BY JEAN ROBERTH SOUZA (SWY7)
Networking is the art of connecting individuals and organizations tied by one or more specific types of interdependency, such as friendship, common interests, knowledge or prestige. In this regard, one good hint for ex-PYs who have left their homeland either to study or work overseas is to network with the Cultural Section of the nearest Japanese embassy or consulate in the new country where you are now living. Most of all Japanese embassies around the world promote several cultural activities during the year. These activities gather different local and distinguish audiences who have common ties with Japan. Moreover, this also represents a unique opportunity for networking with diplomats, local ex-PYs, SWYAA members, former participants from JET Program, MEXT Scholarship recipients and alumni, as well as with other important guests who also participate in these events.
If you are living overseas and are interested in this opportunity for networking, the best thing you can do first is to visit the homepage of the nearest Embassy or Consulate of Japan on the Internet. Check if there is a specific page for the Cultural Section on the homepage and see the events promoted locally by the embassy or consulate. Find out the Cultural Section contact data and finally send an email to the Cultural Attaché presenting yourself as ex-PY, informing your SWY Batch, and your interest in keeping contact with the embassy, in order to prestige its cultural activities and also receive its newsletters. Most important: Don’t forget to ask if you can be invited to the future cultural events promoted by the diplomatic mission!
My experience with the Embassy of Japan in Ottawa has been excellent since I moved to Canada in 2008. I have been invited to several social and cultural activities during all the year and I really like to participate in all of them. In most of these events, for example, I have had the honor to be welcomed by the Honorable Mr. Kaoru Ishikawa, Ambassador of Japan to Canada (please see picture), who is doing a great job in keeping the cultural ties between Japan and Canada. His staff at the Cultural Section in Ottawa is very professional and has done an outstanding effort to keep a wide range of different audiences connected to the Embassy through the activities they promote.