My Nitobe Journey

When I heard about Nitobe School at the entrance ceremony of my department, I thought I would be doing it. I was attracted by the program they proposed: learning in a multi-disciplinary context, expanding network, gaining experiences and meeting people from different backgrounds and nationalities.
Later, when I began my master course, I asked for the recommendations of my supervisor, and he greatly encouraged me to join it: Nitobe School helps students to strengthen their competencies and to be more active in society, not only by learning, but especially by giving back to society.
Usually in Nitobe School, we make a team and we work on a project. Working in team is not always easy, because we learn to express our ideas in order to make the work progress. Sometimes it is made difficult because of cultural and languages barriers. The first sessions may be hard, but then, we are getting used to project management, brainstorming and presentations. Communication is not an obstacle anymore, we are more free to discuss and to participate. Moreover, our advisors provided us with the tools we needed in class: series of conferences, lectures and trainings provided by professionals and personal mentors.
Nitobe School is like a second major and I am very happy to have joined it. I improved my communication and research skills, made new friends, had fun and had quality-time. I highly recommend it, especially if the field of study is outside business administration. I am from the Faculty of Economics and Business Administration, but still, I am more than satisfied with my experience in Nitobe School: the program it offers is very rich.
Nitobe School helps students to be independent, professional and active. In that purpose, they organize impressive events. The academic-year is divided into 4 terms in which students can learn about facilitation and project-management, global issues, problem-solving and problem-finding. For each term, advisors and professors will assist us to immerse into the new topic of the term. One term lasts approximately 8 weeks. Each term is generally opened by lectures given by professionals on the topic and it is also the occasion to expand network and to get advices from professionals.
At the end of each term, we present our findings to the class and our mentors, evaluate how far we have gone in the finished session, and how far we improved ourselves and reached our objectives.
During the academic year, we interact with different mentors through the meeting-sessions and through the series of lectures. One of the most impressive experience I had in Nitobe School is the interview with Japanese companies to find out their main problems and to propose solutions to those companies. As an international student in Sapporo, it is not every day that we have the opportunity to talk to a CEO of a Japanese company during two hours and to use our backgrounds to propose changes to one of the famous company in Japan.

One of the basic skills that we learnt when we started Nitobe School is project and time management. Time management is very important in any kind of project, whatever it is a project in Nitobe School or our own research.
As a master student, we have some assignments from our faculties and others in Nitobe School. We learn to plan and create time for each task and others. Sometimes it is very hectic, because besides our own research we also need to make time for our team in Nitobe School, whereas our research is our main priority. That is why, it is important to have a good communication with team members, labmates and teachers. Because everyone in the team is just as busy, but as long as we can agree with others, we always find time for our research and for Nitobe School.

In the future, I want to operate as a consultant for national or international organizations. I am majoring in Economic History. Economic history is a very rich field, which combines the skills of the historian, the economist, the statistician and the sociologist. The study of economic history covers different topics such as new institutionalism, organizational theory, cultural studies, innovation, science, technology and society, imperialism, colonialism, globalism. We proceed by theoretical studies as well by case studies. Consequently, master students in Economic history have various knowledge that can be used in different sectors.
I want to enhance the formation that I got in my Master Studies and in Nitobe School, and apply them to resolve global issues of nowadays.
The formation that I got destines me to be specialist on international issues such as the geopolitical situation, economic development and inequality, business organizations and leadership.
During Nitobe School, I got trainings on Think Tank organizations, which main goal is to make research related to a topic and to advocate a cause, a policy, a culture. This training is complementary to my formation in master, and will contribute to my future pass.
We, young students, represent the next generation and have responsibilities in shaping this future, which is starting from now. We have responsibilities toward ourselves, our countries, and the society to which we belong. We need to give back to our society.
The world is more and more integrating, but also challenging. It is important to have a good network; and friends that we make in university life are our first network. Making different friends as much as we can, appreciating the cultural differences and using those differences to understand the issues that we are facing.

Nitobe School is definitely one of the best experiences I had in Hokkaido University. It opened the door to a lot of opportunities and to many friends. I also learnt to collaborate with people from different nationalities. I am really happy to be a part of it. Thank you, Hokkaido University. Thank you, Nitobe School.

Randrianirina Liantsoa
Graduate School of Economics and Business Administration