<Teamwork and Japanese immersion for a weekend: a presentation contest in Tokyo>
I first came to Japan for sightseeing in 2016 with my family. From this first interest, I convinced my fiancée to study in Japan for a while together, and we spent a semester in Tokyo in 2019. We were both enrolled in French universities so that we chose exchange programs. I tried my best and after a quite hard selection I successfully joined this program with Gakushuin University.
Before going to Tokyo, I started to learn Japanese with evening courses at another university. I also studied about the lifestyle of Japanese people. When I arrived, I could not speak Japanese well enough to take the management courses taught in Japanese. Instead I picked up all the English courses. Even if the main purpose of this study abroad program was to discover a new culture and get some international experience, I wanted to study my major, which is business accounting. Fortunately, I found the seminar of Ms. Garcia on international accounting. It was very interesting for me to analyze Japanese firms and discover their management style.
With the other students of the seminar, we decided to focus on the construction industry mainly because of the Tokyo 2020 Olympics Games. At the end of the spring semester, we decided to participate to a presentation contest in December. Meanwhile, I was back to Paris, but I really wanted to do it with my teammates… For that only purpose I did a round-trip from France to Japan on the weekend!
Except for the jetlag indeed, the event was amazing. I noticed the organization of the jury, the staff and the students. I was also impressed by the professionalism of the presentation and the technical level of the participants.
At the contest, we were the only group presenting in English. It was difficult for me to understand, but I could catch a bit of the ideas from the others groups. We did not reach the finals but I was really happy to participate with my teammates and Ms. Garcia.
I could chat in Japanese a little bit with other participants during the ending party of the contest. They gave me hope that my Japanese was good, even if Ms. Noda knows that it is not completely true! Thanks to these new friends I got more confident at least.
The exchange program with Gakushuin opened new horizons to me. I am currently thinking about going to Japan once again for work or for a PhD. I know that I need to improve my Japanese but the contest gave me a lot of motivation. This experience was very unique and when I explained about it to French recruiters, they were really surprised and interested in it. I think this kind of experiences will give me the courage to search for new opportunities, and to try my best in international work environments.
Thank you, Gakushuin International Exchange center for all the support! Thank you Garcia seminar for a great teamwork together! Let’s hope we will meet again soon in Tokyo.