Graduate School of Public ManagementWaseda University

About the School

Alumni Speak

SAKAI, Reiko

Why did you apply for GSPM?

I was sent by the Niigata City government to this graduate school to study for one year. Amid social changes like the falling birth rate, an aging population, and diversifying values, I was facing problems that could not be solved based on my experience and ideas at that time. I applied for GSPM because I felt strongly that I needed to improve my own skills.

Moreover, Niigata became a government-designated city in April 2007, and I worked at a ward office and became interested in metropolitan systems and decentralization within a city. I wanted to study municipal government at the time of decentralization.

Memorable classes

In each class, students are required to present and discuss their opinions, so it was good training for me to develop my own opinions and present them logically. Many students on this graduate course already have a range of practical working experience, but class members can frankly exchange opinions with each other as “students.” This is one of the attractive aspects of this graduate school. Moreover, people tend to be distracted by the work around them, failing to see the forest for the trees, but I was able to systematically organize the roles and functions of a government by connecting what I learned in class to my own practical experience.

The most memorable experience was “Lecture on Politics A,” dealing with facility management, which sent me to study at a private company. I already knew about the effects of a working environment on operational efficiency, but their workplace made me realize even more clearly than before the importance of benchmarking for improving the working environment.

Your research theme

In view of my additional work in the electoral commission at the ward office, I decided to study how an electoral commission should be organized in a government-decreed city. While examining the historical development of electoral commissions and metropolitan systems, I also interviewed people at other government-decreed cities and found many cases that I would like to put into practice in my workplace. It was a good opportunity to learn so many things.

ARAI, Satoshi

Why did you apply for GSPM?

Why did you apply for GSPM? Since I wanted to be a civil servant, I decided to go on to study at a graduate school in order to learn more about the civil service. Of all schools, I was interested in a public “management” graduate school where I could study not only the designing and planning of policies but also their implementation in a comprehensive manner.

So I applied for this course. I was also motivated by the faculty members, who are active in various fields, and the students from various backgrounds. I was greatly inspired by many people after enrollment. GSPM offers many opportunities for you to grow as a person, which is another attraction of this course.

Memorable classes

I found the field work in Oshu-shi, Iwate-ken, very interesting. We stayed there for a week, conducting interviews. It was hard work but worth it when we had an all-night discussion on policymaking, examining whether the policies we were proposing were feasible. At the presentation for the city mayor, council members, and local journalists, we needed to consider not only the contents of a policy, but also how it should be presented.

We learned a lot from this first-hand experience—it was much more than just discussing theories in class.

Your research theme

The declining birthrate in Japan needs to be addressed. In order to clarify the correlation between the cost of childcare and how many children couples have, I carried out a questionnaire survey of users of day-care centers and analyzed the results. After graduation, I am planning to work as a civil servant, which has been my dream and goal since entering the School, based on what I learned and experienced at GSPM.

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