wisdom and our conversation with a gentle smile.