The Future I see through taking on the challenge

Karin Koiwai 4th year, Department of Russian Studies, Faculty of Foreign Studies (Offered Job at Sojitz Corporation)

Study abroad, extracurricular activities, clubs, volunteer work, internships – fulfilling their dreams to grow themselves as individuals. Students who have challenged themselves speak about how they’ve changed and grown from enrollment to the present.

My aspirations, once rather ambiguous, turned crystal clear a little by little.

Karin Koiwai 4th year, Department of Russian Studies, Faculty of Foreign Studies (Offered Job at Sojitz Corporation)

Influenced by my father’s love of foreign movies and music, my admiration for foreign cultures sprouted at a very young age. At that time, my dream was rather abstract like, “I may want to live abroad in the future,” but when I started gymnastics in third grade of elementary school, my dream became more and more concrete.

I naturally became interested in Russia, a leading gymnastics country, and my experience interacting with the people in Moscow during my stay there in high school, was a major factor in my decision to join the Department of Russian Studies at Sophia University.

I decided to study at Sophia University out of all the universities because I found its  atmosphere very diverse with many students from all over the world, as if being in a foreign country. For me, it was the place for pursuing my goals.

After joining the university, I participated in various extracurricular activities, such as the international student exchange group, to improve my language skills and to engage in cross-cultural exchanges. Due to the world condition, I was unable to study abroad, which I had planned as the highlight of my university life, but instead, I made the best of my time by focusing on what can be done, such as studying for the Russian Language Proficiency Test or taking up part-time jobs, in order to gain more experience outside of my intended study abroad experience.

No matter how hard it may seem, with steady effort, everything can be accomplished.

My part-time job at NIKE, which I took up during my junior year, offered quite an experience in addition to my life at university. Each store selected an MVP, so I actively took on the challenge, and within three months of joining the company, I was named MVP. I feel that I was able to demonstrate my competitive nature, and at the same time, I also learned valuable lessons from my co-workers and friends. I was good at working toward goals as an individual, but there, the idea of achieving goals together as a team was well established, and I realized that this was exactly what was missing for myself. Owning the positive attitude of achieving goals together with others having a sense of purpose truly benefits my life. 

I chose to work for a general trading company because the job of trading involves ” delivering products by connecting people with people,” which resembles the kind of customer service I experienced as a part-timer. Even though the scale of transactions may differ, I was told by my seniors that the line of work very much depends on personal qualities and character, so I became interested in working for such a company.

Through my efforts to find a job, I realized that good character and human nature matter no matter what type of business you engage to. I am sure there are many ways to nurture such qualities, but in my case, learning at Sophia was the key. Although I have fulfilled my graduation credits, I am still taking courses that are open to students at any departments. Finding courses that interest myself and to study them, definitely expands my horizons. It was hard work to maintain steady efforts, but my stubborn nature worked to my advantage. I would like to continue to making attempt for various challenges with a spirit of “never give up!”

【Building No. 1】
Completed in 1932, this building is a symbol of the university with its beautiful arched beams that connect the first-floor corridor. It is a robust school building designed by Max Hindel, who also designed Catholic churches throughout Japan.

*Please note that the content of this article is subject as of October 2022

Sophia University

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