View from the Top Vol.2: TUJ students visit AIG & TESLA for “Boardroom Chat”

Students at Temple University, Japan Campus (TUJ), learn not only in the classroom, but also in the boardrooms of leading global enterprises, and sometimes even inside cutting-edge electric vehicles. Following the success of the spring semester 2015 visit to Verizon Japan, a total of 16 select TUJ students visited AIG Japan Holdings (AIG) and Tesla Motors Japan (Tesla) in June through an initiative led by Professor William Swinton and the Career Development Office.

Photo: AIG Japan CEO Robert Noddin (center) with TUJ students
AIG Japan CEO Robert Noddin (center) with TUJ students

Seven TUJ students were invited to the boardroom of AIG, where they listened to a talk by President and CEO Robert Noddin. He explained the history of AIU Insurance Company, an AIG subsidiary established in 1946 as the first foreign insurance company in postwar Japan. Noddin also spoke of the uniqueness of the Japanese market and the development of the present-day insurance business.

The talk continued with a Q&A session over lunch, with Noddin providing in-depth answers to students’ questions. He also spoke on the subject of risk management, which rose to prominence after the Great Hanshin-Awaji earthquake of 1995, and his philosophy that “what insurance can do is to change the way people think.” Noddin is a member of the TUJ Board of Overseers. Two of the participating students took the opportunity to express their gratitude for the generous support they have enjoyed as recipients of the Noddin Scholarship.

AIG Talent Acquisition department manager James Ryland then detailed the profile of a prospective candidate at a diversity-seeking company with a network spanning over 100 countries and regions around the globe. This gave the students a concrete idea of what it would be like to work at an international company like AIG. Finally, James Pleasant, a newly hired IT specialist and TUJ graduate, shared his views on job hunting and work. He spoke of maintaining a healthy work-life balance and exhibiting what TUJ students know as “the power to bring together a wide range of people,” while bringing dedication to the job.

Photo: AIG Talent Acquisition department manager James Ryland presenting to TUJ students
AIG Talent Acquisition department manager James Ryland presenting to TUJ students
Photo: TUJ alumnus and AIG IT specialist James Pleasant (center), AIG Campus Recruitment Manager Kaoru Itono (right), and TUJ students
TUJ alumnus and AIG IT specialist James Pleasant (center), AIG Campus Recruitment Manager Kaoru Itono (right), and TUJ students

Beyond “Zero Emission”

Nine TUJ students visited the Tesla Motors Japan showroom in Tokyo’s fashionable Aoyama district.

Photo: TUJ students at Omotesando showroom
TUJ students at Omotesando showroom

Recruiting Manager Fabien Brogard Cipriani led a panel of Tesla Japan-based employees who shared insights about working at the company and its career opportunities in Japan. Their energetic spirit and passion were evident. Tesla, founded in 2003, is based in Palo Alto, California and lead by the charismatic CEO, Elon Musk. The Japan office was launched back in October 2010.

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The session culminated with a surprise test ride of the Model S. The all electric vehicle’s powerful acceleration (0 to 60 mph in 3.1 seconds only) with zero CO2 emission and quiet operation was impressive. While enjoying refreshments after the test ride, the TUJ students could interact some more with Tesla personnel and learn more about the long-term vision and environmental purpose driving this innovative company.

Inspired by his visit, International Business Studies major Shiwoo Moon earned the opportunity to join Tesla’s internship program for four months in fall 2015. “After this internship, I realized the word ‘professional’ carries a lot of weight. I learned how to provide a rich ‘customer experience’ to customers and the importance of always being responsible and proactive in what we work on” said Moon.

Opportunities for TUJ students to learn both inside and outside the classroom are expanding.

Photo: TUJ students getting into "Model S" with Tesla Product Specialist.
TUJ students getting into “Model S” with Tesla Product Specialist.
Photo: in front of the Model S' chassis
in front of the Model S’ chassis

Participating students

*major and year at the time of participation.

Boardroom Chat with AIG:

  • Aiko Shigeta (Japan), International Affairs, senior
  • Fengxuan Liu (China), International Business Studies, junior
  • Yuta Yanachi (Japan), Risk Management and Insurance (from Main Campus in Philadelphia), senior
  • Steven Locorotondo (Luxembourg), International Business Studies, senior
  • Jordan Kaneshige (USA), International Business Studies, senior
  • Earl Richard Jay (USA), International Business Studies, senior
  • Van Ha Nguyen (Vietnam), Communication Studies, sophomore

Boardroom Chat with Tesla:

  • Josephine M. Mejia (USA), International Business Studies, junior
  • Steven Locorotondo (Luxembourg), International Business Studies, senior
  • Tetsujin Hirose (Japan), Economics, senior
  • Shoko Ito (Japan), International Affairs, junior
  • Anthony Komiya Shugars (Japan), International Business Studies, senior
  • Earl Richard Jay (USA), International Business Studies, senior
  • Fengxuan Liu (China), International Business Studies, junior
  • Jordan Kaneshige (USA), International Business Studies, senior
  • Shiwoo Moon (Korea), International Business Studies, Junior

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