Intercultural Communication Center (ICC)Waseda University


I cultivated the ability to build interpersonal relationships through extracurricular activities – Graduate Interview

Cristian Camilo QUITIAN 

Former ICC Student Staff Leader (SSL)
Design Your Future Guidebook 2021 Graduate Interview

I participated in a diplomatic event as part of my research

I majored in electrical engineering at a university in Colombia, then worked as a substation construction project manager for three years after graduating. During that time, I realized that I wanted to learn about management and finance, and decided to pursue further study. After being awarded scholarships from the Government of Colombia and the Japanese Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology, I entered Waseda Business School.

I wanted to conduct research that would contribute to the development of small and medium-sized businesses in Colombia, so while I was at the Business School, I worked on a thesis on themes related to entrepreneurship. As part of my research, I participated as one of the volunteer staff at a diplomatic event hosted by the Embassy of Colombia in Japan where Japanese and Colombian entrepreneurs exhibited their products. I explained to visitors about the coffee, hammocks, toys and other products on display, and also served as a Japanese-Spanish interpreter.

Having an entrepreneurial mindset has also influenced my life choices

Conducting research for two years also had a significant impact on my values and behavior. I developed an entrepreneurial mindset of my own, and decided to look for work in Japan to broaden my experience in an unknown environment. After spending some time job hunting, I joined a computer manufacturer that I’d long admired. I’m now on a new career path in the field of product marketing, which is a completely different area from my previous job. In the future, I hope to go back to Colombia and share the wide range of business knowledge and experience I’ve gained in Japan with students there.

Looking back over the two years I spent at Waseda Business School, all the experience I gained there—including from participating in various intercultural exchange programs as well as doing research—is now proving to be a real asset for me. This is because the ability to deepen mutual understanding and build solid relationships with others is essential in every aspect of work and life. If you’re considering a career in Japan, studying is important, of course. However, more than pursuing learning to speak perfect Japanese, I recommend that you actively participate in extracurricular activities—such as programs you hear about through the university—broaden your horizons, and grow in your own way.

The ability to build interpersonal relationships that I cultivated through extracurricular activities is
proving to be an asset


Encounters at WASEDA>>>

I learned the importance of deepening dialogue with people while thinking about what they want

At the event hosted by the Embassy of Colombia, my job was to introduce the products on display to the visitors. In addition to introducing the products themselves, I also explained the background and business purpose behind their development, the entrepreneurs’ ideas, and so on. By doing so, I was able to get many people interested in them. This experience taught me the importance of communicating with people by thinking about what they’re interested in and what kind of information they want, rather than just saying what I want to say in a one-sided manner. Also, the reason I was able to participate in this event as a volunteer was because I learned of it in advance and approached the Embassy myself. I think it’s also important to actively seek out information and opportunities regarding areas you’re interested in, and throw yourself into them.

Current Job>>>

It’s a joy to be of service to people through products that meet their needs

Thinking about and responding to what the other person needs is also relevant to my current job in product marketing. I work on product portfolio management, which is about drawing up product development and marketing strategies based on the results of consumer surveys and market analysis. The job is about meeting the needs of people out there in the world, and it’s tremendously rewarding. I hope I can be of service to people through the products I’ve been involved in. Furthermore, the  entrepreneurship I studied at Waseda isn’t only about starting up a company. The entrepreneurial mindset I’ve gained is also serving as a foundation for coming up with and proposing new business ideas in the company I work at.

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