TOMODACHI Sumitomo Corporation Scholarship Program 9th cohort East Coast Training
TOMODACHI Sumitomo Corporation Scholarship Program 9th cohort participants visited Washington D.C. and New York for their East Coast Training. The participants were divided into two groups: the first visited from March 13-17, and the second was from March 20-24.
During the East Coast training, students participated in discussions with Sumitomo Corporation of Americas (SCOA) executives and presented their experience studying abroad to SCOA staff. They also had a chance to visit the Consulate of Japan in New York and the Washington D.C. offices of SCOA and USJC headquarters.
Through Sumitomo Corporation Tomodachi East Coast training, students had a series of insightful advice on life and work that resonated with them after experiencing adapting to a different lifestyle in the U.S.
Taiki Yamamoto reflects on the conversation with Mr. James Winslow during the visit to the government affair department of the SCOA D.C. office. The impact and amount of work that even a law amendment imposes on corporations was intriguing. Especially big companies that cover various industries, like SCOA, must be attentive to these changes. “I found it fascinating how many departments with entirely different tasks somehow correlate to each other and collectively create the company itself.”
Students connected with USJC staff in NYC and Washington, D.C., through social gatherings and dinners. Ms. Miki Sankary, a Development Manager of the U.S.-Japan Council, emphasized the importance of building relationships with others. Her words left a lasting impression on Kenta Takeuchi as he realized that business success is about having a good idea or product and developing strong connections and networks with people. Students seeking careers serving as a bridge between Japan and the United States and unsure what to do in the future were encouraged to contribute to Japanese society and the U.S.-Japan relationship.
Daphne Benedicto found what Mr. Katayama, Executive Vice President of USJC said, opened the room for her to reflect on their identity as living in the U.S. He said to take more risks. As part of her education in Japan, developing and perfecting plans before initiating them. Rather than spending time on planning and making zero progress in realizing, “Mr. Katayama encourages us to create even if there is a chance of failure. Only by taking risks will we be able to see what was good in our strategy and, on the other hand, what we need to improve to be better.”
Students also enjoyed the Broadway show and Pizza tour. Keigo Konno commented, “I enjoyed watching the show. I was brave enough to come to the U.S. and get out of my comfort zone, but I have gotten used to campus life here, and now I am only a little scared about trying something new. Trying new things is always scary to everyone, and feeling that way is not bad, but I realized again it is important to try something new. My second realization was that my enjoyment makes other people happy and, in turn, makes me happier. I think Aladdin’s show is popular because the actors have fun playing a role, singing, and entertaining audiences.”