First-ever Virtual Halloween Party led by the E-Plaza Team

Author: Tin D.
Editor: Tin D.

Someone said ‘Spooktober’?

During the event, midterms were upon many students, including me. Assignments continued to pile up, and so was our stress. However, there was also one very important thing to point out: it was around the end of Spooktober and HALLOWEEN was just around the corner.

And in order to relieve everyone at least temporarily from their busy schedules, our wonderful E-Plaza staff organized one of their yearly big events, the Halloween Party. During this two-hour virtual event, people are free to enter, leave any activities or games facilitated by the EP interns. A number of activities were held simultaneously at a time in separate breakout rooms. Having said that, I missed some of the fun but fret not as I made sure to include all games in the article.

Here are the activities held during the event.


Scavenger hunt

For this activity, we scavenge for certain items surrounding us to share with everybody else. The more items you manage to gather, the more points you get. For example, if the questioner asks for a ‘textbook,’ then you should look around your room to find a ‘textbook’ and bring it with you on-screen. Although I was not able to participate (I was invested into the Pictionary game at the time), at the very last moment, I remember people were carrying vegetables in their hands. I suppose everyone is living healthily these days.

Pictionary

Online software used

In this game, participants take turns drawing whatever word was given on their screens (with the theme being Halloween of course), and the others guess what the word is. We did have a point system but honestly, everyone was just having fun, trying their hardest to draw using a mouse, and struggling to guess from the “amazing” illustrations made by my peers. At one point, I was given the word ‘abstract,’ and my visual expression was so ‘amazing’ that no one got it right (you gain points by having people make correct guesses).

No cringe contest

I skipped this contest, but I think it would be something along the lines of people trying not to cringe whilst doing not-so-normal behaviors to break the opponent’s will. That was my speculation. I decided not to participate because I knew I would have experienced internal suffering from all the cringe, although for sure I missed a lot of laughs and fun.

Granny’s House

game played

E-Plaza interns also facilitated a meeting for people to play a mobile game called “Granny’s House.” I heard that the game was about cooperating with other players to escape the “Granny’s House,” where you are locked in.

Haunted houses

I missed Granny’s House but I did join a trip to Haunted Houses. A virtual experience of haunted houses. We were watching videos featuring other people’s experiences through a screen. It was personally not scary (not sure with all of you), but I got to see a variety of props, jump scares, etc.

Ghost storytelling

I am not very good at storytelling verbally so during this activity, I was mostly listening to everyone’s ghost stories and giving reactions in the chat box. People were taking turns telling not only scary narratives, but also their own experiences with ghosts and such.

Bingo game

We also had a bingo game with each cell filled with either Halloween, E-Plaza, or recent trends-related phrases. At this point, the event was going towards its end, so this activity did help calming participants down after all the excitement.

Costume contest

The final activity was the long-awaited costume contest. Prior to the event, participants were required to send a submission of themselves in a Halloween costume. The organizers then would decide the top 3 winners. There were also prizes for the during-event costume contest. Although many people decided to have either light make-up or put on simple Halloween-like outfits, there were also some who really went all-out. One girl was dressed up as Himiko Toga in Boku no Hero Academia. She was so impressive.

Winner of the competition

Overall thoughts

This yearly event organized by EP team is usually held on campus, but due to the current situation, the EP team was adaptable enough to move it online. 

The event was nothing short of fun and amazing! At any point during the event, there were around 30~ people. A portion of participants, including me, was not showing faces, but that definitely did not take away the joy and the Halloween atmosphere at all. 

The on-campus event would have been great for sure, but still, the virtual was still beyond amazing, and I was able to meet GREAT people at a GREAT event. 

Looking forward to the next one!

SLI Job Fair Fall 2020 – A Great Learning and Sharing Experience

Author: Hang
Editor: Saki Arimoto

What is SLI Job Fair?

