Graduate School of EconomicsWaseda University

About the School

Alumni Speak

IBRAHIM,SHWILIMA Amos James

Completed Doctor’s Program in March 2016

Occupation: Lecturer at the Institute of tax administration in Dares Salaam, Tanzania

Reason for applying to the Graduate School of Economics

In search for the University which studies are conducted in English language in Japan, I found Waseda. I arrived in Japan in 2010 at Keio University under the Japanese government scholarship (Mombushogakusho). At that time I had a status of research student who was expecting to join higher learning studies upon going through formal admission process. While living at Komaba International Center Dormitory I came to realize that most international students were schooling at Waseda University. Even friends from my home country majority were at this university. I was curious to know more about Waseda University to the extent that I started attending various international program run at the university. Thereafter, I decided to join the University after following all necessary procedures required in transferring the scholarship from one university to another. Since my research interest were toward understanding issues on economic growth I opted to join the graduate school of Economics.

What left an impression

Life at Waseda University, particularly, in Graduate school of Economics was amazing, I used to enjoy each day of my five years stay. The university is the home of International Students in Japan. At Waseda University you meet students from various part of the world. Thus in addition to studies, I experienced living in multicultural environment. This environment is crucial to a person who has a dream to work anywhere in the world. At Waseda I learnt the importance of respecting someone culture. Above all it was an honor to be a student in Graduate School of Economics where most international students sought to join.

The university life at the graduate school of economics was awesome, with a support from faculty staff. Both academic and non-academic staff were so helpful for the entire period of my study. Most academic staff were bilingual, fluent in either English or French and Japanese. This enabled delivery of courses in both English and Japanese with the same Professor hence maintain the quality of course delivery. Of interest it was freedom we had in choosing courses to study. We could choose a course from other universities which were collaborating with the school. Generally, at the Graduate School of Economics Language was not a barrier for studying.

Apart from availabilities of Sensei (Professors), the school had the modern and beautiful building at Waseda Main Campus. The building accommodates classrooms, study rooms, lounge, library and convenience store. These facilities are crucial in nurturing a student. In fact the graduate school of economics had two libraries, and my favorite library was Takata, there I could find most English books authored by prominent scholars from all over the world. Unless you were lazy the books were in abundance.

The graduate school of economics have a number of seminar houses where students under the supervision of their Professor may visit and stay for several days during vocation. During my study time I managed to attend seminar houses twice in different places. There we had time for study, spot and sightseeing. It was a time where students under the same supervisor got to know each other and become friend. These seminars inspired me to pursue doctorate degree. My professor had a tendency of asking each member of our seminar to prepare presentation on his /her topic of interest. It built my confidence in making presentation and it was a moment where students under the same seminar got to know each other.

Lastly, I always remember “zemi no nomikai.” In October each year we used to have drinking party with our professor and the old boys (His previous students). It gave us an opportunity to listen for advices from our seniors (sempai).

Current job

I am now working as a lecturer at the institute of tax administration in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania. Here I work as head of short course. Among others my duty includes planning and ensuring that all short course are conducted on time. Basically, these courses focus on building staff capacity of Tanzania Revenue Authority. In fact the Institute is an integral part of the Tanzania Revenue Authority.

Message to students

A secret to success is being obedient and follow supervisor’s instructions. Do not pretend to be over ambitious rather ask for guidance in each step. For doctorate candidate, remember you will always become your professor (like Professor like Student). On my view the doctorate program is a process of transferring knowledge from one person to another person, so if you are not careful enough you may miss such transfer or it may take longer period than intended. I learnt so many things from my supervisor, Prof. Hideki Konishi. Thank you!

SEKI Shinichi

Completed Master’s Program in March 2006

Occupation: Economist

 

Reason for applying to the Graduate School of Economics

When I was in high school (during the ‘90s), I saw major corporations facing financial difficulties and the national government struggling to deal with the financial crisis triggered by depreciating East Asian currencies. I wondered what on Earth was going on and became interested in economics and business administration. Upon graduating from university, I was less interested in joining a large company and building a career by experiencing multiple placements in different departments, just following the orders of those in HR. I was more interested in learning more profound academic knowledge in graduate school while also gaining real-world experience through long-term internships at companies. After graduation, I might still wander through multiple organizations, but I wanted a career in which I would continue to explore a single profession. Because I knew how excellent the instructors, my fellow students, and the facilities were at Waseda University Senior High School and the School of Political Science and Economics, it was clear from the start that my choice for graduate school would also be Waseda.

Looking back at life as a graduate student

I think I made a great decision in continuing my studies at the Graduate School of Economics. To start with, I became good friends with people of different generations and nationalities. Former businesspeople with a wealth of experience and international students with strong aspirations assembled in the office of my supervising professor, who had both contributed excellent research findings to the field and had a fascinating personality. I continue to meet with those with whom I pursued my studies to this day. In addition, there is an ample scholarship system. I was fortunate enough to be granted scholarships that covered two years’ tuition. Furthermore, I was able to learn the skills needed to be a professional. I continue to use in my current job the abilities my posts-graduate studies helped to instill in me, including how to obtain clear understandings of the issues, how to develop logical arguments, and how to validate hypotheses based on statistical analysis.

Current job

I work at The Japan Research Institute, Limited, as an economist. My area of specialization is the Chinese economy. Broadly speaking, I do two things in my job: First, I perform macroeconomic analysis. I analyze what is happening in China now and what will happen there in the future based on various sources of information, including economic statistics such as gross domestic product (GDP), reporting by various outlets, field visits, and talking with other specialists from around the world. I compile one or two reports each month for both in-house and external consumption. Second, I engage in research on specific themes. Every year, I write a research paper about a theme of my own choosing, such as the issue of Chinese debt. I give presentations at academic conferences and government study groups, and I also provide analysis and commentary in newspapers and on TV. Recently, I had a book—without any coauthors—published by Nikkei Publishing and titled China’s Economic Growth Trap. I would definitely recommend considering a master’s program as a stepping stone to a career as an economist.

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