Student Blog

Alumni Interview Vol.12 : Starting a career at APU, road to global leadership

6min read

Hamza is a Japanese-Tunisian multilingual alumnus who graduated APM in 2020. After his graduation, he started his career at BMW Japan Finance Corp. He has spent 3 years as a BMW employee, including his internship period. Currently, he is in the position of Senior Business Analyst in the Operation Department.

Alumni Profile
Name:Hamza Fujisawa
Year of Graduation:2020/03 College of International Management
Current Workplace/Position:BMW Japan Finance Corp./ Senior Business Analyst in Operation Department

What did you do in APU?

I was involved in the organizing team of Global Business Case Challenge (GBCC) as a media manager, a Business Case Competition (BCC) participant, a Representative at the business case competition in University of Southern California (USC), an Analytics and Math Center Leader (AMC), a resident’s assistant (RA), and a teaching assistant (TA).

You speak 5 languages. Why did you start learning so many languages?

I can speak Arabic, English, French, German, and Japanese. Arabic is my mother tongue in Tunisia, and I learned French since elementary school as I was in a French curriculum. Half of my family is Japanese, so I often speak with them in Japanese. As for German, I took lessons in my high school as an optional language.

What was your motivation to learn languages?

Language makes me feel closer to the people. If you speak English to a non-native English speaker, you will feel sometimes an invisible wall between you and them. But if you speak their mother tongue, you can get to know them much better and understand them. So, for me, language is a tool to make a deeper connection with others.

Why did you choose APU?

Since my mother is Japanese and I was not fluent in Japanese, I wanted to improve my Japanese skills and knowledge by living and studying in Japan. Therefore, I decided to study at a Japanese university. At first, I really wanted to go to Tokyo University, which is well known as “Toudai,” and is where my grandfather used to study at. However, he advised me on the uniqueness of APU. For example, APU provides the opportunity to learn in a real working environment by providing opportunities such as business case competitions and overseas internships on top of the Japanese language classes, which could be taken while studying other subjects. Theoretical learning is not the same as the real work environment and APU supports students to learn more than just the books. That is why I chose APU.

What kind of skills did you gain at APU?

Most important was my presentation skills. I usually have to present to management at least once a month. I love these presentations because I have already aced the skill of presenting in class, competitions, and even in front of consultants. So much so that, during my first presentation in the company, the COO of the company asked me if I have worked as a consultant before. This is when I noticed how valuable my skills are.

How did you move from being a student to an employee at BMW Japan Finance Corp.?

I graduated with a degree in International Business Management under the Economics and Innovation area. My thesis was on an internship I did in KSB in Germany, which is a company that specializes in pumps, valves, and service. The thesis was based on the innovation topics in the industry and the latest trends related to it. Soon after the internship ended, I returned to Japan and started an internship at BMW Japan. After 6 months of service, I joined the BMW Japan Finance Corp. as a full-time employee.

What are your work responsibilities? How important were your academic activities for your work?

I oversee Data Analytics topics within the company and the implementation of New Analytics initiatives such as Cloud Data Warehouse. I am also coaching and supporting the associates in learning the new analytics tools such as Tableau. Moreover, I oversee data governance to set up data governance framework and strategy and monitor the implementation of it within the company.Finally, I am the project manager for the implementation of a system that digitalizes the workflows in the company and eliminates paper usage.
Thanks to APU, I started with a trivial background in mathematics and programming although my current work goes way beyond. I joined the company as a Risk Analyst and learned mostly on the job. Later, I took online classes, struggled through much trial and error, and spent late working hours learning more about my field of work. Moreover, self-research after work and speaking to the specialists or seniors at work consistently has helped me perform better at my current position.

How did you perform on the job and what got you into innovation?

I did not think I would cross paths with innovation topics when I first joined the company. However, in my first year, there were opportunities within the company to bring new ideas to the table, and this inspired me. After many attempts, last year I was able to pitch my ideas to the board members of BMW Japan Finance Corp. The idea was to eliminate inefficiencies at the workplace through digital transformation and eliminating paper in workflows.

As a result of this kind of hands-on work in the company, I was able to participate in the One Young World Summit in 2021, which is an event for young leaders who are passionate about sustainability, innovation, and the Sustainable Development Goals. I am proud to say that I was one of the first delegates of BMW Group Japan to participate in this summit and these topics resonated well with my work projects.

Can you share a little bit about your plan for the near future?

I want to continue working in other countries for BMW Group and learn from other people and share knowledge. Gaining international experiences will help me achieve my goal of becoming a global leader in a way that I lead the business with an open mindset and a steady vision.
Also, I believe through working in different environments and with different people, I will be able to understand the business from different angles and help drive change within the organization.
On top of that, I would want to pursue a master’s degree in business administration or data analytics to gain more knowledge and get a better view on business from an academic point of view.

Finally, do you have any advice for our students?

Do what you are passionate about and enjoy your time at APU doing different activities, since that will shape your world.

Loop.A.S. Interviewer

Name:Arisa Isoya
Collage:College of International Management (APM)
Hello:) My name is Arisa Isoya, a 3rd year APM student! I am currently participating in a double degree program and studying at NEOMA Business School in France. I'm starting an internship in the Netherlands next January, so my goal is to try all the French wines before I leave. I hope that through this activity, many people will learn how great APU alumni are!

Name: Ranul Kotuwegoda
College: College of International Management (APM)
Hello! I am Ranul, a 4th year APM student. I am passionate about helping students with their careers. I hope this article is useful for you. Cheers!


The name says it all: student Organizations Loop.A.S. main goals are to connect APU alumni and the current students and to make chances for APU students through a variety of activities and events. And their activities are for both Alumni and Students. They work with the APU Alumni Association to create opportunities for alumni and students that they can meet, share knowledge, and gain better understanding of life after APU/in APU. The Student Blog posts interviews with alumni conducted by Loop.A.S.

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