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2013/10/07

The World after Graduation - Interviews with APU Alumni All Over the World -

Have you ever imagined your life after graduation?
After making their entrance into the workforce, what are APU alumni doing now? What kind of lives are they living, and what kind of jobs are they doing??
SPA interviewed APU graduates in order to find out, and has gathered information on the SPI and internships – sure to be of help when you start looking for a job.
Thank you to all the members of the APU students & Alumni Association who contributed.
There’s no question this report will make you think about the path your life will take after graduation!

Clicking on the red circle icon will display the interviews with graduates. For information on the SPI and internships, click on the buttons at the bottom of the screen.

 

田平 順子さん
玉城 優子さん
SUN Xiaolingさん
ZHAO Yingさん
WANG Yi-Wenさん
AQUINO Isaac Albertさん
Andante Hadi Pandyasさん
USMANOVA Nasibaさん
MILAD Homayoonさん
AL-NAAMANI Sabriya Sさん
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APS, grad spring ’11, Japan
TABIRA Junko
Q, What are you doing now (in term of occupation)?
A, I am working in the airplane company. In my job, I provide ticketing services at an airport work as cabin attendant to ensure the well-being of our passengers Every day, I meet all kinds of passengers, including business people, the elderly and so on, and depending on the passenger, I will offer different services. For example, I will provide more attentive service to an elderly person who is not used to flying than a businessperson who flies regularly. I always try to provide the customer with the best service possible.
Many problems can arise in an airplane: medical emergencies or sudden postponements due to maintenance issues, to name a few.
It is necessary to deal with passengers calmly and ensure their safety no matter what happens. Staying ambitious allow me to provide better service to our passengers.
Every day, I deal with different customers and crew members. If there is not sufficient communication among the crew, we cannot provide a certain level of service every time we fly. I strive to perform at the best of my ability by keeping an open mind and communicating effectively with my coworkers, regardless of their rank.
Q, What do you think about working in society?
A, Taking responsibility for your own actions is the most important aspect of work, in my opinion. At APU, it is natural for students to only pursue the things they want to do, but in the real world, you also have to perform duties that you don’t want to do. If you want to work in a Japanese company like I do, you have to develop a firm understanding of relationships between seniors and subordinates, and this is something you may not experience at APU. I set goals and try to achieve them, because without a goal, you tend to lose yourself in the daily routine. Even a small goal, like trying to do something today that you couldn’t do yesterday, is important.
Q, What did you do in APU (e.g. circle activities, study abroad, internship and so on)
A, I had many experiences in APU, but I most fondly remember my time in the EDUCATION NETWORK circle. I don’t know if it is still active, but when I was at APU, the circle promoted exchange between international students and the local community. We visited local nursery schools, elementary schools and junior high schools to teach international understanding. The friends I made in this circle now live far away, but we still keep in touch and get together on our vacations.
Q, Could you give APU students any messages?
A, Enjoy your life at APU to the fullest. I think having lots of experiences with your friends at APU will be useful in the future and, if you are lucky, you might be able to find out who you are in the process.
APS grad spring '08, Japan
TAMAKI Yuko
Q, What are you doing now?
A, Since graduating from APU, I have been living in Shenzhen, China. I established an original apparel brand called “MonMishe”. I am engaged in the whole process from brand development to production arrangement and management of the net shop. I am also working as an apparel consultant and translator. The main product of my brand is a ladies’ garment bag. When studying at APU, I was always travelling between Saitama, my hometown, and Beppu by airplane. I paid attention to the garment bags my friends put their uniforms in when travelling between cities for job-hunting. As I did not find any good-looking ones, I decided to design and make garment bags on my own. I made the first sample in China, but the quality was not satisfactory, so I started considering production in Japan and asked for cooperation. In the end, I managed to create my current product.
Q, What do you think about working in society?
A, I did not realize what work was even after I worked in a company, but my goal for work was has never been just to earn money. In fact, even as a university graduate with little experience, I found I can earn a salary for tasks with little significance. It is difficult to become someone who can really make a contribution to society. By working on my own and maintaining a clear idea of exactly what I want to do, I have been able to increase my efficiency and be useful to society. In my view, working in society should be connected to both self-achievement and making a contribution to society.
Q, What did you do in APU?
A, When I was in APU, I tried my best to acquire a lot of knowledge and experience. I read in the library every day and found the APU Library to house many more books than I expected. However, I did not read any novels; I mainly read books related to the social sciences and classic arts.
