Dear all the candidates to Ogawa seminar,
It is my pleasure to send a message to introduce my experience in Ogawa seminar. I graduated from a master’s course in GSICS in March 2000, never thinking I would one day come back to GSICS for a PhD degree. But, anyway I did after more than 10 years, thanks to a fortunate encounter with Dr. Keiichi Ogawa in Yemen. Before joining Ogawa seminar, I worked as an education consultant for ADB and JICA funded projects for several years. The biggest motive for me to join Ogawa seminar was to develop academic skills, especially in quantitative analyses and to push my career forward to the next step. As you may know, academic qualifications carry a lot of weight in career development in the professional field of international development; particularly so if you are interested in finding jobs at international organizations or providing consultancy to projects funded by multilateral funding agencies.
I wrote my doctoral dissertation while continuing working full-time. To my surprise, I noticed many PhD students as well as even some of master’s students in Ogawa seminar are actually having such dual commitment for studying and working and are gaining practical experiences to start professional careers even before completing the course works. Flexibility of Ogawa seminar and strong encouragement from Dr. Ogawa are making it possible for us. If you are hesitant about taking time off from your jobs to go back to graduate schools, Ogawa seminar is an excellent place for you. If you aspire to start professional career in international development and want to make it happen soonest possible, Ogawa seminar is a place for you, too. Please just be prepared to work very hard.
In Ogawa seminar, we have a lot of fellow seminar students both in master and doctoral levels because Ogawa seminar is such a big family. All of us care so much about each other and provide advices whenever possible. In addition, the strong and active network of alumni is always ready to offer academic support and job opportunities. Needless to say, Dr. Ogawa himself has extremely extensive networks with international experts, through which a lot of internship opportunities are offered for Ogawa seminar students. If you are interested, Dr. Ogawa might also give you a chance to work on research projects. Together with fellow seminar students and Dr. Ogawa, we conducted a UNICEF-funded research project on teacher education in Myanmar. It was a very exciting and special experience.
I hope you will join us in Ogawa family and make your dream come true.
Shiro Nakata, Ph.D.
Education Global Practice, World Bank