TOMODACHI Alumni Regional Framework Welcome Event in Tohoku-Hokkaido Team B: A Theme of “Find Your Color” Brings Consideration of Color and Career Strengths
On June 13, 2020, the Tohoku-Hokkaido Region, Team B held its 2020 TOMODACHI Alumni Regional Framework Welcome Event. The event, “TOMODACHI Alumni Online Career Event: Find Your Color,” was organized by Hinako Owada, Regional Leader, and Kanako Ishikura, Regional Mentor and was joined by 23 participants.
The event began with opening remarks by Public Affairs Officer Ryan Ingrassia, U.S. Consulate General in Sapporo, and Hitomi Fukasawa, Prudential Holdings of Japan.
Hinako Owada, Regional Leader, shared the background of the event, explaining she wanted to offer an opportunity for TOMODACHI Alumni worried about their career path. She had also found there were limited chances for her to meet role models who could impact her life. The event aimed to help participants think about their own lives by finding their “colors,” or strong points and characteristics, and hearing from guest speakers on their life stories and diverse lifestyle choices.
In the first half of the event, three guest speakers with diverse career paths shared their life stories using their Life Curve charts. Shigenari Ishii, Strategic Management and International Affairs, Kamaishi City Office, talked about his experience moving to Kamaishi City to support recovery efforts after the Great East Japan Earthquake, and shared how the regional revitalization did not develop the way he had hoped. Recalling these difficult experiences, he stressed the importance of following your heart when you are stuck at a crossroads.
Minako Saito, a teacher at a municipal high school in Sapporo and the Tohoku-Hokkaido Team A Regional Mentor, shared her experiences as an overseas volunteer and working at an international organization, emphasizing that actively trying what you are interested in or what you want to do is important. Finally, Akio Yamada, a representative of United Green, talked about his life journey using photos of his solo travels across the Sahara Desert by motorcycle at the age of 25 and his trips to over 100 countries via motorcycle or car. He shared that doing what you value is important, without caring what others think. The three guest speakers all agreed on that taking “meaningful action, without being afraid of change or making mistakes” is the best way to live without regret.
A group discussion was held in the second half of the event for participants to share what they want to focus on moving forward and what challenges they plan to take on to help them reach their ideal lives.
Niina Hasegawa, a participant of the Young Americans Tohoku Tour, commented, “It is said that ’you only live once,’ but I was surprised how people can fill their lives with so many meaningful experiences. I think the guest speakers, who all have wonderful career paths, live in another world we could catch a glimpse of through the online discussion. I would like to build my career like them. At the same time, it was an opportunity to ask myself about my future goals after I graduate from college and start my career, like ‘what will happen in my life in few years’ or ‘can I find what I like?’”
The event was held as a part of the TOMODACHI Alumni Regional Framework, the TOMODACHI Generation Alumni Leadership Program supported by Prudential.