Overseas Field Study in Washington DC (Ali Yang)

This report details my participation in a field study held in Washington DC, USA from 6th to 13th August 2016. The field study was planned, organized and coordinated by Professor Keiichi Ogawa, with the objective of enabling the students who took part in it to learn and appreciate the concept of human resources development in the global context. The exercise involved attending meetings with key development experts in the area of international development from the World Bank, Inter-American Development Bank (IADB), George Washington University (GWU), International Monetary Fund (IMF) and FHI360.

One of the experts we met was Ms. Mari Nishie who is Kobe University’s GSICS alumnus and currently working at the Inter-American Development Bank (IADB). She kindly shared with us her experience regarding career development from the point of view of international development organizations. She stressed the importance of defining and establishing one area to develop expertise. She cited the example of working with IADB, which requires expertise since there are many sectors including, energy, transport, education, and financial market. She concluded by saying that, “clearly defining your area enables you to make good choices about your future career”. Professor Ogawa further emphasized this point with a very simple question on “what can you do?” This meeting was very instrumental in helping me realize the need to clearly define an area for me to focus and develop expertise.

IMG_1325I also attended a meeting with Dr. Tomomi Miyajima, who is an education specialist at the World Bank. She helped me understand the importance of interpersonal relationship, summing up by saying that, “having knowledge and skills is not enough to advance one’s career, networking is just as important”. The significance of networking was further emphasized by Professor Ogawa, whose network enabled us to talk directly with eminent specialists working in the organizations mentioned above. Furthermore, during a visit to FHI360, I participated in a meeting with Ms. Casey Wilson who encouraged me to apply for the “Visiting Scholar Program (Internship Program)” at FHI360 in spring of 2017.

All in all, this field study enabled me to meet distinguished people, learn new information about human resource development and improve my personal confidence. I received lots of positive feedback and advice from various people I interacted with in DC. I’m sincerely grateful to Prof. Keiichi Ogawa for giving the valuable opportunity of participating in his field study. Moreover, I am thankful to Dr. Tomomi Miyajima, Ms. Mari Nishie, Dr. Vinay Bhargava, Professor James Williams, Ms. Casey Wilson, Mr Jude Hui, and Mr. Mabruk Kabir for their time and consideration even in the midst of their busy schedules.

Authored by Ali Yang, Master Student