About

Message from Current Students

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Rose:
Firstly, tell us about the reasons you all chose COB at Rikkyo University.
Narazaki:
I grew up in Fukuoka, and from kindergarten through to high school I attended the same school, which made me feel that I only had a very narrow view of the world. The reason I decided to go to university in Tokyo was because I wanted to expand my horizons. I also wanted to study at a place where I could express myself freely and learn actively, so it was only natural that I should select COB. Uchimura: When I took the entrance exam COB was only in its second year of operation. It was a new department and I was drawn to the challenge of taking on something new in the Business Leadership Program (BLP).
Uchimura:
When I took the entrance exam COB was only in its second year of operation. It was a new department and I was drawn to the challenge of taking on something new in the Business Leadership Program (BLP).
Cho:
I was also attracted by the fact that COB was a new department that was trying out new ideas. The fact that the course was not exclusively one where you sit in a large lecture hall and listen to the professor talk, but instead included practical elements where you can use English in presentations and discussions was something that matched my own character.
Rose:
At COB the emphasis is on acquiring leadership skills. During your time studying here have your concepts of leadership changed at all?
Narazaki:
In the past I thought that leadership was all about standing at the front and pulling everyone along with you. However, through the BLP and other courses I have come to realize that power from behind the scenes is also a part of leadership. The potential for leadership is something that is in everyone and I have come to think that drawing that potential out is also a part of leadership skills.
Uchimura:
In general I think the concepts of a "leader" and "leadership" are bundled together. With one leader it is easy to think that other people will follow that person, however, within a group there are many different fields in which people can demonstrate leadership. Accordingly the ideal format would be for each of those fields to have a particular leader.

BLP and BBL enable the acquisition of real-life knowledge

Rose:
Both the Department of Business and the Department of Global Business comprise unique curricula, in the form of BLP and BBL respectively. What are your thoughts about BLP and BBL after having experienced them?
Uchimura:
I feel I have been able to do something that is real and tangible. After finishing one project we always take a critical look at what we have learned, and write a report before going on to the next project. Reinforcement through looking back on our past experiences before heading on with something new enables me to truly feel that I am engaging in personal development.
Cho:
The lectures at the Department of Global Business are not just about "learning English," they focus on "learning in English about business," which is what differentiates them from other English language lectures. The level of the lectures is really high. The support provided in English for Specific Purposes (ESP) B and ESP C has been very useful for these lectures. Initially I was unable to speak in English at all, but what we learn here is not "entrance examination English," but rather expressions that can actually be used in business, and through constant repetition of these expressions I have gained confidence. In addition, COB is partnered with a number of universities overseas and there are many opportunities to engage in projects with foreign students who are studying at Rikkyo University. Even with poor English, if you are aware of the basics of business you can communicate effectively and get others to think highly of you. I think that by studying here, even people who aren't that confident at using English will want to talk more and communicate the things they have learned more actively.
Rose:
In the past I have worked in English departments where the students' only motivation was to "learn English." However, here at COB there is the double motivation of "English" and "business," which broadens the content of lectures and boosts satisfaction for faculty staff too.

Appeal of unique lectures

Rose:
Are there any lectures other than BLP and BBL that have made an impression on you?
Cho:
The biggest inspiration for me was in the Corporate Seminar. It was a real eye-opener to receive lectures from business people who are working on the front lines of business and to hear their own experience-based opinions on business and management studies. To hear about how the things I have learned are being applied in the real world was something that really brought home to me the fact that "learning is not just from books."
Uchimura:
When I hear from friends at other universities that "there are many lectures and they aren't particularly interesting," I really feel that this is a unique course. Although it may be that in terms of volume of knowledge students at other universities have the edge, I believe that we are top in terms of the real-life, practical skills we cultivate.
Narazaki:
When hearing about other universities from friends I get the feeling that the content of learning inevitably splits into generalized fields or specialized fields. General learning leads to a broad but shallow knowledge, whereas specialized learning narrows knowledge down to specific areas. The BLP at COB here at Rikkyo University is a course that is not available at many other schools, in that it provides both basic skills and then enables students to specialize in areas in which they have a specific interest.
Rose:
One of the main appeals of COB is the "newness of the programs." These programs are not teacher-led, they are designed to enable student-led learning. Another attraction is the goal to "have a good time while learning."

Full support also provided for job-hunting activities

Rose:
Kan has already found a job for after graduation and Natsumi is just starting out on the job-hunting trail. What do you think about the universities assistance to students' job-hunting activities?
Cho:
For me there were three major plus points. The first was the corporate workshops that are held by the Career Center. I took part in the "Trading Company Workshop" where all students hoping to join a trading company gathered together and had their entry sheets checked by a Rikkyo graduate who is working in a trading company, and took part in mock interviews. This workshop really enabled me to polish my communication skills and ability to convey my own opinions. The second point is the seminar that COB runs independently in conjunction with a recruitment information company. This seminar is run from September to November for third year students and helps you think a little more deeply about what you want to do and what you need to do to achieve that. This seminar helped me to realize what it was that I really wanted to do and what were the things I really enjoyed. The third point is that your academic supervisors are very eager to offer you advice. I really felt that I was lucky to be studying at COB.
Uchimura:
COB runs the Domestic Internship Program and I took part in this program. From spring to the beginning of summer of the third year you take lectures on business manners and "what does it mean to work?" after which you spend the summer as an intern. The internships are all designed to allow you to work close to management, so many of the placements are at small and medium enterprises. I happened to be placed at a large company, but everyone who did an internship said what an inspiration it had been to be able to talk with the CEO of their company. During the internship I felt that there were parts of the job where I could use my own leadership skills and it also boosted my confidence to be able to talk with employees without being intimidated.

Come to COB if you want to grow as a person

Rose:
Do you have any message for aspiring students?
Narazaki:
There is no one who regrets coming here. Both negative and positive-type people will find that they change in some way here. This is a university that gives you plenty of opportunities to learn using both mind and body.
Uchimura:
This is a department where your knowledge will increase, but so too will your ability to apply your own skills. For people seeking to boost their communication and leadership skills I really recommend COB.
Cho:
There are two good points about COB. The first is the learning environment. For people seeking to specialize in business everything here is in place to enable you to learn and take up various challenges. The other point that is so good is the people. First you have your friends. Everyone here gets on great with each other. We get on so well together there are times when we get told to shut up in lectures (laughs). It is not just a casual friendship either, rather we get along together in a spirit of friendly competition. Then there are the professors. All the professors have provided me with sympathetic advice about things I didn't understand in lectures and also about future plans. I feel that being able to meet friends and teachers like these is a real asset for me.