SLI Job Fair is an Student Leadership Internship (SLI) event featuring all 5 teams, E-Plaza, Campus Globalization, Peer Assistants, EP Library, and Peer Advisors for Writing, of the SLI community that is held every semester.

Participants have the chance to meet current SLI interns and SLI advisors, ask them for more information about each team’s responsibilities, and listen to their experiences in their internship journeys. 

It is an in-depth information session organized by SLI teams for those who wish to know more about SLI and are interested to become an SLI intern for upcoming semesters. This also becomes an opportunity  for the current SLI interns to share their stories and pass on the same positive experience to future interns. In fact, the author, who has been to SLI Job Fair for 3 semesters consecutively, has personally learned a lot and grown tremendously as an SLI intern.


What’s new with SLI Job Fair 2020?

Before the pandemic, the event was usually held in one of the lecture halls, and teams had their own spots where interested applicants can easily go to. Because of the COVID-19 situation and difficulty of travelling to other countries, the SLI Job Fair has been held online through Zoom since Spring 2020. Indeed, it was a challenge to move from offline to online, but this was a learning experience to all the organizers of the event in becoming more adaptable and flexible during the trying times. Learning from our experience last semester, we have come back more prepared for our Fall 2020 SLI Job Fair and it was a great success.

To promote the event, SLI interns poured their time and efforts in creating impressive different visuals such as posters and videos to promote the SLI Job Fair. Check them out below.

On Job Fair day, interns received so many comments and interests from their fellow students, and a number of them showed their determination of joining SLI next semester which made interns feel extremely appreciated. Read some of the interns’ testimonials below!

“Our booth was visited by 4 students today,” said Hayati from PAW. “They all looked very sharp and interested!”  


“[It] feels like a great achievement being a part of such an amazing event and getting to motivate our fellow students to become part of our beloved SLI community,” (someone from CG team) commented.

P/S: Make sure to join next semester’s SLI Job Fair, and experience a glimpse of how job fairs in Japan are organized!

Discovering cultures and the skills of friendship: an Interview with Abigail

Author: Kotoko
Editor: Tin D.

The Friendship Program

  “The Friendship Program is not about finding friendship. It is about practicing friendship.”

This fall in Tokyo International University witnesses a brand new program full of new experience and potential. “The Friendship Program” is held online by Abigail, the leader of this program. The first featured article will focus on Ms. Abigail and her thoughts for the program.


Who is Abigail?

Abigail B. Carrigan grew up in Mississippi and moved to Japan in August 2019. Since then, she has been working at TIU for two years. She teaches Academic Composition for international students and English for Japanese students this year.

The aim of The Friendship Program is to foster intercultural communication and information exchange. Since there are more than 1300 international students in TIU, by developing intercultural friendship between J-track and E-track students, this program can help students obtain both the knowledge and the experience that will be needed to adapt to the current highly globalized world.


What motivates her?

She launched the program initially for her students. The concerns appeared when she started her online classes. There were many TIU students who were willing to study abroad (outside Japan) but were not able to, as well as E-track students who were forced to stay in their home country despite having been admitted into TIU. All because of Covid-19. Then, she thought to herself: why not create the opportunity for both student bodies to meet each other? By having students who are passionate in doing cultural exchange be with each other, she hoped that diverse and interesting communication could flourish.


Process

The process of the Friendship program is simple. Students only need to fill in an application form. After collecting all application forms, the program team will match students with their interests from the form. Matched students will be in a group of 2 or 3, and all have different backgrounds. After that, they will be provided with a meeting URL to meet each other. By doing this, participants can focus on conversing without worrying about personal information being leaked.

In this program, Abigail wishes that both E-track and J-track students interact with people from different cultures and backgrounds to grow, improve and practice friendship skills.

“We do not promise that participants will be able to have close friends by the end of the semester. However, we do provide chances to practice friendship. Practicing relationships means demonstrating friendship and kindness through civility, interesting conversation and sharing your culture.”

