Meet MC/MPA 2014 Student Kota Yasumura

August 30, 2013

Every year the Mid-Career/MPA students are among the first to arrive on campus for a month long summer program exclusively for mid-career professionals. This year, several of them have volunteered to introduce themselves through the Harvard Kennedy School School (HKS) admissions blog with a self-authored post.

Below is a selected portion of the blog recently written by Kota Yasumura:

I am from Japan, though I came directly from Manila, Philippines to Boston this past summer. I have been working there for the past two years for the Japanese government affiliated development agency called Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA), where I’ve spent the last eight years of my career.

Through experiences of development assistance operations in various countries ranging from Pakistan, Turkey, the Philippines, and Romania, I came to realize that more innovative ideas and approaches are needed to tackle complicated development challenges, and that I needed to improve my knowledge and competency in order to be a more effective solution provider for developing countries.

Based on this motivation, I researched many graduate programs that could help equip me with the necessary knowledge and practical skills – and found the HKS MC/MPA program. I chose HKS, because the Kennedy School is an action-oriented school for professionals who want to make the world a better place. Many courses are designed for concrete application. Also, I liked the interdisciplinary feature of the program, since the combination of different kinds of knowledge and approaches are needed to cope with deeply intertwined development challenges.

Not only can students choose from courses at HKS, but from other Harvard schools, MIT, and Tufts University. It actually makes it very difficult to select courses because there are so many attractive courses you can take!

We just completed the summer program. Time goes by very quickly, indeed! I was quite impressed by the diversity and unique backgrounds of my classmates. Everyday, I face very insightful and different perspectives, and I am constantly being challenged to get out of my “comfort zone” to grow more.

Fall term will start soon, and I know that it will be a very challenging experience for me. However, at the same time, I am sure that it will be one of the most precious experiences in my life.

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Kota Yasumura MC/MPA 2014

Kota Yasumura MC/MPA 2014

"I am sure [HKS] will be one of the most precious experiences in my life." says Yasumura.