The TOMODACHI Sumitomo Corporation Scholarship Program: Post-Program Presentations and Award Ceremony
The 2016 scholar post-program presentations and 2017 scholar award ceremony for the TOMODACHI Sumitomo Corporation Scholarship Program took place on June 29, 2017 at Sumitomo Corporation’s headquarters in Tokyo, bringing together partners and supporters of the program. The TOMODACHI Sumitomo Corporation Scholarship Program supports Japanese students to study at universities in the United States for one academic year. The program aims to help develop globally-minded young leaders who will actively connect Japan and the United States.
The first half of the day consisted of a training session for the 2017 scholars. The 2016 scholars helped train this year’s scholars based on their study abroad experiences. The session enabled the scholars to not only get to know each other and establish friendships, but also to discuss what leadership is and redefine its meaning. At the end of the session, each of the 2017 scholars made a speech about the goals they set out to achieve during their study abroad.
The second half of the day consisted of three parts: the post-program presentations by selected 2016 scholars, an award ceremony for the 2017 scholars, and a reception.
For the post-program presentations, the following students represented the 2016 scholars: Ryoko Tsukada, Naoki Tokunaga, Hotsuki Hayama, and Daichi Meguro. These scholars presented their learnings from their study abroad, how they want to utilize the experience in the future, and their next steps.
Ryoko Tsukada, who studied at East Tennessee State University, deepened her knowledge of counseling for children thanks to her time in the U.S. She reflected on her experience, saying, “This study abroad opportunity has greatly helped me decide my future goal. It has also given me confidence and clarity that what I achieved before was meaningful, and I will continue to believe in what I am doing.”
Daichi Meguro, who studied at the University of California, Irvine, started off his presentation with William Clark’s famous quote, “Boys, be ambitious!” He also talked about how encountering one of William Clark’s descendants at the U.S.-Japan Council Annual Conference sparked his career development. Throughout his presentation, he showed his enthusiasm and passion for business and explained that the classes he took and his internship experience profoundly contributed to his personal growth.
Following the presentations, three leaders gave remarks: Mr. Masao Tabuchi, Representative Director, Senior Managing Executive Officer, Chief Strategy Officer and Chief Information Officer of Sumitomo Corporation; Mr. Alexei Kral, Environment, Science, Technology and Health Chief, Economic and Scientific Affairs Section, Embassy of the United States, Tokyo; and Ms. Irene Hirano Inouye, U.S.-Japan Council President. These leaders recognized both the 2016 and 2017 scholars for their dedication to strengthening U.S.-Japan relations and encouraged them to make the most of their study abroad experiences.
In particular, Mr. Tabuchi mentioned his own time living in the U.S., and said, “I believe people are made up of their experiences. Having various experiences will enrich and broaden you as a person. I hope you will take this opportunity to make the most of your challenges.” The three speakers then presented scholarships to the ten 2017 scholars. To conclude the ceremony, each 2017 scholar gave a 1 minute speech about their goals during their study abroad.