The application for the friendship program has closed for now and the first matching has already started. However, her team is looking forward to opening the application again next spring. So, stay tuned for more updates!


Author’s comment

Abigail was a very kind person. Not only did she follow up with my language mistakes, she also talked to me as if she was a “professional friend agent.” One of the memorable comments from her was “I think we all have friends who maybe we didn’t know we would be friends with.” I hope she will have success with her upcoming projects.

Another picture of Abigail

Hult Prize TIU – an interview with Sabrina

Author: Tin D.
Editor: Tin D.

※The interview was conducted in English.

Sabrina Tiffany Muhsin

4th year, Business Economics

President of Hult Prize TIU

Date of Interview: 10/16

Hult Prize TIU

Tin: “Okay, let’s start with the foundation. Can you tell me what Hult Prize TIU is all about?”

Sabrina: “Hult Prize is a social  entrepreneurship event that partners with Hult International Business School and United Nations Office for Partnerships, where students get a chance to answer the United Nations [annual] challenge and build the next game changing startup!”

Motivation

Tin: “What was your motivation when you decided to make Hult Prize TIU happen?”

Sabrina: “Yes! So, I was motivated to make Hult Prize TIU happen because… It was actually because I stumbled upon an article from one of my friends. It told how she was inspired to join the regionals and I thought I might as well join so I was just like open the website and then applied, and I didn’t even remember I applied and they called me back to do an interview and it just kinda happened even though I did not really know about Hult Prize at that time, honestly.”

Theme

Tin: “I heard that Hult Prize has a theme every year, so can you tell me a little bit about this year’s theme?”

Sabrina: “Yes, thank you for that question. So this year’s theme is “Food for Good” where students are challenged to transform food into vehicles of changes and solve one or more of the SDGs (Sustainable Development Goals). They will also need to be able to create jobs, stimulate economies, reimagine supply chain, and improve outcome for 10 million people by 2030, which is a big challenge”

The experience: organizer & participant

Tin: “So, within Hult Prize TIU, I suppose that there are two main groups: the organizers and the participating teams. Can you tell me about your experience as an organizer? For example, did you have fun? How was it like coordinating people and surpassing challenges together?”

Sabrina: “YES! At first, it was like 100% motivation and in the middle of it, sometimes people get demotivated because you have done a lot but then things do not go as expected. In the beginning, we had a hard time finding team members. During the first two weeks, there were like only 2 teams but then we needed to reach the minimum of 10 teams, which was a lot right? Also, we had a hard time finding judges at first. We didn’t know where to search for them […] However, as we continued to progress, we gathered a lot more people and are working towards the next months on the high note.”

Tin: “I see, I see. That was very interesting. Well, I would say that as long as you enjoy doing it and things work out in the end, all good. That being said, although I do not know whether it is fine for you to talk on behalf of the participating teams, can you tell me what their experience could be like?”

Sabrina: “Oh, alright. This might have been due to miscommunication by me, but they were probably kind of unsure at first because the challenge was slightly ambiguous. They did ask me a lot like how could I do the abstract, how could I do the google form and everything. I see they have a lot of passion, but probably need more direction from the organization team back then. However, as we reach the end of the registration period, things have lightened up a bit. They are now more engaging and more explicitly passionate about their projects […] Another thing is that they may find Hult Prize, or building a business from scratch, is kind of difficult and scary.

A training session

Tin: “Yeah, I know that feeling. But if I recall correctly, Hult Prize is not about building a business, but rather about sharing the ideas of your business first, right?”

Sabrina: “Exactly! That is perfectly correct. You know, why don’t you join Hult Prize TIU, since you know that much?”

Tin: “Haha, thanks for the offer, but I think my back is hurt enough with all the work and assignments I got”

Sabrina: “Well, can’t really force you, haha”

A bridge between Jtrack and Etrack?

Tin: “I am just wondering, but since TIU is composed of both J-track and E-track students, are you guys planning to attract more people that speak mostly Japanese?”

