Featured Alumni: Maki Karasawa ’94

Maki Karasawa ’94

1.     What did Rio offer you besides an education?
Rio strengthened my spirit to overcome difficulties/ I was obviously struggling the double-whammy of learning lesson contents, complex one such as business ethics and English comprehension itself, especially in the first two years.

2.     What are some of your favorite Rio memories?
I was one of the members of a newspaper circle and could issue some editions, titled RIO RAP, with my articles mostly about music. I wrote about Eric Johnson- US famous guitar virtuoso. I also have a good memory about a speech class, which was the toughest one in my school days because I had to write and memorize a long script in English.

3.     Was there any teacher, advisor, coach, etc. that made an impact on your life? How?
I admire people who have mastered things that I really cannot make myself master of them. A simple example is “virtuosos.” In addition, I have been inspired by people who have outstanding imagination, profound thoughts and breath-taking insights such as Peter Jennings, who is a legendary ABC News anchor; Charles M. Schulz; and Michael Crichton.

4.     What did you learn about yourself during college?
I think I learned about knowing something new proactively is an important and wonderful attempt to go forward, which is enriching my life.

5.     Tell us about life after Rio.
After my graduation in 1996, it was the most difficult time of my life. It was a nightmare period, so-called “employment ice age” in the wake of the infamous “bubble economy burst.” But, I could find an interesting job at the trading division of a medical instrument company, which was suitable as my first career because there were many chances to take business trip overseas. In total, I went to more than 20 countries in seven years before I quit. After that, the most memorable event is my life in Vietnam. I have lived and worked in Ho Chi Minh City for six months and in Hanoi for four years. Since 2008, I have been working for the Nissan Motor Company.

6.     How did Rio prepare you for your career?
Since I am Japanese, learning English was the most important elements of the preparation for my career. The English ability allowed me to access to limitless opportunities. In Japan, English fluency is one of the key elements for your career.

7.     Why are you proud to be a Rio Alumnus?
I am proud to be a graduate of the university that gave me opportunities to discover the pleasure of learning.

8.     Do you have any advice for current students?
In professional fields, no textbooks are available for solving troubles with which you may confront. There will be many difficulties in front of you. Your imagination and creativity will be one of the strongest tools. Be creative.

9.     Is there anything else you would like to add?

Thanks to internet technology, I really feel that I am in the Rio family even though I live in Japan.

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