Alum Hiromi Akiyama
What is your best memory from INTS classes?
Taking all possible courses on East Asian Studies.
How did INTS prepare you for life after SUA?
Immediately after graduating, I pursued a master’s degree in East Asian Studies. Following that, I shifted my field to political science and have been working on my PhD. I ended up switching my research topic in my third year of PhD, but the interesting thing is that the new topic (comparative civil society involvement in disaster recovery) is partly influenced by one of the Learning Cluster classes I took at SUA on civil society in East Asia.
Do you have any advice for current INTS concentrators?
Master your foreign language. Being able to speak a language other than English is a strength in the real world, especially in the fields that INTS majors are interested in. Even if you don’t use it for your career, it still benefits you in many ways. Once you master one, it becomes easier to get it back later or keep brushing it up. I was surprised that, after not speaking it for seven years, my Chinese still came back when I had an opportunity to do research in China.
Seize any opportunity for new experiences. College is when you can really expand your interests and passion. Experiences you gain now will come together later on — maybe many years later. You don’t need to know what you want to do after graduation; take advantage of every possible opportunity that is available to you. Go beyond what’s required for graduation, however eclectic or irrelevant they may appear now. [Some things I wish I looked into while at SUA are: visiting another country, working on research with a faculty member, doing community service, or interning in SF, NYC or Washington DC…] Things you do now will not only make your resumé look good, but also become a confidence booster.
Posted Fall 2016