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Career Support System - "For the Lifelong Success of Students"

I want to produce OU students who can thrive in society with a network of contacts in every field

•Lecturer, Center for Education in Liberal Arts and Sciences
Career Development Services, Support Center for Campus Life
Akihiko IESHIMA

"Career supporters" are OU students who have received a tentative job offer from a private company, government office, school, etc. These supporters provide advice on their path for the future, job hunting, etc., to younger students at the university, as well as plan and run job hunting events, at which Dr. Wani can be seen in his job hunting attire, from the perspective of individuals with job hunting experience.

Akihiko IESHIMA, who serves as supervisor, said, "Hearing from experienced students from the same university is very useful to students who are job hunting.

Through exchange with career supporters, students will not only conquer their own job hunting, but also think carefully about what they want to do for a career before they go out into society." He also spoke about the significance of the system: "Through exchange with other career supporters in different fields, those supporters can build both longitudinal and lateral connections."

Now in its third term, 45 OU students registered as career supporters this year, bringing the total to some 100 students since the system's first term. However, from the total number of graduates who found a job, the percentage of career supporters is still low.

"What I really want is for all OU students who have found a job to register as career supporters," said Mr. Ieshima. "The connections made as a career supporter will definitely prove useful for OU students in the future, and this system is also a branding strategy for OU." 

In the 2016-2017 academic year, the "Career Supporter Jr." system was started, in which current OU students are involved with planning and assistance for career support events. "I want to heighten students' awareness of career formation from early on in their college career and have them build a network that crosses over the boundaries of school, graduate school, and industry," said Mr. Ieshima.

He added, "I'd like to foster an awareness of career formation in OU students and turn them into leaders of civil society after their graduation."

Voices from Career Supporters

Career Supporter Alumni
"I want to connect my job hunting experience to current students

Mami WAKABAYASHI
Health/Social Security Project Office, KRI International Corporation
(2016 Graduate, Doctoral Program, Graduate School of Medicine)

I was active as a career supporter for half a year because I wanted to convey my experiences of finding employment in a private corporation after completing the doctorate program to current students. As a career supporter, I planned and ran counseling sessions for students who were job hunting after receiving their doctorate, as well as serving as a counselor myself. I felt that there was little information about job hunting for doctoral students while I was looking for a job. So, during my counseling sessions, I provided advice to job-hunting students in doctoral courses to ease their worries. I was also able to talk about career paths after graduation with other career supporters.

Current Career Supporter
"I'm happy to support younger students"

Risa KATAYAMA
(4th year, School of Foreign Studies/Offered position from BizReach, Inc.)

When I was worried about finding a job, I had opportunities to speak with various members of society, which allowed me to fully realize the importance of speaking with individuals who are at work in the real world. After I received a job offer, I decided that I wanted to plan events to tie together students who are job hunting and OU alumni, so I applied to be a career supporter. As a career supporter, I discussed with other supporters about just what kind of events would be valuable for students while hunting for a job, and I planned and ran unique events focusing on mock interviews, career talks with alumni working after graduation, as well as  group work in small groups.I felt a real sense of accomplishment when students wrote things like "I'm glad I participated because I was able to speak frankly with members of society that weren't hiring staff" on the post-event surveys.

This is a reprint of the article posted in the Osaka University Newsletter No. 74 (December 2016).

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