Conohana-san of the Month April edition (Part 2)
In ‘Conohana-san of the Month’, we discuss the experiences of senior female researchers who have successfully managed to balance their research/work with life events such as childbirth, child care and family care.
◎Introduction of Mrs. Nami YAMOTO
Education: Department of Computer Science and Media Engineering (Predecessor of Department of Computer Science and Engineering of today), Faculty of Engineering, University of Yamanashi
Organization: First Solution Division, Civil Demand System Department, YSK e-com (Co., Ltd.)
○This time I’d like to start by asking how Mrs. Yamoto went on to the science course.
When did you decide to go on to the science course?
It was not that I had a dream or a concrete target in doing so, I just liked mathematics when I was in middle school, and this was the preface of my life in the science course (lol). After I was awakened to the pleasure of solving math problems, I took on more difficult problems for enjoyment, and I developed my interest in mathematics. So I went on to the science course in high school as a mathematics lover.
○Didn’t you have likes and dislikes in science subjects after you went on to high school?
I liked physics, and I was relatively good at it, because it was like mathematics in a way. Its problems can be solved by applying formulas most of the time. Actually, I was weak in other science subjects, especially in biology, and I ended up falling in chemistryⅡ. (T_T)
○With your favorite subjects being mathematics and physics, it seems that you had many options when selecting your education. On what did you base your choice of a university to attend?
To put it bluntly, it was just because it was in my hometown (lol)! Fortunately, my hometown has the University of Yamanashi, and it has the department of engineering as a science course. I felt I was lucky to be able to take its entrance examination. At the time, Windows 95 was released, and I felt that the future was the computer. So I decided to go on to the department of Computer Science and Media Engineering (Department of Computer Science and Engineering of today).
○That’s amazing. It was the time of the so called “IT revolution” in Japan, and you were good at planning ahead! How many forward-looking students like you were there in your course?
There were 100 students enrolled in my first year, including 10 girls. After that, the course was divided into software courses and hardware courses. I was not sure about the difference between the two at that time (~_~;), so I chose the hardware course casually. Then, female students were only two out of the fifty students in the course. Being only two, we stood out amongst the others. If either of us skipped a class, it was obvious…but it might be relatively easy for us to get good marks just by being present (lol).
○I know, good or bad stand out～same old story with minority (^^) Did you join any cultural circle?
I was in chorus club. The Yamanashi University’s chorus club was famous for its higher level (I’m not sure that it is still now), and our activity was fairly enthusiastic. The number of members was about 50 at that time, and the male-to-female ratio was almost even, so the club was well balanced both in harmony and a teamwork. I really enjoyed it. Additionally, we had a rare privilege to be able to remember our university song (lol).
Maybe most students do not know it. We don’t have an opportunity to learn or sing it together like in primary school. It’s a phantom song known only to the chorus club (is this comment offensive to our university?)
○If they get offended, I will apologize for you (lol). Lastly, please give a message for your juniors in Nashidai.
My message is for those who are beginning to think about their job search. In IT-related jobs, there’s no boundary between being from the humanities course and the science course, or being male and female. This is just what I think, though.
What is required in this field are only three things, “ability to keep on collecting the latest technology information”, “ability to think by yourself”, and “ability to communicate with others”. The technical capabilities can be attained by experiential learning so there’s no need to be afraid.
Please note that there are companies that want you regardless of your specialty in college, like my company.You need to check the type or the contents of the business when selecting a job, but a good way to judge a company is to check how passionately its employees are working, or if it is possible to imagine your future self working actively in that company. If you can get that kind of image, I think you’ll be a brilliant worker there. I know it’s not easy, but I hope that you will be a radiant member of society!
○Thank you so much(^^) I really enjoyed this interview with such a brilliant member of society♪