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Student interview (local government official)

Local Government Official March 2019 Graduation


If you want to acquire knowledge,
no school will support you more.

 I am working as a member of the administrative staff at Matsuyama City Office. A few years after joining the city office, I was moved to the urban development department. There I began to work with specialists such as architects and civil engineers, as well as people from the private sector who had many years’ experience in urban development. With no experience or knowledge of urban development, it took everything I had to keep up with the conversation, and I spent every day hating myself due to my inexperience.

 One day, while reading a book about the Ogal Project of Shiwa Town in Iwate Prefecture, I read about local government officials and private operators that had studied at the Course of Public-Private Partnership and had subsequently succeeded in urban development. It was then that I thought to myself, “the skill I need to learn is public-private partnerships.” Living far away, the fact that the Course of Public-Private Partnership is available to take online also helped me make my decision. I had doubts about remote learning, but these were resolved straight away after attending the lectures.

 During the course, together with classmates from different industries, not only did we learn fundamental knowledge, but we were also able to gain experience by actually implementing what we studied. In classes, you do not just listen. You can actively learn because we have many discussions and presentations.

 In particular, the seminar where we take on a research contract from a local government was impressive. With my job, I often request such research, but I never get to be on the side of the consultants. Problems that other municipalities have can potentially crop up at any municipality, and it was very informative to investigate and propose solutions to these problems.

 For my master’s thesis, I researched the economic ripple effect of “Town Center Plazas,” which I am responsible for at my job. Evaluation for urban development often tends to focus on the activity or the number of people that use the facility, and there has not been much research into the economic effects. Balancing work and writing my thesis was tough, but with the support of my family, I was able to complete it. After completing the course, I have become not only proficient in private-public partnerships, but I have also become able to examine urban development from an economic perspective.

 If you want to acquire knowledge, no school will support you more. Take the first step towards your new future.