Staff Interview: Aki MIYANISHI (Member Assistant*)

[Original by Yuka WATANABE, 2015 Public Relations Intern (February 25, 2016); Translated by H.H. Do/M. Takahashi]

[*Ms. Miyanishi is currently in charge of the Korea project as of January 2019.]

All the JVC staff relies on her.

Hello everyone. I am Yuka Watanabe in charge of PR. This time, we will have an interview with our Member Assistant Ms. Miyanishi. Before working with JVC, she had a professional career with lots of experiences in business. Let’s ask her how she got to the current job.

Please tell us your experiences in your career.

After graduated from university, I had been doing office work in a company of a pocket beeper. I decided to work for the company, because the working environments were comfortable for women. After working three years and a half, I decided to quit the job, as I had something to study.

In the farewell party when she quit her job. She was a team manager.

I studied editing, desktop publishing (DTP), and how to take a conversation from tape at three vocational schools. I worked at a temporary staffing company in the daytime and studied at schools at night for two years.

Afterwards, I worked in an Internet service company for 13 years before I entered JVC. I was in charge of sales administration and was doing a series of tasks such as advertisement distribution, planning, and review before the advertisements were posted on the Internet. I devoted myself to work every day.

Why did you decide to engage in international cooperation?

Classmates of the Japanese school in Germany. Ms. Miyanishi is on the right of the front row.

The original experience is during my childhood. I was living in former West Germany from 10 to 14 years old.

At that time, my father took me around Europe. Even though 40 years have passed since the Second World War ended, gunshot marks vividly remained on the buildings in East Berlin. I visited the really small attic where Anne Frank lived, and the Jewish concentration camp in Bergen-Belsen. I saw many things about the war in Germany with my own eyes. A lot of cute pink flowers called “Erika” bloomed at the concentration camp in Bergen-Belsen. A friend of mine told me, “A lot of Jewish bones are buried under this beautiful Erika.” The voice still remains in my mind. By feeling these things directly on my skin, I realized that what one experiences at sensitive ages always remains even when one becomes an adult.

One day, my sister, who is six years older than me, came back home from the international school by crying. She asked our mother, “Why didn’t you tell us about the War?”

My sister seemed to have learned in the international school about the massacres, forced displacement, and human experimentation carried out by the Japanese army during the Second World War. It shocked her so much because she did not know the facts at all even though she was Japanese. She cried and complained to my mother. I also learned the history of Germany but didn’t learn the history of Japan and what Japan has done in the war. Is it simply because I do not know them by chance, or they are not told intentionally? I was upset because I didn’t learn and wasn’t taught the fact that I should have known. Those experiences brought me to the current job.

How did you get your job at JVC?

I was thinking of changing job at the age of 40. I decided to start new things by taking advantage of my field of specialty after ending my workaholic life. I thought that I would like to work for NGO, partly because of my experience in Germany mentioned above.

Watanabe: Didn’t you feel anxious about changing job?

A snapshot at the year-end party. She was showing her tap dance in collaboration with the JVC light music club.

Not at all!! (laugh) I never thought that I should not quit the job. I loved the job that I have engaged in for 13 years. I was proud of it, but I felt that I have finished almost everything. Continuing work in this company made me more insecure. I wonder if this is the work that I should do. So, indeed, I was not worried about quitting my job.

At that time, JVC was looking for a staff for a manager for supporters. It was a new position to administrate the information of JVC supporters. It perfectly fits my experience so far! I thought I have to apply to the position right after I found the recruitment.

Actually, when I entered JVC, I hardly felt any differences between a company and an NGO. Companies get benefit from goods, services, and contents by satisfying consumers. NGOs obtain support by getting understanding and sympathy through activities. Although the terms are different for commercial and non-profit organizations, there is no difference in the contribution to the society.

Watanabe: Recently, you are also engaged in the Korean project, aren’t you?

I have been engaged in the Korean project since the winter of my first year in JVC. In other JVC projects, Japan is the country to support other countries. However, because of the complicated relation of Korea and Japan, Japan is deeply involved in the issue as an interested party. I am very much interested in this relation. I studied history of social movement at university. My thesis was about the Korea–Japan relations with a title “South and North Korean left in Sakhalin”. I currently belong to the support team of the Korean project, and think about the project with other project managers.

This is her beloved pair of Tap shoes. It looks like usual formal shoes, but if looking at the sole, there are specialized material pads.

May I change questions and ask about your interest?

It’s tap dance – I was learning jazz dance when I was a high school student. Tap dance was included in the lesson as an exercise and that’s a reason why I started it. Putting on the shoes, and making sounds. I got crazy because tap dance turns myself into sound. Tap dance totally sounds different depending on the person. By beating rhythm, I feel as if I become a musical instrument. After graduated university, I participated in a tap dance class, and as I noticed, I have practiced it for 20 years. I sometimes play tap dance in a party at the JVC office.

Watanabe: It is cool that she has never changed her hobby and practiced tap dance, which is not a common hobby, for 20 years.
Finally, please tell us your motto.

“There is no useless experience.”

I think that the techniques I have learned at work and the skills I learned at vocational schools are now of great usefulness for work at JVC. There is always something worthy you can find. Everything I learned is going to be my bread. Even though I might not know when, it is going to be very helpful when time comes.

[My impression after interview]

I got to know that Ms. Miyanishi has a firm belief because of her broad experience. Her diverse experience definitely makes it possible to do a variety of tasks. I was glad to see her new aspect hearing many pieces of humor during the interview.

[Notice to next interview!]

She drew the portrait of the next interviewee with emphasis on his eyes.

Next time we are going to have interview with a person who is called “Little Prince” according to Ms. Miyanishi. It could be a clue that he has sparkling eyes and pure heart.

* The order of uploading the English version of “Staff Interview” is random and hence different from the order of the original Japanese version. We are sorry, but the person coming next may be different from the “next person to be interviewed” mentioned in the text.

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