Great news!!

     Hey! Let me know you some great news!!
     First, I passed yesterday's interview and became a member of this program, "Japan Women's Initiatives -Global Leaders Project-". http://www.facebook.com/pages/Japan-Womens-Initiatives-Global-Leaders-Project-/115640775188834
     Second, I sent my completed application form to a NPO in the Philippines today. I'll have an interview with them this Wednesday! That's the day after tomorrow!!
     I'll do my best! XD

     Here is a part of my application form. It took me longer to finish writing the Application Form than I expected because these questions were so difficult for me! Xb
     This is a very long article but I'd be very happy if you could comment something. :)

• For you, what does it mean to be a student volunteer in the Philippines?

     It means great progress for realizing my dream. My dream is to work in a multinational corporation and innovate in business logistics. Therefore, I aspire to enhance my English skills and deepen my understanding different cultures. I am sure that I can attain my aspiration in the Philippines.
     Moreover, I have specific reasons why I chose the Philippines, instead of other countries. First, I am very interested in the culture, the people, the society and its’ economy. The Philippines is an Asian country where there is an active exchange of people to and from Japan. However, I know only a littele about the Philippines. I especially want to know what is the Philippines’ major lure as a trading partner and a host country for Japanese firms. I wonder if there are some risks of investing which must be viewed not only from an economic aspect but also from different aspects. For example, it is said that politics is rife with corruption in the Philippines. So, I will aim to deepen my understanding about the Philippines by actually living there. Second, the Philippines is also a good country to learn practical English. I have had English conversation lessons on Skype with a few Filipino people. They did not have the thick English accent. Finally, I think I should see the problem of poverty with my own eyes. Before, I have heard a learge gap between the rich and the poor in the Philippines. In order to solve the problem, it is important to have a deep understanding of the problem.

• Why do you want to work with an educational establishment dedicated to working with micro entrepreneurs and creating a ‘New Order’ of Social Entrepreneurs?

     As I have mentioned above, I hope to support the poor in the Philippines. Helping them in the field of business is one of the most important factor for them. So, I want the micro market in the Philippines be more active. I believe it improves their living standard and encourages the poor to become more self-sufficient and less dependent on welfare. Enterpreneurship by starting a business, is one way.
     Working with micro entrepreneurs is a great opportunity to know the problems happening in the field. Having an intellectual exchnages with them regarding businesses will give me a practical viewpoint of the business. Creating a ‘New Order’ of Social Entrepreneurs is necessary for them to prosper in the ethical way.

• For you, what is a Social Entrepreneur?

     A Social Entrepreneur is an individual who starts a business and gives innovative solutions to their society in order to solve social problems. He or she has a vocation and passion for social innovation and tries to start an action which nobody has done before. The difference between social entrepreneurs and volunteers is the way of managing an organization. Social entrepreneurs embark on social problems through their business but volunteers do action with donation. I believe that the latter’s financing is unstable. Under certain circumstances, volunteers tend to be restricted in their action and field but social entrepreneurs are comparatively free from restraint. It is most likely that social entrepreneurs organizations become sustainable.

• What are your hopes, expectations and fears for this experience?

My hopes and expectations:
     During the internship period, I would like to experience staying with both low- and middle-class families.
     I hope to make many friends including Filipinos and people from other countries. Are there any EP at the same time?
     I’m really looking forward to studying at the Entrepreneurs School of Asia Foundation. I want to deepen my understanding of business ethics. I want to examine the business ethics in the Philippines and compare it with the Japanese companies’ case.

My fears:
     I am worried about sanitation and especially about food. A lot of Japanese people say that I have a stomachache if I eat meals from street vendors and drink tap water.
     I should also be aware of my manners. I think their manners and taboos are different from Japan. But I do not know how to get to learn more about it.

• How do you normally cope with stress, frustration and disempowerment?

     Talkng to my friends helps reduce stress and frustration. I only want to hear words that are “familiar” with my friends. Sympathizing with me cools me down.

• Have you had any experience of living and working in a cross-cultural environment?

     I had the chance to go abroad twice. My first trip was approximately 5 years ago when I went to Australia and Taiwan for 6 days. My second trip abroad was 4 years ago when I went to Singapore and Malaysia for 4 days. They were both short trips.

• Have you ever had an experience of living and working in very simple or poor conditions?

     I have never had such an experience. But, I will not complain if I live and work in very simple or poor conditions. It will not help their situation if I complain. I think I grew up in a challenging environment. From my experiences, I learned that, as they say; “No pain, no gain.”

• What attributes do you feel you would bring to the Social Entrepreneur Experience?

     I am a caring person. While I was working as a teacher at a cram school for half a year, I had a good reputation with the parents of my student. A strong point of mine is persevering despite difficulties. I would, to the best of my abilities, continue to encourage people who are experiencing adversities. As a matter of fact, only a handful of social entrepreneurs are able to succeed in their respective businesses while the majority of them have to withdraw from their businesses. Even if there is much difficulty, I would help and encourage social entrepreneurs so that they could reflect and work living up to their ideals so we can constantly improve the business together.
     I am honest and sincere, and I always try to match other people’s expectations of me. An senior student of my seminar previously told me that I am a honest person. I make it a rule to never set a limit on what I can potentially achieve and I am always raising the bar because I think that approaching everything with a strong will helps me develop to be a more mature and refined person. Of course, during this internship I will continue to challenge myself and I will never let you down.
     I am an open-minded and sociable person. I have the ability to work in a team and ability to make many friends due to my character. While I am doing the Social Entrepreneurs Experience, I have to maintain a good relationship with other social entrepreneurs in order to have an honest exchange of views with them.

• What do you hope to learn from joining the Social Entrepreneur Experience?.

     Through this internship I would like to know how well I can work with people who come from different backgrounds. In order to know that, I must understand our cultural and social differences.
     For example, understanding the actual living conditions of Filipinos is one of the most effective ways which I can appreciate the societal difference between Japan and the Philippines. I may be shocked by learning about the details of the wide income gap there. But, I should face this problem head-on because I think a lot of social entrepreneurs are handling the problem of income gap in the Philippines. In this regard, I will confront this difficult problem head on and solve it by cooperating with them.
     The problem of the large income gap does not happen only in the Philippines. I should also consider this problem as my own problem. By thinking that we live in the same one world is necessary for seeing something from a global point of view.
     After this internship, I'm sure I will not only improve my English skills but also gain a wider view on the world and zeal for social reforming like what successful other social entrepreneurs have.

     Thank you for reading! Love!! :)

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