Sabrina: “We are currently also working to attract J-track students to our circle. So, 2 weeks ago, we did talk in J-track classes. Currently, we have only 2 team members and 1 organizing member from the J-track program. Although there are not many at this point, I personally think that it is already an achievement for us. Hopefully next year, there will be more J-track students coming.”

Virtual events

Tin: “As many events are being moved to virtual, did Hult Prize TIU face any difficulties?”

Sabrina: “That’s a good question. So, I think the main problem of doing this virtually is that we would not be able to spread the passion. It may not seem as real. And since we can not meet with our judges, our mentors, it does not feel as personal. And of course to the organizing committees and the participating team too. But, there are positive things. For example, we do everything online now. We are able to ask speakers or judges from all over the world[…] It is also easier for them in terms of transportation. Also, there is no need to cover the decoration materials and stuff like that.”

Tin: “Oh ok, nice to learn new things from your experience”
Sabrina: “It’s really not that much, haha”

A message from Sabrina

——It is OK to make a mistake. Join an organization and do as many things as you can because you will probably be a student only once, so you need to utilize that as much as you can——

Why Part-time jobs in Japan are “Easy”


Author: Hang
Editor: Tin D.

Being a foreign student in a foreign country, many struggle to settle their financial problems. To be independent from financial supporters or to share their burden, to accumulate life experience or to learn new things, regardless of the reasons,  foreign students do part-time jobs and it is not rare to catch them working alongside with Japanese staff. They contribute to the economy of the host country as well as helping share their own family’s financial burden. It’s a two-way benefit, win-win situation for both the student and the host country.

Foreign students might have various motivations to come to Japan, and to come to TIU specifically. Do you know that you are in a country that part-time job is a common experience, because it is actually very easy to obtain one?


Here is why (personally)

1. There is a bazillion job opportunities out there.

Japan is the country of service. A great proportion of its GDP is generated by the third economic sector – service. Tourism generates huge GDP and creates many job opportunities for a country that the first and second sector has been gradually taken over by technology and machines. Hotel service, restaurant service, educational service to name a few of the areas that human labor is still valued more than machines. With a dwindling available domestic work force (too many seniors against too few young workers), it is important that employers take in foreign labor to make up for the shortage of man-power.

Foreign students are contributing greatly to Japanese economy by doing part-time jobs, and business runners love them.

 

Unlike many countries where part-time jobs are hard to find, scarily competitive as well as poorly paid, part-time jobs in Japan are always available and decently paid. You can easily cover your living expenses with your salary from baito even if you do not work full 28-hour per week (assuming you are not a crazy spender of course). The job is there, as long as you are willing to find and work for it.

2. Available jobs are newbie friendly

Japanese can take on part-time jobs after entering high school. Do you think they have any work experience just graduating middle school? Hardly, right. Because part-time jobs in Japan are very newbie friendly, anyone can do it. They would teach you how to complete your job in the most caring and forgiving manners, because that’s what they have been doing for centuries.

 From young high schoolers to elderly, if you have any experience, great, good to know. If you don’t, it’s fine, it can be taught. Don’t worry that your work resume is a complete zero, you can still find a job. That’s how easy baito are.

3. Language barrier is NOT that scary

Yes, coming to Japan, many foreigners struggle with this language. How can people remember all these moon runes called Kanji? Well, practice and immersion make any language easier. But does that mean you can not look for any job until you can actually speak Japanese? Not really, there are places that you can work with basic Japanese skills of N5.

With N3, you can basically apply for any restaurant job. With N2, you can apply for basically any job (just don’t do any illegal jobs please).


HOW TO GET A BAITO – the easy way

(In case you are not confident with your language skills)

  • Use part-time job finding apps to look up for information

Keywords: Foreigners/Foreign students welcomed; Newbie friendly; Language level according to your confidence.

  • Ask for recommendation from your senpais)

Connections make things faster, easier and more credible. Make sure that your senpai is also trustworthy and credible.

