15 ICU students participated in a month-long summer program organized by JICUF in July. Here is part two of our recap of the program. (Part one is here.)
After Shiori Kitajima left JICUF, alumna Hiroko Hiraki stepped in to help run the program. Hiroko graduated from ICU in 2004, worked for Amina Collection, a Yokohama-based fashion company for 11 years, then decided to pursue graduate studies at the Fashion Institute of Technology (FIT) in New York. She graduated with a Global Fashion Management Master of Professional Studies this year.
Week 3 (July 17-21, 2017)
The latter half of Global Link began with a trip to Washington, D.C. On July 17th, their first full day in the nation’s capital, the students visited the U.S. Capitol building. At the invitation of former OYR Luke Murry, the students were given a private tour of the building by staff from the House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy’s office. After the tour, Mr. Murry sat down with the students to talk about this experience at ICU, his career path, and some of the issues he works on as McCarthy’s national security advisor.
Upon leaving Capitol Hill, the group visited the World Bank’s Global Environmental Facility. Chizuru Aoki and Kyoko Matsumoto welcomed the students and described the work GEF does in the environmental and development fields. They particularly focused on Japan’s role within GEF as the number one donor for this branch of the World Bank. Dr. Aoki also offered advice on how to pursue an international career at the World Bank. Students then broke for lunch.
The group reconvened and took a quick photo in front of the White House before heading to the NHK Washington DC bureau. Students were welcomed by former OYR David McCagg as well as the Washington bureau chief Masayoshi Tanaka. Students asked questions about the role of media in the US and Japan, as well as about the future of journalism.
The day concluded with a dinner reception with ICU alumni in the Metro D.C. area. Following brief remarks from ICU graduates Rebecca Cataldi (Program Manager at the International Center for Religion and Diplomacy) and Toshiyuki Yasui (Executive Director of the Inter-American Development Bank), everyone in attendance was invited to introduce him/herself and offer a brief piece of advice for the students.
The following day, students embarked on a quick journey to the National Institutes of Health. Once there, the students were welcomed by NIH staff who led the students on a tour of the premier research hospital in the United States. Students learned about the history of the institute and its role in not only promoting health research in the US but around the world. After the tour, students had lunch with ICU alumnus, Dr. Naoyuki Koshiya, who shared his personal and career experiences.
After lunch, the students had the afternoon free to explore the museums and art galleries on the National Mall. On Wednesday, July 19th, students hopped on a bus back to New York.
Thursday morning started with a tour of one of the city’s most diverse neighborhoods, Jackson Heights. Led by the official Queens borough historian Jack Eichenbaum, students learned about the different ethnic groups as well as the history of the neighborhood. Dr. Eichenbaum led the group through Filipino restaurants, South Asian supermarkets, and Latin American social clubs. After the tour, students had lunch at a local Colombian restaurant in commemoration of the Colombian Independence Day.
Students then visited Flushing Meadows Park and PS1 before moving on up to the Upper East Side where JICUF trustee, Masako Shinn hosted a small reception with other JICUF board trustees.
The program wrapped up its third week with a morning session at ICU alumna Fusae Nara’s law firm where students attended a legal roundtable. Joining Ms. Nara were three other ICU alumni who are legal professionals, Emiko Furuya, Mari Aoyagi and Danny Ha.
Week 4 (July 24-28, 2017)
The fourth and final week of the program began with a visit to the Sony headquarters. ICU alumna Yoshiko Matsuda invited the students to her workplace. After a brief tour of the office, Ms. Matsuda and a couple of her colleagues briefed the students on Sony’s business structure and how it has changed over the past few years. Students continued their discussions with the hosts during lunch in the company restaurant.
After a brief stop at the showroom, the group headed back to the JICUF office where they met Ben Duke, former ICU professor. During his presentation, Prof. Duke shared some of the photos from the early days of ICU as well as some of his own family photos taken on the ICU campus. He also spoke about his life at ICU as well as his new book.
The following day, the students took a day-trip to New Brunswick, New Jersey organized by ICU alumna, Kazumi Pestka. Students first visited Rutgers University where archivist Thomas Frusciano introduced the students to the history of the university and briefly discussed the group of samurai that came to study at Rutgers in the 1860s and 1870s. The students had the chance to visit the graves of these early exchange students before heading over to the Reformed Church of Highland Park for lunch.
The students’ lunches were prepared by the church’s Global Grace Cafe, a small restaurant staffed and run by volunteers and refugees living in the community. Students were joined by two volunteers at the church, Carrie Dirks and Wendy Jager. Ms. Dirks and Ms. Jager talked to students about how the church responded to the refugee crises around the world and how they have opened their homes and churches to welcome them. They also talked about the challenges they face in not only helping refugees in getting to the US, but also assisting them in securing jobs, providing language training and access to social services once they have settled. The day concluded with a reception at Ms. Pestka’s house for some light drinks and snacks, and outdoor activities.
On Wednesday, July26th, the students visited the 9/11 Tribute Center. After a brief tour of the gallery, the Center led the group on a tour of the memorial grounds. At the conclusion of the tour, students had lunch around the Financial District and reconvened in front of the NY Stock Exchange before heading over to the Museum of American Finance.
The day continued with the business theme with a visit to the Japan External Trade Organization. ICU alumnus Atsushi Suzuki hosted the group and discussed how JETRO works with Japanese companies interested in establishing business in the United States.
On the penultimate day of the program, JICUF Executive Director Paul Hastings invited the students to his house in Maplewood, NJ for lunch. Mr. Hastings treated the students to some delicious grilled meats, a healthy salad, and light refreshments. Mr. Hastings also played some of his son’s favorite songs on his guitar. Students then shared their thoughts on the program and its impact on their life.
On the final day of the program, students filled out a survey, took some final photos with JICUF staff, and enjoyed their last full day in New York City. A small group of the students joined a tour of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, arranged by Masako Shinn.
We would like to thank each and every one of the alumni, trustees and other supporters who generously contributed to the program. Without your support, we could not have provided the students the opportunity to learn about such a wide range of professions and organizations. It was a pleasure for us as much as it was for the students to meet you and learn about your careers!