Japan is a country of the new and old. Its growing popularity is the outcome of its unique culture, which leaves many people in wonder. The Japanese have a close relationship to nature and their passion for perfection has been crafted over thousands of years, creating a commonality amongst the people. In a business context this commonality is the understanding that teamwork is paramount to success.
My 7-week internship gave me a small glimpse of life in Japan and sparked my curiosity to explore and experience new things. It is sometimes easy to get lost in the mundane life of work and study when you are immersed in the same environment every-day. This experience encouraged me to discover new passions and answer questions which were once left unanswered. It also provided me with a wider understanding of the world and taught me the importance of seeking adventures.
Around every corner there was a new story to be discovered, waiting for the right person to breathe life into its existence. Whether it be a lonely shrine which holds the secrets to life, or an old ramen shop that has a family recipe crafted over decades of blood, sweat and tears—everything has a story. It is important that we learn from our experiences, and face challenges head on with a smile.
My story has its own challenges and experiences that have been collected throughout my time interning at Global Sky Education (GSE). GSE is an international company that creates educational solutions for clients, integrating concepts such as creative and active learning into its products. The company’s broad mindset and multicultural workplace allowed it to identify the skills necessary to survive in today’s world. This new world will be sculptured by the 4IR, which increases the demand for leaders that are equipped with the right skills and knowledge to deal with the disruptions. Through this work experience I discovered the growing urgency for nations like Japan to not be left behind the rest of the world. Japan’s education industry is working to ensure that the next generation are capable of adapting to the new world. It has made me question what I am doing and what Australia is doing to ensure that they are not left behind. If countries like Japan can understand the urgency to develop globally capable leaders, it does question where Australian priorities have been placed. It seems obvious to me that Australia’s future is in Asia.
Through travelling Japan, you will have the opportunity to be exposed to different situations that can allow you to learn a lot about yourself and the nation’s people. Human interactions are the foundation to building connections, which can open many doors that can help you and your future endeavours. As I explored Japan I had unique interactions with the history, culture and the people. These interactions opened my eyes and helped me realise the lack of knowledge and experience I have with the world outside my immediate bubble. Japanese culture, which I can only describe as being aesthetically simple, has been capable of sustaining their historical and cultural ties to nature. This relationship has benefitted Japanese culture by building a unique ability of craftsmanship that has promoted precision, pride, respect and relationships within their everyday life. This craftmanship has been adopted into all facets of Japanese life. It refers to the parents who work long hours to help their children get the very best
education, the 80-year-old man who wakes up at 5am to start sweeping the fallen leaves from the paths, and the willingness of a nation to consider how their decisions will impact others.
There are many things that can be learnt through the exposure to a new culture and a new nation. By travelling through Asia, you will allow yourself to broaden your horizons and learn about the world and yourself. By interacting with Asia, we can absorb the way they do things. We can learn from them to become better ourselves, and we can share our own knowledge and experience to help Asia.
Globally, it will be important that we build a strong relationship by understanding each other. Australia’s proximity to Asia has placed us in a perfect position to capitalise on the knowledge of Asia, but the only way this will be accomplished is by accepting Asia’s rise in the world. Going global with the Griffith Asia Institute has broadened my horizons, sparking a flame within myself to seek knowledge and experience. It has helped define my vision and my goals, making my aspirations to work in Asia even stronger. Take the initiative to seek Asia because it will inevitably seek you.
Jordan Leadbetter, Griffith Asia Institute Global Intern, Global Sky Education, Japan, Summer 2019.