  • Prepare for your interview

Learn some common phrases. Prepare your Rirekisho (Resume) nicely. Dress smartly (not too formal nor too casual, it will not be a good first impression)

  • Relax, smile and be bright

Be honest about what you can do. Ask questions if you need to. Don’t raise the bars to high, it’d only be tough for you in the future.

Being a CG Intern with Saki Arimoto

Author: Saki Arimoto
Editor: Tin D.

About myself

I am Saki, a 3rd Year Major in Business Economics. I have been interning at the Campus Globalization (CG) Team for 3 semesters, and I am currently a Middle Staff. Outside campus, I have had three internships, and I can say that being a part of the CG team has definitely helped me increase my chances of landing those positions. 

Photo from CG Team Fall 2019; I am one of the tiny interns, second from the left.

Before being a CG intern, I had not heard much about the team. In fact, I only knew CG during the Info Session for the Recruitment Period. I was (and still am) interested in creating videos, a frequent SNS user, and have somewhat the required language abilities, so I thought that this could be my opportunity to be more active and involved in the university’s extracurricular activities.


What is Campus Globalization?

Now, you may be wondering what Campus Globalization is. Tokyo International University offers Student Leadership Internships (SLI) to students to experience on-campus paid internships, and one of the teams is Campus Globalization. We are a small team of 9 bilingual talents, and our goal is to connect all students in TIU by making the community more inclusive and bilingual. We are able to do these through our tasks which can be categorized into 5: Workshop Planning, SNS Management, Video Project, Translation Project, and Student-led Project.

1. Workshop Planning

Every semester we hold 3 workshops for language exchange. Organizers choose any topic that is of relevance to the TIU community, and participants will discuss the chosen topic using both Japanese and English. This workshop enables bilingual students to meet fellow students who can speak both languages and at the same time, converse about pressing issues in more depth.

Posters from all the workshops I facilitated; most recent from the right

I can still remember the first workshop I led. I was nervous as I am quite introverted, especially before. I was also a bit insecure with my language abilities, but I realize that the workshop itself helped me boost my confidence and that making mistakes in grammar is completely fine as long as I am able to convey what I intend to convey. Of course, learning the right grammar is important but there will naturally be times that one would forget these, and that is okay. After holding a number of workshops, I got less nervous and I was also able to moderate other events well. Thanks to CG I got such opportunities.

2. SNS Management

We are also in charge of managing the tiu_sli account on Instagram. Not only do we coordinate with other teams for content, but also translate their captions into either Japanese or English so everyone can get a grasp and be updated with the events in TIU.

This task is obviously great for those who want to pursue marketing as their jobs. It also helped me when I applied to an international advertising company in Tokyo, and fortunately, got accepted. As I also use social media very frequently, I enjoy doing these tasks.

3. Video Project

We also do a number of video projects. We have collaborated with other SLI teams for SLI Recruitment Video, Welcome Message Video, and many others. We also contributed to creating a video for the Career Center with the Takadanobaba Office, and to editing videos assigned by the E-Track Academic Affairs Office. We used CG-exclusive equipment to film most of our videos, but as for our recent projects, since we have to move online, most were done at home, but heavily focused on editing. It is also another great practice to get used to different video-editing software, as well as meeting with professionals who can share their skills face-to-face.

Video Collaboration with Takadanobaba Office

4. Translation Project

As for this project, this is rather the simplest among the tasks mentioned. We are assigned by different offices in TIU to translate documents. This is also good practice for those who want to hone their translation skills while getting paid.

5. Student-led Project

This is still quite recent. With our advisors, we are encouraged to think of new ideas to help the TIU community to be more globalized. This website where you are reading this article is actually one of our projects. Especially if you are proactive and have new ideas, you can definitely pursue them as a CG intern.

