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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 Yoshitaka Yamamuro:
Hello everyone! I work for Japan’s Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI).
After the east Japan Earthquake of 2011, the country suffered serious blackouts – and that was the decisive event that led me to apply to Harvard Kennedy School.
As part of METI, I led a team that worked to ease the strain on Japan’s energy grid. Facing a tight timeline, insufficient funds, and public anger, I constructed a plan for energy conservation that included incentivizing prizes provided by 100 participating companies. The result was a 15 percent reduction in energy usage by 25 million citizens.
I realized Japan needed to create a comprehensive strategy for recovery and sustainability, in both the domestic and international contexts. The nuclear disaster has vastly altered our global energy landscape. It has also revealed the fragile nature and importance of global supply chains. With this new focus, I decided to pursue more education in the U.S.
Life at HKS is, in many ways, a constant stream of interactions with fascinating new ideas and people. The thing that surprised me most during the summer program was the energy, diversity, and passion of the people.
On the second day of the summer program we gave 30-second self-introductions, and creativity was encouraged. I was blown away by the skills and passion of the 211 experienced leaders from 70 different countries. When my turn came, I showed off some breakdance moves I have not enjoyed for 10 years. The event was so much fun.
My experience at HKS has already gone far beyond my expectations. The summer program creates an inclusive and risk-free learning environment where mistakes are encouraged and are considered part of the process.
Thus, embracing mistakes and learning from classmates, I will continue to work hard to reach a point where I can envisage a better world. Metaphorically speaking, I danced during my self-introduction so as to enjoy each step along the way. I am very excited about the year ahead.