As everyone knows, APU is a unique university where you have many chances to make friends with people from all over the world. Please make friends with your fellow students because you will likely keep in touch with them even after graduation.
Q, Could you give APU students any messages?
A, I think it is good to be true to yourself. Please make friends with the people you are interested in and go abroad as often as you can. It feels fantastic to have friends who have with different ways of thinking and seeing things. Talk to as many people as possible. Even just chatting with a Beppu citizen can help a lot because we do not all have to have brilliant achievements to as human beings. When you are young, especially during your four years’ of university, you must not copy others’ way of thinking, but figure out what you like. You can find the right direction for you only after you have learned enough about yourself.
APM grad spring '04、People's Republic of China
SUN Xiaoling
Q, What are you doing now?
A, I am working in customer relations management at a jewelry company. I use a comprehensive database of all our customers in Japan to maintain relationships with them. In addition, I am doing customer service for and building new business with Chinese customers.
Q, What do you think about working in society?
A, I have always thought that you cannot enjoy your life without a job you are interested in because we spend more than half of our lives working!! If you do not know what field you are interested in, keep trying many things until you know what you like.
When you first start a job, you will come face to face with the gap between the real and the ideal, but you should not quit too soon. You need to carefully consider whether the job is suited to you or not.
Your 20s are a time to explore and figure out what’s most important to you. Even if you cannot earn a high salary right away, you might have to endure a few tough years if you think there are some possibilities to grow over the long-term.
That being said, I think you need to decide on a career path before you turn 30.
Q, What did you do in APU (e.g. circle activities, study abroad, internship and so on)
A, I interned at Beppu City Hall as a Coordinator for International Relations for one year because I was interested in international exchange. This internship gave me a lot of opportunities and allowed me to meet many people. It was only a short period, but I think it helped me grow considerably.
Q, Could you give APU students any messages?
A, Acquire a cosmopolitan way of thinking. This includes not only languages ability, but also the ability to see people’s ideas and ways of thinking from different perspectives. Respect is important when you work with people with various backgrounds. It is also very important to express your opinions clearly so as not to be influenced by other’s intentions or the environment around you.
As you may know, there is a fine line between being self-assertive and being obstinate, so you have to balance listening to other’s opinions and expressing your own.
Finally, please remember that time is precious. Once you become a member of society, a decade will fly by, so how you spend your time at university can change the course of your life.
GSAM grad fall '07, People's Republic of China
ZHAO Ying
Q, What are you doing now?
A, Currently, I am a Master’s student in Media and Communications at the London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE). Before joining LSE, I worked for the Public and Investor Relations Division of an IT company at its Tokyo headquarters. As a Global PR Representative, my job required a great deal of multi-tasking, which involved creating and distributing English press releases, interfacing with English and Chinese-speaking journalists, liaising with other company PR teams overseas (especially those from Asian countries), and writing, editing and translating the company’s internal English websites and newsletters. I was able leverage my language skills to help raise the company’s presence in international media, particularly coverage by Chinese media, as I was the first and only Chinese speaker in my division. The job was challenging, but also lots of fun at the same time.
Having worked as a PR professional for five years, I decided to take a career break last year to study more about mass media from a theoretical perspective. Thanks to the solid work experience I had with my company, I was accepted into the MSc Programme in Media and Communications at LSE with a partial scholarship. It was a big investment in terms of time and financial resources, but it is definitely worthwhile. We have so many amazing professors at LSE and, just like APU, LSE is extremely cosmopolitan, so as long as you are willing, you can make amazing friends from all over the world. Over the past year, aside from the intellectual stimulation from LSE, I also had the opportunity to intern at a London-based production company where I helped create the proposal for an international healthcare-related documentary series that has already been commissioned by a major Hong Kong-based TV station.
Q, What do you think about working in society?
A, While I think it is important to try to establish your own personal network and become good at communicating with people from diverse backgrounds, the most important thing is to remain true to yourself and not act out of character. If you are not an extroverted person, don’t try to pretend to be super energetic and sociable; merely copying others won’t make you good at what you do and you will probably get tired very soon. Instead, try to find ways of doing things that suit your own personality. You can be an excellent sales representative even if you do things more quietly. Also, remember that listening skills are particularly important for young professionals who have just joined the work force: Being a good listener can make a big difference in your professional life.
