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

Haruka Iwamoto

Haruka Iwamoto

Assistant Director, Media Mettle, Inc.

Class of 2017

April 2014: Enrolled, Global Studies Major, College of International Relations, Ritsumeikan University.
March 2018: Graduated, Global Studies Major (including a period of study abroad at the University of British Columbia, Canada)
April 2018: Enrolled, Osaka University-Groningen University (Netherlands) Double Master’s Degree Program March 2021: Graduated, Osaka University Graduate School
April 2021: Joined Media Mettle, Inc.
November 2021: Graduated, Groningen University Graduate School

What I learned at university has helped me to interpret what is going on in the world today.

I wanted to work with a wide range of media, so I joined a production company specializing in documentaries

When I was a student, I worked as an assistant to a foreign freelance journalist while pursuing my studies. From that experience, I became interested in the media industry, and when I started my job search, I wanted to work as a newspaper reporter. However, as I did more internships at newspapers, I began to think about whether there was another kind of media outlet where I could develop my career more actively and work with a wider range of media. As I was reviewing potential companies, I came across Media Mettle.
Media Mettle is a video production company that specializes in documentaries, and we have produced TV programs like Cambria Kyuden, Jonetsu Tairiku, and NHK Special. Although the company is small, I was attracted by the environment where the range of programs and media a director can try their hand at depends entirely on their own abilities.
A director at Media Mettle is a person who leads the video production process, from planning, reporting and shooting to proofreading and editing. In order to be an active director, there are many things you have to learn, such as how to research a project, how to write a proposal, how to conduct interviews, filming techniques, how to structure a documentary, and editing techniques. As an assistant director, I'm currently learning about all these aspects of the job while providing support to our directors.
In the future, I would like to be an independent documentarist who is active in the global arena. I would also like to try my hand at filmmaking. I still have a long way to go, but I’m in no hurry. I want to grow my skillset steadily.

I’ve put the ability to organize information that I honed as a student to use in my current job

When I first entered university, I set a goal of determining my major and took classes to delve deeply into the topics and themes that interested me. This is when I was exposed to the issue of immigration. At the time, the Syrian conflict was intensifying to an unprecedented degree, and I had many opportunities to discuss refugee issues in my classes, so I started to develop an interest in Japan's acceptance of refugees. In order to learn more about the topic of refugees, I joined a student-initiated seminar called PASTEL, a refugee support and research group, and while I was studying abroad in Canada, I joined a local NGO supporting immigrants and refugees and was involved in providing livelihood support to Syrian refugee families. After returning to Japan, I used this experience to launch a student organization to provide livelihood and educational support to Syrian refugee children, and at graduate school, I deepened my studies on this topic.
I feel that the ability to organize information that I honed through these studies is something that I am using in my current work. For example, when conducting interviews for a documentary, it is important to seek out the essence hidden in the statements of the interviewees, and this requires the ability to instantly organize the information I have been given in my mind. In my case, ever since I was a student, I have been honing this skill by repeatedly going through the process of digging deep into the topics I have discovered.

Learn about the thought process of researchers, rather than focusing on existing rules

By gaining an understanding of the rules of the world, students in the Global Studies Major can learn how to break down and understand seemingly complex events. The most appealing aspect of the program is that by learning about the various rules that researchers have discovered, students will be able to explain what is happening in the world today. However, this does not mean that we should uncritically accept and apply existing rules. Rather, I think it is better to assume that the conventional way of looking at things will not work because the world is changing every moment.
What I hope students will learn is not so much the rules that researchers have uncovered, but rather what events they have focused on, what parts they have left out, and how they have come to understand them. I believe that by learning the thought process that researchers go through, we can gain important hints for our own interpretation of the reality that we are witnessing today.

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