39. Ms. Nobuko HIRAGUCHI a University of Yamanashi graduate


Conohana-san of the Month August edition (Part 1)

In ‘Conohana-san of the Month’, we discuss the experiences of senior researchers who have successfully managed to balance their research/work with life events such as childbirth, childcare and family care.

Today’s interview is with Ms. Nobuko Hiraguchi, who graduated from the Department of Electrical and Electronic Information Engineering (Department of Electrical and Electronic Engineering of today), Faculty of Engineering, University of Yamanashi, and now is working for NTT DoCoMo, Inc. as the Supplies Division director.  

Ms. Hiraguch lectured in the class titled Career Development Subjects for Women in the Science Major on July 4th, 2014.


Introduction of Ms.Nobuko HIRAGUCHI

 Education: Department of Electrical and Electronic Information Engineering, Faculty of Engineering, University of Yamanashi

 Organization: NTT DoCoMo, Inc. (Director of the Supplies Division, in charge of Terminal Procurement)


 Pleased to meet you! Ive heard that you are a graduate of this university.

  Yes. I graduated from the Department of Electrical and Electronic Information Engineering. Is it now the Department of Electrical and Electronic System Engineering?

I graduated when electrical electronic engineering and information engineering were in one department. Will this date me? (lol)  Aside from my job, Im in charge of women networking at the Tokyo branch of Yamanashi Kogyokai (the alumni association of the faculties of Engineering/ Life and Environmental Science of University of Yamanashi) from this year.


I hear that you are from outside of this prefecture (Shizuoka). What brought you to the University of Yamanashi?

 Im from a farming family in Shizuoka prefecture. My father had a Stevenson screen or meteorological instrument shelter for his interest, and when I and my brothers were children we were in charge of recording observation every day. Im not sure if that experience influenced on us, but all of us went on to science courses. Besides, I was not good at contemporary writings. In multiple choice tests to select a line which most expresses the feeling of a character, I couldnt find any answer in the choices. (I understand that! Same with me! … We happily exchanged a talk on not being good at contemporary writings, but the details are secret.lol)

Also, Japan had a rapid evolution in electric appliances in those days, so I became interested in cutting-edge technology and products, and I chose to study at the Department of Electrical and Electronic Information Engineering.


When you entered this university, what was the proportion of female students in the faculty of engineering?

 There were about 200 students in my department and I remember only 7 girls. What about now? About the same? Come to think of it, the number was small, but we didnt feel strange about it so much. That reminds me, I heard that I was the first female student in my laboratory. (The laboratory doesnt exist anymore since the professor has retired.)


Did you have an episode of a hardship during your job hunting?

Well, I am afraid that my job hunting experience will not be so helpful for todays students. It was the latter period of bubble years, and finding employment was relatively easy. Moreover, DoCoMo had just split up from NTT then, and my senior, who was working for the new company, came to our university as a recruiter. The work contents were described interestingly, so I was intrigued by mobile communications, and applied for employment with the company. At that time no students around me sought employment in DoCoMo. So I was able to gain a referral from university, and was employed quickly. At the time, mobile phones had just been launched, and only a few affluent people were using them.


You selected your career that way! In the continuation of this interview we will hear about your brilliant carrier after you entered a pioneer company in the cell-phone industry!