Global Studies Major 10th anniversary site | College of IR | Ritsumeikan UniversityGlobal Studies Major 10th anniversary site | College of IR | Ritsumeikan University


Alumni discuss the value of studying in the Global Studies Major

Minori Tadokoro

Minori Tadokoro

Works at NN Life Insurance Co., Ltd.

Class of 2017

April 2014: Enrolled, Global Studies M, College of International Relations, Ritsumeikan University. In 2015, Tadokoro experienced a one-year exchange program at the National University of Singapore. After graduating in March 2018, she joined NN Life Insurance Co, Ltd. and was assigned to the Osaka Sales Department.

I was able to overcome my weaknesses in giving presentations and debating and to improve my listening and communication skills.

I decided to join the company because of its female-friendly work environment and wealth of training programs

When I was conducting my job search, I had not yet decided what kind of job I wanted, so I focused on the atmosphere of the companies, which I could sense from the employees there, and how I could grow after joining the company. When I met the employees of NN Life Insurance, I could sense their spirit of loyalty toward the company and the harmonious atmosphere they had, and I also felt that it was a female-friendly work environment. I was also attracted by the wealth of training programs offered for young and mid-career employees, so I decided to join the company.
At NN Life Insurance, we offer life insurance products targeted at small and medium-sized companies. We do not sell them directly, but through agents. My job as a sales representative is to develop new agents and follow up with existing agents. To develop new agents, I either call them or walk in, and I explain to them what makes our products attractive. In addition to life insurance agents, many of our existing agents are engaged in businesses that differ from life insurance, such as tax accountant's offices, non-life insurance agents, banks, securities companies, and so on, so I hold regular study sessions for them and consult with them on specific proposals. The difficult part is that not only do I need to know about our products, I also need to understand insurance taxation, corporate financial management, and various kinds of other knowledge related to insurance proposals. Since I am required to provide accurate guidance and service, I make sure that I don’t forget to double check my answers if I am not entirely confident about them.

Every day, as a salesperson, I use the active listening skills I acquired at university

At university, I remember that I was always busy with essays and presentations in every class. I was free to choose the content of my research as long as it was in line with the content of the class, so I had to repeatedly come up with my own topics, compile them into papers, and present them. Most of the classes in the Global Studies Major are taught in small groups, and there is a lot of time for discussion among the students. At first, I felt pressured because I didn't have the confidence to express my own opinions among students with different backgrounds. However, I gradually became accustomed to giving presentations and participating in debates, so I think I learned the importance of not only expressing my opinions but also showing interest in other people's ideas and respecting other people’s opinions.
The ability to actively listen that I honed through these experiences is something that is necessary in any job where you have to deal with other people. For example, in sales, it is necessary to listen to the opinions of the other party, consider what is best, and communicate that to the other party, all while taking into account the situation with your competitors, how proposals should be presented to customers, and the position of the agent making the proposal. In this way, I am applying exactly what I experienced in my classes. Now that I am a working adult, I have realized once again that this is a skill that I can utilize even if I change jobs in the future.
As a salesperson, I have many opportunities to talk with managers of small and medium-sized companies, and sometimes my knowledge is insufficient due to the difference of our experiences. Even in such a situation, I make an effort to broaden my own interests by always listening to the interests and ideas of others. In addition to paying attention to current news on a daily basis, I am currently studying to become a certified inheritance consultant in order to further develop my expertise and to acquire other qualifications such as the Level 2 bookkeeping certification so that I can make better evidence-based proposals.

The opportunity to hone your communication skills is what makes GS special

In the Global Studies Major, you can practice exchanging opinions with people of different backgrounds. In my education up through high school, every problem had a solution, and there was only one correct answer. In the Global Studies Major, however, I learned that there are multiple solutions to the problems that we face in the world, and I was able to practice how to figure out what I felt the right answer to a problem was and how to tell others why I thought that answer was the right one. I think the most appealing feature of the program is not just that you can learn in English and engage in international exchange, but that you can cultivate the communication skills that are essential for the working world.

Back to messages

Back to top