Students met Innovation Norway’s CEO at the Norwegian Embassy in Tokyo
Innovation Norway in Tokyo was lucky enough to receive Anita Krohn Traaseth, CEO of Innovation Norway, as a visitor last week. During her visit, we invited 12 students to meet Traaseth to talk about importance of international knowledge and internships. A diverse group of Norwegian and Japanese students attended, everything from exchange or fulltime bachelor, master and PhD students.
The theme for the meeting was: Transitioning the economy; How to educate the new workforce for an international environment.
Traaseth started the meeting by giving the students a good advice to remember when setting out on their careers: Being fearless, engaged and passionate.
“You will reach far if you have a will to get things done and to succeed. Finding the passion to learn new things and developing them might be more important than graduating top of your class. It’s good to show your ability to handle different tasks at the same time such as studies and part-time work”.
Traaseth also emphasized on the importance of doing a PhD degree. During PhD studies the students will learn how to understand and handle complexity. This ability, as well as the ability to adapt information, will be a key to the reformation that both the Norwegian and Japanese markets are facing.
After the words from Traaseth, the students introduced themselves; what they study and what made them come to Japan or go to Norway. Some of them mentioned that the Norwegian and Japanese cultures complement each other very well. Many of the students have been several trips to the two countries, and everybody said the same thing: I don’t know why, but I just knew I had to come back again!
The discussion continued further to the next topic: What the students can contribute to their working life through serving an internship. The most important point is perhaps that through making the unconventional choice of moving to Japan or Norway, the students will be able to bring something unique to the table. Good understanding of the countries’ working cultures is also something essential in order to succeed. In addition to this, the students are cultivating an open mind; an important aspect to be creative and innovative. The whole world is going through changes, and learning to think in new ways is crucial.
Kana Banno is a Japanese student at Tokyo University of Marine Science and Technology, and has been in Norway twice during her studies; first as an exchange student and later as an intern. She says:
“I’m going a different way from what’s common in Japan, and sometimes I worry about what my future will be like if I keep going this way. I felt so encouraged when Anita Traaseth shook my hand and said “Please keep going your way, believe in yourself and don’t stop learning!”
Traaseth also emphasized the importance of not caring about the “wish list” provided when applying for jobs. Kana also says “Her speech taught me that we don’t necessarily have to believe in the list. I learned that showing my potential and motivation is more important than the wish list”.
The discussions were continued over dinner after the meeting. We would like to thank Anita Krohn Traaseth as well as all the students for making this meeting a success.