Voices from Graduate Students

VOICE 1

Graduated from Master's Program (2012)

Mizuki HOSOKAI
Tsushima City

student-voice-img01I am currently working at Tsushima Island, Nagasaki Prefecture, as a member of “Shimaokoshi-Kyoudoutai,” a project to revitalize local communities initiated by the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications. My primary task is to foster local revitalization through education-related activities, such as conducting interviews with local residents, supporting community studies, and establishing school curricula to enable local knowledge to be passed on to the next generation. I am very pleased to have this challenging job.

One attraction of GSGES is that it provides a number of opportunities for us to broaden our perspectives through group work and presentation-making, which are features of the educational programs. In addition, it is possible to concentrate a lot of class work into the first semester of Year 1 and then manage the remaining time for our own study activities. In my case, I visited several places in both Japan and other countries and had valuable opportunities to talk with local residents. Through these experiences, I became interested in local regions of Japan, ultimately deciding to work on Tsushima Island, situated on a national border.

Having access to alumni who are active at home and abroad serves as a great incentive for me when I feel the need to recharge my motivation or improve my abilities through my current job. Thanks to my GSGES experiences, my days have been somewhat fuller.

We are frequently required to be able to conduct dialogues based on our own abilities in order to unearth the root of a problem and to obtain vital information through conversations with others. The knowledge acquired during my master’s course is now contributing to my own current task.

VOICE 2

Graduated from Doctoral Program (2013)

Noralene M. UY
Independent Consultant

student-voice-img02GSGES provides an excellent venue for holistic education and training that encourages one to pursue his or her full potential. The lectures and seminars in the laboratory and graduate school, as well as internships with UNISDR and the ASEAN Secretariat, equipped me with the knowledge and practical skills to take on varying responsibilities in my field of expertise at both the international and local level. In addition, studying in an international setting not only exposed me to cultural diversity but also sensitized me to the highest standards of excellence. More importantly, it opened doors for me because I was able to develop networks among peers.

I am currently engaged as a consultant for both the United Nations Development Programme Philippines and the Asian Development Bank (ADB). In the former position, I review the policy and institutional landscapes of disaster risk reduction and management (DRRM) and climate change adaptation (CCA) in the Philippines for harmonization of DRRM and CCA policies and development of the capacities of national government agencies and local government units. In the latter role, I am involved in developing country-specific disaster risk management briefs to assist integration of disaster risk concerns into the Country Partnership Strategy for ADB developing-member countries. The GSGES experience has enabled me to contribute to global activity on disaster management and climate change adaptation, which I will continue to pursue in earnest.

VOICE 3

Graduated from Master's Program (2012)

Tomoharu YAMAUCHI
Itochu Corporation

student-voice2My desire to experience an internship at an international organization was one of the reasons I decided to come to GSGES. As an undergraduate, I was involved in NGO activities concerning environmental issues such as overseas dam problems, while I was majoring in analytical chemistry. At GSGES, I completed a four-month internship at the Stockholm Environment Institute, Asia office in Thailand, with the theme of how to adapt to global warming, as a member of the Global Environmental Policy study area. During my internship, I helped to support international conferences and drafted reports regarding developing countries. In addition, at GSGES I enjoyed lectures and group work in English together with international classmates, which is one of the special features of the graduate school, and I was able to learn about environmental issues based on differing values. The mutual cooperation and logical thinking which were acquired through my overseas internship and research are now useful for my work at a private company. GSGES provides many opportunities to expand one's potential.

VOICE 4

Graduated from Master's Program (2007)

Aya OKADA
Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA)

student-voice4My internship experience in Vietnam while studying at GSGES influenced my desire to work in the area of international cooperation. At GSGES, I learned about community-based disaster management not only in Japan but also in developing countries. In my work, I am in charge of disaster preparedness/prevention projects in Central America and Africa. I am currently stationed in JICA’s Burkina Faso office in Africa, taking charge of various projects involving water and sanitation.

In Africa, since many countries have poor living standards and they do not meet the requirements for conducting disaster management projects, direct application of what I have learned at GSGES in my work is limited. However, there are many aspects that have proven useful for my work such as learning different approaches to the environment from various fields through a variety of curricula, and being in an academic research environment that values fieldwork which is not limited to laboratory work.

With the diversity of research fields, support for field research and wide networks that are unique to GSGES, I was able to establish a base for working in the international cooperation sector.