My experiences

From these tasks, I have gained a lot of experience and skills that I can add to my resume. On top of that, I get to apply these skills in multiple organizations that I am part of. Working with my talented teammates also makes the experience more fun and more interesting. It is not always that one gets to meet highly talented, creative, and skillful people like my teammates so I am grateful to work with them, especially on challenging projects. There would be instances that we get too many projects, but with the help of my fellow interns and helpful advisors, we are still able to manage and make our projects as best as we can.


Lastly…

The iconic CG logo

Many people still ask who CG is, and I, with the rest of the team, tried to explain it a number of times, and so I have made a conclusion about our team.

We definitely are not as publicly visible as the other SLI teams. I actually call our team “the backroom boys (and girls).” 

This, therefore, is a good place for students who are not interested in frequent face-to-face interactions but still desire to learn and build highly technical and social-communicative skills, as I do. I believe it is quite a unique internship as we have multiple things we are in charge of. It gets challenging from time to time, but I can definitely say that being a CG intern is a fulfilling experience, and I would recommend qualified TIU students to try this too.

TEDxTIU: Workshop on Ideation and Design Thinking

Author: Mika Arimoto
Editor: Tin D.

TEDxTIU?

TEDxTIU is a recently founded circle this Fall in our campus, led by Saki Arimoto – a third-year undergraduate majoring in Business Economics.

As some people may have known of “TED”, to put it simply, TEDx is a program that aims to spread TED’s ideology throughout the world, encouraging the pop-up of numerous nonpartisan, nonprofit and independently run TEDx organizations in numerous communities. Here in TEDxTIU, they aim to create a platform where “ideas worth sharing” can be heard, starting from organizing events and workshops.


A workshop with Brittany Arthur

Date: Wednesday, 7th of October, 2020. Time: 8 pm JST

On that day lies TEDxTIU’s very first workshop.

Led by Brittany Arthur, the founder and managing director of Design Thinking Japan, host and producer of Business Karaoke Podcast, the workshop’s aim was to help participants understand Ideation and Design Thinking. There were 21 participants from multiple backgrounds and nationalities in this event, including myself.


The flow~

1. Chat box icebreaker

The workshop started with an Icebreaker as we started utilizing Zoom’s chat box function and exchanged social media accounts to stay connected. As Ms. Brittany said, it was extremely important for everyone to connect with each other, especially during the current situation. That was her motive behind the activity, so I simply followed and tried to note down everyone’s account in order to follow them. And everyone was also doing the same, which was refreshing to see for me.

2. Ideation and Design Thinking’s origin

As Ms. Brittany continued to explain the key concepts, I learned that in order to effectively practice design thinking, it is crucial to approach problems with empathy, which was rather interesting. She gave us a business general example about it. If you were to create or improve a product, would you simply do so basing on your understanding of the products or on the customers’ perspectives. A good option would probably be the latter. Thus, it can be said that empathy is the origin of Ideation and Design Thinking.

3. Quick applicational activity

After that, she helped us apply this approach in a situational problem which was about a student struggling to join a circle. We were required to think of a solution to the problem with the newly learned concepts and divide ‘empathy’ for the student into 4 segments: see, think, feel, hear. During the discussion of our own solutions, it was surprising for me to hear some of the participants’ answers may be potential approaches in recruiting TEDxTIU members in the future.

A screenshot at the end of the workshop

My thoughts and the others’

Thanks to Ms. Brittany’s wonderful presentation skills, the workshop was indeed engaging and fun. Overall, everyone was participative and enjoyed the experience. Here are some of their responses:

“The session was very interesting and informative, especially the concept of ideation through empathizing which was new to me. Looking forward to joining more events like these!”

“I really love the empathizing section! As a person who loves to read about psychology, I really liked the idea of getting people involved through empathy!”

I am glad for TEDxTIU that the first workshop was successful. It was informative, interesting, and I was even able to connect with fellow members. As a part of this circle, I look forward to more workshops like this. GOOD JOB to all the people who worked hard to make this event possible.