Q, What did you do in APU (e.g. circle activities, study abroad, internship and so on)
A, I did a summer internship with the Global HR Division of All Nippon Airways (ANA) before my final year at APU, during which I helped to organize an intercultural communications symposium for employees of ANA and other Star Alliance-affiliated airlines. It was my first exposure to the world of business in Japan, and I benefited from it immensely! I did not join any particular circle, but I was a TA for many undergraduate courses. Outside of school, I taught English to kids from local kindergartens and elementary schools, which was quite an interesting experience, too. I found out that young Japanese children were highly motivated to learn English words for describing various colors!
Q, Could you give APU students any messages?
A, I believe that to excel in society requires planning, persistence, honesty, and a good heart. APU’s education prepares its students well for embarking on an international career, so take your time to figure out what you want to do and stick to your plan. Remember that APU graduates are the best!
APM grad fall '05, Taiwan
WANG Yi-Wen
Q, What are you doing now?
A, After graduating from APU in September 2005, I worked for a Japanese high-end jewelry brand in Tokyo until 2007. Then I left to pursue a master’s degree in luxury goods and services in Monaco. This is currently my 7th year in Europe. After learning French in Paris and interning for different luxury brands, I now work for one of the oldest high-end watch brands in Geneva, Switzerland as international trainer.
Q, Do you have a message to APU students?
A, My experience at APU really gave me a very good base for working in an international environment, and I learned to adapt quickly to different cultures and languages. Enjoy your time at APU. The whole world is waiting for you!
APM grad fall '07, Republic of the Philippines
AQUINO Isaac Albert
Q, What are you doing now?
A, I work as a reporter for a New York-based financial news company, covering economic indicators and statistics from various private entities and government press releases. I collaborate with other journalists in producing news stories by connecting seemingly disparate dots in the Japanese economy to provide business leaders, global policy makers, and financial market players a view on the direction of business activity and the overall health of the economy.
Q, Do you have a message to APU students?
A, In the business world, it's not what you know that will matter but how you acquire knowledge. We deal with new information and constant upgrades at breakneck speed, sometimes rendering what you studied 10 years ago obsolete. In order to succeed in this highly competitive environment, the trick is to develop disruptive skills and accumulate know-how that will set you apart from the rest of the herd. In other words, make yourself indispensable through differentiation.
GSAM, IMAT, grad fall '10, Republic of Indonesia
Andante Hadi Pandyaswargo
Q, What are you doing now (in term of occupation)?
A, I am currently working as an Assistant Professor at the Tokyo Institute of Technology. I was appointed to this position after the completion of my PhD degree in Environment and Energy Engineering. My main responsibility is to conduct a research project entitled “Bottom-up study contributing to the realization of Sustainable Development Goals”. This study is part of a bigger project called Sustainability Transformation beyond 2015 (Post 2015) supported by the Ministry of Environment, Japan. One of the objectives of this project is to contribute input to the UN debate on establishing the post-2015 development agenda. For this research, I regularly visit several developing countries such as Indonesia and the Philippines.
Q, What do you think about working in society?
A, In society, the fact that everyone has his or her own role is a significant function, and work is what enables people to lead their own lives. We should realize that our contribution has an impact to society, so it is necessary to perform well and to love what we do.
Q, What did you do in APU (e.g. circle activities, study abroad, internship and so on)
A, I was a chief editor of APU Ina’s magazine, Kicau, because I enjoyed writing. I thought I would become a journalist. I enjoyed graphic design and presenting data analyzed from surveys. It was fun to work with people who shared the same passion.
I joined the IMAT Program for my master’s degree. Joining IMAT gave me the chance to study in Germany. In Germany, I learned to think critically and express my ideas freely. I found those skills are sometimes missing in Asian cultures. On the other hand, Asian cultures tend to be very gracious at keeping harmony. Both skills are important, and I found it useful to have the wisdom of knowing when to use which.
I interned at Hiji Town Hall in the planning and development division. It helped me to gain confidence in speaking in Japanese at the workplace. I also visited the garbage incineration plant. If you have ever seen the smoke-emitting white tower on your way to AP House from the bus, that is where your garbage is incinerated. In fact, I ended up choosing waste management as the main research topic for my PhD.
Q, Could you give APU students any messages?
A, Be proactive and passionate in what you are doing. Try things, do not be afraid to make mistakes, ask around, learn, and try again. Take opportunities, look for opportunities, and negotiate for opportunities. But recognize that the person you will become 10 years from now is a puzzle that you have been putting together. In the process, you will make friends, fight, fall in love, have your heart broken, break someone’s heart, travel, get lost, or maybe help someone who got lost.

