Intercultural Communication Center (ICC)Waseda University

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ICC Student Staff Graduation Report: Why You Should Become an SSL

PO, Bea Sabrina Espejo
School of International Liberal Studies
ICC Student Staff Leader:
November 2018 – July 2021 

When I was a freshman at Waseda University, I was worried about making new friends because I knew no one in Tokyo – or rather, in Japan at all. However, from our student orientations, I learned about the Intercultural Communication Center (ICC) and their numerous events that allowed me to interact with local and international students alike. The first friends and closest friends from my whole college experience, I met in the ICC. Since then, I have always admired what the ICC does to enrich student life at Waseda University. 

Suddenly, in October 2018, I learned the ICC was hiring new Student Staff Leaders, and I immediately wanted to join because I believed so much in the ICC’s mission and wanted to help other incoming students like I was. I remember being so nervous before coming to my interview. Full-time ICC Staff, Onouchi-san and Nambu-san, began the interview with Japanese, and I slowly saw my dream of becoming an SSL crumble. However, they saw my struggle and switched to English. After the interview, I had so many doubts because it was no secret that my Japanese skills were that of a beginner. Yet, the ICC hired me. They gave me a chance and an opportunity despite my Japanese skills. This is because the ICC community is filled with open-minded, risk-taking, and caring individuals who saw the potential and passion in me. I will forever be thankful for this. 

ICC Philippine Country Festival (07/09/2019) with supporters and participants (image by ICC)

Since becoming part of the ICC, I have proposed, organized, and hosted three events: the Philippine Country Festival, a Volunteer Workshop, and an Online Yoga Class, three themes that are a little part of me that I wanted to share with everyone else. This is what I love about working in the ICC: I can work on something I am passionate about. I can consider my interests and how I could use these interests to creatively design an event and hopefully make a difference in someone else. Besides this, I have also learned essential planning and organization skills that I will for sure take with me wherever I go from here. 

ICC Online Yoga (06/26/2021) with ICC staff, guest instructor and participants (image by ICC)

The ICC is not your typical office; the diverse group of SSLs and full-time staff that make up our little family allows for a fun and intercultural working environment. Creating my events did not entirely consist of my own input, but from my co-workers as well, ranging from tiny comments about my poster design to all-out cooperation during the event day. Working with other SSLs, I have learned how to manage a team effectively and communicate any problems accordingly. Together, we always reflect on how to improve as individuals and as a team to ensure better experiences for all participants in our events. The SSLs are friends I can rely on inside and outside of work. 

ICC Christmas Party (12/08/2021) (image by ICC)

Needless to say, if you have the opportunity, I recommend becoming an SSL. The ICC has an admirable mission and goal of bringing together and promoting interaction between local students, international students, faculty, and even Waseda’s local community. I highly recommend that you should work for something you believe in and enriches people’s lives. Don’t be afraid to apply no matter what your weakness is because your passion will shine through. Lastly, from the ICC, you will learn useful skills that will help you throughout your career, gain connections whether through event planning or participation, and most especially, be part of a family. 

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