On Saturday, August 31st, APU had a visit from Mr. TAKAYAMA Kota (2008 Spring, APM), the first contributor to our “Nameplate Donation” fund. After receiving a certificate of appreciation from President KORENAGA, Mr. TAKAYAMA stayed to witness the placement of the nameplate. We also asked him to share some of his experiences from his student days and from his current job.
- ─ Tell us a little bit about what inspired you to contribute to the Nameplate Donation fund and what the motivations behind your donation were.
- I didn’t feel as though I was able to contribute to APU during my school days through my studies or extracurricular activities, and always felt that I wanted to do something to give back. The donation pamphlet (sent by direct mail) that was delivered to my parents’ house was what inspired me to do it. My parents also encouraged me to donate as a way to give back to APU for all they had done for me. I only consider myself to have done the natural thing for an alumnus to do.
- ─ What were your reasons for coming to APU?
- While in high school, I studied abroad in Thailand for a year. From that time on I’d always had an interest in Asia and the field of international relations in general, and also wanted to continue studying Thai. I heard about APU, then in its 4th year, and decided to apply with the goal of putting my experience in Thailand to use as I continued my studies in an international atmosphere.
- ─ How was your student life at APU and in Beppu?
- Studying,having fun,daily life:I enjoyed all aspects of my student life and my time at APU was very enriching.That I was able to continue studying Thai,participate in research with Professor FUKUI,and study abroad in Canada were all things I was able to do because I had enrolled at APU.As for extracurricular activities,I took part in a Thai language study circle,and joined LSB (Long Stay Beppu) Research Team and participated in the Beppu Uchinari area Holiday House Project.
- ─ Which experience from your student days at APU stands out the most in your memory, and what did you learn from it?
- All my experiences were very memorable, so it’s difficult to pick just one, but during my four years as a student one of the things I am extremely grateful for was the chance to work with Professor HATADA on the Uchinari Holiday House Project. Learning how to interact with local community members and communicate with my seniors and juniors also participating in the project are skills that I still put to use now that I have joined the workforce.
- ─ Tell us a little bit about your career path from after graduating from APU up to the present.
- I joined Yamato Transport in 2008,and for the first two years I worked at a branch office to experience shipping and delivery operations.After that,I was transferred to the Division of Global Business Development,and dealt with the deliveries from overseas of small-lot mail order shipments,mainly from the U.S.Currently,my job entails safety education for the overseas areas covered by our international delivery service and promotion and proposals for various services associated with delivery.
- ─ How do you enjoy working at your company?
- As companies that have concentrated on the domestic market are now aiming to globalize,they are facing challenges such as dealing with the world,going global,and English.Even in this challenging environment,I can quickly respond to whatever situation I might face,thanks to the fact that I studied in APU's multicultural environment.I real feel as though I am making use of what I learned at APU,and am very satisfied with my job.
- ─ Do you have any ties to fellow APU graduates at your company?
- I was the first APU graduate at Yamato Transport. When I read the company’s internal magazine I see when APU graduates join the company, and am able to get to know them. All my juniors are very friendly, unique individuals. I am actually not that active when it comes to participating in APU Alumni Events, but I hope that this is my chance to start participating more from now on!
- ─ In closing, give us a message to share with current APU students.
- What I found out after joining the workforce is that once you start working, you don’t have a lot of free time to use the way you want. When you’re a student, you have all the free time in the world. I hope students will fully engage themselves in something – taking part in a circle or working part time – that you can only do while you’re a student. I’d especially encourage students to study abroad. I really feel glad that I was able to experience studying abroad in Canada. Make the most of these four years.
note: April 2009, the College of Asia Pacific Management was changed to the College of International Management.