Please acknowledge that after the rain there is a rainbow. When you look back, the rain itself was actually the fun part. So, enjoy the rain!
APS grad fall '08, Republic of Uzbekistan
USMANOVA Nasiba
Q, What are you doing now?
A, After graduation I worked at Effective Stud, an education training center, as a teacher from August 2008 until June 2009. From 2009 until June 2013, I worked for the Embassy of the People's Republic of Bangladesh in Central Asia in Tashkent, Uzbekistan as an assistant to the Ambassador and the Consuls. Currently, I am working for the World Bank as a team assistant. I love my job and find it very enjoyable.
Q, Do you have a message to APU students?
A, I advise that you arrange your priorities and participate in activities at the university. Enjoy your student life, because I have never seen a university whose staff care as much as APU’s and help the students looking for their future career. Try to be active in research and give presentations on different topics; earn awards and certificates as they can be advantageous in your career. My experience in working in teams at APU has helped me in my work as a team assistant at the World Bank, where projects involve groups of people from different countries and cultural backgrounds. Writing a thesis is of utmost importance. It can improve the writing and thinking skills necessary for a career in an international organization.
grad fall '12, Islamic Republic of Afghanistan
MILAD Homayoon

Homayoon Milad is Senior Programme Officer and Head of District Development Assemblies (DDAs) for National Area-based Development Programme (NABDP), a national programme of Ministry of Rural Rehabilitation and Development.

NABDP provides support for three major tasks: 1) institutionalization of local governance and DDAs, 3) ensuring sustainable livelihoods through rural infrastructure services and 3) stabilization via enhanced economic livelihoods.
Milad holds a master’s degree in international cooperation policy from the Ritsumeikan Asia Pacific University Graduate School of Asia Pacific Studies in Japan.
Milad has served the people of Afghanistan for the last seven years in a number of different capacities with the Ministry of Rural Rehabilitation and Development. In his latest role, he works on the establishment and institutionalization of local development institutions and performs a range of duties including capacity development, program management and coordination, policy analysis, liaising and advocacy.
During 2012, Milad extensively contributed to drafting the National Priority Program for Strengthening Local Institutions (SLI) and contributed to managing the Local Institutions Development Portfolio for the effective coordination, implementation, formulation of district development plans and quality assurance.
In the last 9 months, he has contributed significantly to developing the National Policy for Improving Governance and Development in Districts and Villages. The objective of this policy is to support democratic local decision-making in the fields of governance, development and service delivery.



