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

Asuka Nomura

Asuka Nomura

Works at Rakuten Mobile, Inc.

Class of 2018

Nomura enrolled in the Global Studies Major of the College of International Relations at Ritsumeikan University, and she graduated in March 2019. In April 2019, she joined the Rakuten Group where she works in the UQM Department of the UX Improvement and Promotion Office at Rakuten Mobile, Inc.

In an environment where I could express myself freely, I honed both my academic skills and sense of humanity.

My goal was to work for a company that could make Japan more global

The focus of my job search was to find a company that can make Japan more global. However, I hadn't really analyzed what exactly I wanted to do or what my strengths were, so I initially applied for and interviewed with companies in a variety of industries, including manufacturing, IT, and telecommunications. In the midst of this process, I decided that Rakuten Group, Inc. would be a good fit for me, both in terms of its people and corporate culture. The company's slogan of "Empowering Japan" resonated with me, and the fact that the company was attracting global attention but still had an opportunity to expand its name recognition was appealing. I was also attracted by the fact that the company is always implementing new projects, and I felt that there would be many situations where even young employees could play an active role. I decided to join the company without hesitation because I wanted to tackle new challenges and express my own opinions.
There are two main duties that I am in charge of now. First, I act as a bridge between our sales division, construction companies, and engineers for the installation of Rakuten Mobile base stations. Since 90% of the engineers speak English, I also serve as an interpreter when coordinating between the sales division and construction companies. For example, if there are no owners who are willing to lease buildings or land for the installation of a base station, I consult with the engineers to find an alternative location where we can efficiently catch a signal. Selecting properties and negotiating with owners is often quite difficult, but I find it rewarding to be able to contribute to a business that is progressing at a speed that no other company can match.
My second job is to provide Voice of Customer (VoC) support for Rakuten Mobile. I strive to improve customer satisfaction by proposing solutions in cooperation with engineers to address complaints about cell reception and other issues as they come in. I am proud of my work because I am the only person in my department who gets to hear what our customers have to say.
The UQM Department, where I work, is a new department that is characterized by the fact that 80% of its employees are in their 20s. As a result, I am able to generate new and improved actions with a young mindset, and I am gaining valuable experience every day that would be difficult to gain in my third or fourth year with the company.

My ability to express my opinions in any situation is still useful today

Since joining Ritsumeikan, I had been interested in food shortages and poverty issues, so the course that left the greatest impression on me was Global Simulation Gaming (GSG *1), where I played the role of the charity organization Oxfam. In the preparatory class for this course, my team created an action plan, and in the actual GSG course, we undertook realistic negotiations to secure support from national governments and provide assistance to poor countries. Because all students from the same year level in the College of International Relations participated in this course, it provided me with a good opportunity to interact with students from the International Relations Major as well.
Through my studies in the Global Studies Major I was able to develop the ability to form and express my opinions in any situation. There were so many situations where I had to express my opinion even if I did not fully understand a topic or did not have a particular opinion one way or another, so I struggled a lot right after enrollment. But almost all of the students in the Global Studies Major were people who accepted diversity and wanted to hear the different opinions of others. In this environment, I was able to freely express my opinions without being rejected, so by the time I graduated, I was naturally prepared to voice my opinions on any topic.
This ability to express my opinions in any situation and not reject others' opinions outright is something I also utilize in my current job. The official language of the company is English, and company-wide meetings and meetings with engineers are held in English, so I feel that the business English I learned in the Global Studies Major has also been useful.
In my first and second years at the company, I didn't have a clear idea of what I wanted to do, but in my third year of working, I have come to understand what I am good at to some extent. My current goal is to take advantage of the job rotation system within the company and transfer to a department where I can further improve my performance. Rakuten is a company where you have a chance to transfer to the department of your choice and choose what you want to do as long as you make yourself heard, so I am striving to give 120% in the department where I currently work. I've heard that each division of Rakuten Group has its own set of duties and office atmosphere, so transferring feels as if you've changed jobs completely. I'd like to use this transfer system as a step up in my personal growth. I think this is possible precisely because Rakuten Group is such a large company.

*1: Global Simulation Gaming (GSG): A class in which Global Studies Major students and International Relations Major students engage in simulated international negotiations to solve real international problems.

I was inspired by my classmates who accepted diversity and did not reject each other’s opinions

The most attractive feature of the College of International Relations is its diversity. Having spent my elementary school years in the U.S., I struggled with interpersonal relations in a Japanese junior high school. My classmates did not really accept my different values, and it was very difficult to communicate with my friends. As a result of this experience, I came up with the idea of "making Japan global" as the core value of my life, and this was also the core value in my job search. At the College of International Relations, because the students are all international students of various nationalities or Japanese students who want to know more about the world, they accept diversity and never reject others. I still remember how impressed I was with this as soon as I entered university. I was able to hone both my academic skills and sense of humanity. Looking back, I am really glad that I chose the Global Studies Major in the College of International Relations.

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