June Edition,2013 (Part 2)
In ‘Conahana-san of the Month’, we introduce experiences of senior female researchers who have been successfully managed their work-life balance between research/work and life events such as childbirth, child care and family care.
The interview with Ms. Mina Hayakawa continues. She is a graduate of theUniversityofYamanashiand is working as a TV anchor. Here’s more about her job and a message to young students!
Having graduated from the Department of Mechanical Engineering, the Faculty of Engineering, the University of Yamanashi in 2011, entered NHK Kofu Branch Office as a TV anchor. Mainly in charge of a news program titled “Good Morning Yamanashi (Ohayo Yamanashi).” She also serves as a reporter in a life-information program “Kai-navi” and a news & information program “All from Yamanashi (Marugoto Yamanashi)” and covers the football team, Ventforet Kofu, for those progams.
● What kind of options did you have for your future career at that time?
I used to have an option of going to a graduate school and becoming a researcher but an experience in a manufacturing practice class made me start to worry about working as a mechanical engineering researcher.
● What happened?!
The manufacturing practice class itself was a fun course where we experienced a series of typical manufacturing machiens and methods. I also enjoyed hands-on practice but I had a very hard time in a casting practice one day… more accurately, I gave a hard time to Harris.
We usually did every practice or experiment in pairs. As we got paired along the Japanese-alphabetical-order name list, Hayakawa, myself, and Harris, who was an overseas student in my class always paired up.
What we did in a casting practice was to hammer a heated chunk of iron with some kind of mold called a stamp. One of us held the iron and the other used a hammer that weighed 30 kg. I was holding the iron at first but I couldn’t hold it well enough because the power of the hammer was too much for me. So we switched and I took the hammer. However, it was even harder for me to strike down with the 30 kg hammer. We took more than twice as much time as the other pairs after all and I felt very sorry for Harris.
● Casting practice sounds like fun (I want to join, too…) but 30 kg might be too heavy for a female.
It was heavy. Since then, I’ve been really afraid of heavy physical work and that gradually lead to my anxiety about working or continuing research in the mechanical engineering field. At the same time, I remembered another dream, that of being a TV anchor, and started to go to vocational training.
● Did your entering the Koi-hime Princess Competition (*) while at university have anything to do with your TV anchor dream?
* The winner of the Koi-hime Princess Competition plays the role of Koi-hime Princess (wife of General Shingen Takeda) in one of the biggest Japanese traditional warrior parade events called “Koshu Gundan Shutsujin,” which is the main event of the Shingen-ko Festival held in Yamanashi every year. One of the requirements of entry is “to be in love with Yamanashi.” It marked the 10th competition this year.
Yes, I did. I decided to enter the competition because I wanted to be able to appeal to the virtue of Yamanashi so that I can become more talented anchor in the future… and I won the special prize♪ It was a good experience even though I was not selected to join the grand parade unfortunately.
● You should be proud of your effort to have made a steady step forward to your dream job! What was your impression of employment exams?
Anchor employment exams were highly competitive as I had imagined… but finally I was hired by NHK Kofu as an anchor. And on top of that, a real miracle happenede (lol) in that I was selected as an anchor in charge of the Ventforet Kofu support initiative that NHK Kofu just started!
It was the most exciting miracle in my life as since I was a child I always loved watching football games. I can’t play football but I’m an enthusiastic supporter (lol). I love the athletes playing on the field, the fully excited supporters & the entire atmosphere of the mounting energy.
● Wow, what a miracle! I believe that you’d made enough effort to gain success!
I got a bit lucky and was full of dreamy feeling… I really feel thankful for the best luck♪
Thanks to everything, I can keep myself proactive and motivated to my tasks in spite of the busy days with lots of things to learn throughout the year.
● You have a feeling of fulfillment every day(^^)… what kind of challenges do you have along with such fulfillment?
My big enemy is ultraviolet radiation! I was out to cover Ventforet Kofu this morning. See, my arms got suntanned already and there are tan-lines from my sleeves (tears)
● I know, you can’t use an umbrella or wear sunglasses when working outside. Take care.
By the way, do you feel any direct benefit in the job from studying science in the university?
Honestly speaking, I don’t see much in common. The process of making a TV program, however, is pretty similar to manufacturing.
You see only some performers on the TV screen. But we always need various kinds of specialists’ collaboration working behind the scenes to complete a program, such as video, audio and lighting technologies. The quality of each working part inside defines the quality of the whole product. The same is said of TV program production and making a good program always requires various professionals’ quality work. I will keep improving my performance in response to the efforts and passion of the other staff members.
● You’ve just started your second year. What is your goal in the near future?
I ran out of excuses I can use as a freshman… I don’t mean that anything is allowed in the first year though (lol). I’ve spent the first year working feverishly but in this second year, I want to both expand and deepen my knowledge.
I’m blessed with all the people around me. Everyone I met through this job is truly, truly, truly beautiful!!! I hope to introduce those people and what they do to as many people as possible through the programs I work for. I need a lot of knowledge to achieve such a task.
● Would you give a message to the students of the university of Yamanashi?
Once you start working, you have much less time for your private activities. Compared to now, I used to have a lot more time during my university years. So I recommend that you should try everything, experience everything before you graduate.
Also, I still think that being a researcher is a good occupation. I wish all the best for future researchers and please don’t give up your dream!
● After the interview, she gave me a special grand tour around the TV studio (^^)v By the way, this is a brochure of the Support Office!(Extra talk)
This character, Co-nohana Princess, is so cute! Who designed this?
CAD! It’s been a long time but I still love it, too (lol)