Q, Why did you choose your job?
A, More than a quarter century of conflict compounded by repeated natural disasters has left Afghanistan as one of the poorest countries in the world.
Its human development indicators rank it at 174th among developing countries. The multidimensional problem of human poverty in Afghanistan including inequalities in access to productive assets and social services; poor health, education and nutritional status; weak social protection systems, vulnerability to macro and micro-level risks (both natural and human-triggered); human displacement; gender inequalities and political marginalization were all the factors for ranking the country as one of the poorest in the world.
Only 25 percent of the population had access to clean drinking water; one in eight children was dying from lack of the resources.
One of two Afghans could be classified as poor, with 20.4 percent of the rural population consuming less than 2,070 calories per person per day.
Years of conflict and subsequent drought have left much of the country’s rural infrastructure in a serious state of disrepair, degraded the environment, forced much of the rural population into subsistence agriculture and left the country in a state of extreme poverty and food insecurity; therefore, as I mentioned above, I decided to join one of the most effective ministries, the Ministry of Rural Rehabilitation and Development, an organization which has been in close contact with the communities of rural Afghanistan since 2002.
I joined the ministry in 2007 and have worked in deferent capacities since then: Consultant to the Sub-national Consultation Process on the Afghanistan National Development Strategy, National Programme Officer for the Community Empowerment Department, and Senior Programme Office and Head of District Development Assemblies. Over the last seven years, I have attended many official missions throughout the country and interacted closely with local communities. I paid frequently visits to the District Development Assemblies and provided technical feedback on their performances and activities.
Q, What do you think about working in society?
A, Society is organized of individuals, so individuals can shape the society. Being as individual who delivers his best to the society could be a proud. The societies that we live in, needs to be maintained and mainstreamed, therefore working in the society gives you the feeling relaxed and respondent.
Q, What did you do in APU (e.g. circle activities, study abroad, internship and so on )
A, I studied in APU Graduate School of Asia Pacific Studies, Major in International Cooperation Policy.
Q, Could you give APU students any messages?
A, Quoting says from Napoleon Hill “Nothing is possible if you thing it is impossible. Nothing is impossible if you think it is possible. Think positive and work hard and ANYTHING IS POSSIBLE”, therefore, benefiting such amazing education environment like APU, always think that built for your future and shape your world, even you feel difficulties during your school life. Struggles in the school life will shape your future in best.
APS grad spring '09, Sultanate of Oman
AL-NAAMANI Sabriya S
Q, What are you doing now?
A, After graduating from APU in spring 2003, I moved back to Oman and worked as a student counselor at the international school where I had studied before. To challenge myself, I took a job as a student adviser for one of the leading universities in Oman, the German University of Technology (GUTech). I have been working with them for almost four years and find it a very rewarding job as I get to see the students under my guidance and counseling develop through their years of education. It is very rare to hear people say they love their job, and I am happy to say that I am one of them.
Q, Do you have a message for APU students?
A, Take advantage of where you are. APU is a hub for uniqueness and you will only realize this after you leave. I know this for a fact because it is a feeling I share with many APU graduates. Our university is one of a kind and allows us to experience things that no other university can. The blend of cultures, the diversity in our curriculum and the fact that it is based in one of the world’s leading countries will shape you to stand out wherever you are after graduation. I advise you to seize all the opportunities you get in APU because you will miss the campus very much once your time there is over.
Interview about SPI with Mr. Nakatsugawa in the Career Office
"Most job hunting students know about the Synthetic Personality Inventory (SPI), a comprehensive test of aptitude and skills, and many companies use it as part of the employment process. Companies use this test to determine whether you possess the fundamental academic ability required for the real world, which includes things such as making simple calculations or writing reports.
The questions on the SPI Test are not hard, but there are a lot of them, so it may feel difficult for first-time test takers. No matter how well you come off in your interview, a low SPI is taken to mean you have poor fundamental skills, and we sometimes see students who have trouble getting jobs because of low scores. The Career Office recommends getting used to the question format by buying a practice test book and answering a lot of questions. When you start to recognize patterns, you will be able to answer the questions more quickly. If you have concerns about studying for the SPI Test alone, the Career Office offers an SPI Training Course, or you can take a FIX Course at the Library."

Please see the “Extension Courses” for more details. NB: external link
Interview about Internships with Mr. Kuwano in the Career Office

Have you ever heard the word "internship"? On an internship, a student can enter a company as a trainee for a certain period of time and gain practical work experience. It is also a great opportunity to think about what it means to work. We spoke to Mr. Kuwano in the Career Office about internships.

"There are two types of internships at APU: contract-based internships and privately-arranged internships.
The former operate based on agreements signed between APU and partner companies or organizations that allocate spots for our students. This summer, we sent 80 students to intern at 50 companies and organizations. Students can apply to receive credits for these kinds of internships, but the number of participants on contract-based internships is on a downward trend.

As the name suggests, privately-arranged internships are arranged by students on their own accord without the involvement of the Career Office. Since students apply for internships they are interested in along with other students from around the country, competition is more intense than for contract-based internships.

There are two major benefits to internships that we in the office would like you to know about. First, you can research companies by experiencing internships in various sectors, and this can help you identify fields you are interested in. Second, internships provide you with an opportunity to think about what it means to work in the real world. Most internships are held during the summer and winter breaks."

Some companies even have internships for freshmen, so if you have no plans during the long breaks, why don't you join an internship?


Please see the “About Internships” for more details. NB: external link

About SPI

SPI

if you want to get a job in JAPAN, should check SPI,

About Internship

Internship

Internship will be provided us with chances to know what is working.
Joining a lot of internships, you might see your field which you want to work in


VIEW ALL SPECIAL
Student Press Assistant (SPA)
Organized in cooperation with: APU Student & Alumni Association
SHINODA Maya (APM, Japan)
XIA Qing (GSMM, People's Republic of China)
RACHMAN Muhammad Aulia (APS, Republic of Indonesia)