It's MEPI(Middle Eastern Partnership Initiative) Amazing Leadership Race today (even though it's Saturday!). As I'm auditing a leadership course of MSU and this race is some kind of joint program between the leadership course and MEPI, I also participated in this race.
The race was so interesting and I again am amazed and overcome by brilliant English skill of MEPI student (you know what, most of them are almost 10 years younger than me and speak so clear and fast English!) Especially, the discussion about US foreign policy was so fascinating! We discussed from some different views, I mean, American, Middle Eastern, Japanese views.
In the ceremony, a professor of the course addressed and gave us questions.
"Do you remember a time that you simply had to help 'lead a change,' because it aligned with your beliefs and values, and you cared deeply about the issue?"
"How will you positively influence your university, your community, your country... now and in the future? & How will you use this experience this summer to become a better leader - a global leader?"
These questions reminds me my (somehow hidden or subconscious) passion for my job, the administrator of the university (I intentionally use "the"!)
As you may know, Japanese national universities have been incorporated since 2004, which means each university has to develop its autonomy, especially in terms of its administration. Actually, I started my career as university administrator somehow unintentionally but I knew the job is so fascinating because national universities has been incorporated and there will be huge changes which I can be involved in. Now I have a vocation for my job!
I have tried to stimulate other colleagues, especially those who are around my age. Some agree with me, others not, while there are many officers who don't like change, even though the situation is changing rapidly. I believe within ten years, the condition around universities (at least Japanese ones, but I guess ones all over the world) must change essentially. In this difficult era, I would love to support my country which I was born and raised, through improving her higher education system. I believe it's definitely needed for Japan to survive and continue to have significant role internationally.
I really want to contribute to make Japanese universities better, internationally competitive, and better resource for Japanese people and culture! I'm not sure how I can contribute yet (maybe by administration, information technology, or international experience) but I must work hard for that goal. That's one of reasons why I'm here in US (and why I wanna have master's degree!)