Skip to main content

Fujitsu

Global

Testimonial

Global Leaders for Innovation and Knowledge is a new program which will be offered by Fujitsu-JAIMS Foundation starting 2013. This is a testimonial of the former Fujitsu Scholar who participated the East-West Knowledge Learders Program (EWKLP).

Fujitsu Scholar

Pay it forward: Because the Fujitsu Scholarship changed my life, I want to share the same thing with many others and contribute to the development of the Philippines.

Fujitsu Scholar on the 2010 Spring Course:
Anna Victoria Alcachupas-Co
Senior Marketing Manager
VXI Global Solutions, Inc.

Anna Victoria Alcachupas-Co is from the Philippines. After earning a Bachelor of Science in Business Management degree from university, she became a customer service representative at a contact center, where she later became active as a team leader. Afterward, she worked as a business analyst at a company in the same group. Since 2007, she has been working at VXI Global Solutions, Inc. While working, she went on to earn an MBA.

I had been thinking that I would like to learn business skills that are more global. It seems that the Fujitsu Scholarship was just what I had been looking for.

Fujitsu Scholar

I am currently working as a senior marketing manager for the contact center of a US company specializing in Information and Communication Technology (ICT). My company has 13 sites worldwide. I also handle centers not only in the Philippines, but also in the US, Taiwan, Thailand, China, etc. that serve as outsourcing destinations. It is a very global business environment. I am the only woman and non-American working in the sales marketing department.

I worked at a local company in the Philippines after graduating from schools there. Also, my MBA mainly focuses on business in the Philippines. So, after joining a US company, VXI Global Solutions, Inc., I found it difficult to interact with Americans in a business environment. Since then I thought that I would like to learn skills that are more global. This is why I had been looking for a program like the Fujitsu Scholarship. When I read about it in the newspaper, I thought, "This is it" and quickly applied to join. From books, you can acquire knowledge about how to interact with people from different cultures. But actual experience is an entirely different story altogether.

Through the EWKLP of JAIMS, I learned not only academic things but also non-academic things. Especially, I learned that people with different backgrounds and from different countries can respect and trust each other, and form friendships with each other.

Fujitsu Scholar

If I were to name three things that I learned through the EWKLP (East-West Knowledge Leaders Program) of JAIMS (Japan-America Institute of Management Science), they would be as follows.

The first thing would be academic. What I learned in the field of financial management was very useful. I became all the more aware of the fact that, no matter what department you may be assigned to, knowledge of financial management is very important, because all aspects of the management organization can deeply affect the finances of a company. The class teaches us financial management not only from the point of view of managers when we are employees, but also from the standpoint where we are business owners. So it's rather holistic guidance that we received.

The second thing I learned is that innovation is key, and to get innovation, we have to look really hard to reveal what is essential to things happening. Among the wonderful professors that we had at JAIMS, Professor Saburo Kobayashi stands out. He developed the airbag system for passenger vehicles after 16 years of struggle. Because the system he proposed was technologically more difficult and costly to perfect, everyone in the company and industry opposed the idea. But he pushed his idea despite the opposition, and the type of system he developed would later become the global standard. He gave us lectures on what is innovation and how to manage it, based on his actual experiences. His mode of teaching was rather radical in the sense that he's not the type to stand on ceremony. During class, he would challenge ideas, he wouldn't settle for just mediocre thinking. We made it our standard to try to find ways to convince him of our point of view, which challenged us to think. We couldn't simply raise our hands to ask questions just for the sake of asking questions. It was a real challenge for us. I think that having to seriously consider what is essential to things helped us grow. He said "Experience is the best teacher and the knowledge that you gain from books comprises someone else's philosophy." This sticks in my mind. When I read about something, I think I know about it because I've read it, but, in reality, it's just someone else's ideas. So what you learn through touch, emotion, thought and practice becomes a part of you and stays with you over the long term. I was able to realize this through the EWKLP of JAIMS.

Although the third thing that I learned about was not academic, it was still one of the significant points of my learning experience in the program. I learned about the fact that respect, trust, and love are truly universal. Although it was difficult for us to understand each other in the beginning, we came to respect each other irrespective of culture, country or race.

At JAIMS, I was able to receive high-level instruction from professors who teach in leading universities and businesspersons with experience in the forefront of business.

Fujitsu Scholar

A particularly notable point of the EWKLP is that it focuses on the East and the West. The way of thinking in Asia is different from that of the West. For example, in Asia, people tend to discuss the details of case studies first and then come up with solutions, whereas Westerners tend to start with the conclusion in solutions first, when they go over case studies. The way to approach a problem is different between Asians like me and Westerners. This is because of differences in common sense, culture, and how we react. Through the EWKLP, I realized that there is not just one way to see or solve a problem, but that there are different ways. This is something I could not have learned in a company. In global business, this knowledge is very important for me. I'd like to make the best use of it to improve my business skills when I return to my job. The professors came from major universities such as Hitotsubashi University and the University of Hawaii, and we were able to receive a high level of education as a result. We were also able to receive instruction from actual businesspersons. One of them actually worked at an investment bank on Wall Street in New York, and another developed an airbag at Honda.

In the 2010 Spring Course, we had participants from nine countries, for example, India, Malaysia, China, Thailand and France. For me, dealing with persons from different backgrounds was very difficult in the beginning. I had preconceptions about culture, race and behavior, for example, but the EWKLP helped me to correct my preconceptions. In the end, I was able to see individuals as human beings, irrespective of what country they were from. Also, when I participated in the group work with the other members, I learned to be a team player. I always used to lead the group when I was in university and in my company. But this time, I learned that it is also important to sometimes let others take charge and be a good team player.

I had not imagined that my life could undergo so much change in as short a period as three months. JAIMS helped me to see things from a new perspective.

I feel as though my way of thinking has undergone significant change in as short a period as three months, as a result of participating in the EWKLP of JAIMS. I had never imagined that my life could change so quickly. My views about countries have also changed. Now there is a face, a name, and a story behind these countries. It isn't just vague information about them. I now have a deeper understanding about these countries.

This experience also enhanced my communication skills and broadened my way of thinking. My life is not confined to the Philippines alone. The world is bigger than that. Before I joined JAIMS, I was so focused on my marketing work and how to do it better. I used to think that marketing was the heart and soul of the company, and if you're good at marketing, you can sell products. But now, I don't think the key is marketing. I think that good, innovative products are the key to business. If you have good and innovative products, marketing and revenue will follow. It starts with innovation. I was able to experience this new point of view through the EWKLP of JAIMS.

Participating in the Fujitsu Scholarship will not only benefit my own career, it will eventually benefit the Philippines and lead to greater opportunities for many Filipinos.

Fujitsu Scholar

Lastly, I am grateful for having received the Fujitsu Scholarship. Because it is actually a very good opportunity, especially for people from Third World countries like us. Even though Fujitsu is from a developed country, Fujitsu still gives consideration to the people in these countries and helps them and this fact inspires me. Fujitsu Scholarship has had a very big impact on my life, and it will benefit the Philippines as well. This is because when I return to the Philippines, I will make the most of what I learned, and if I create innovation in my business, my experience will actually yield more jobs for Filipinos, thereby contributing to my country.

In the past, a major Philippine business was data encoding. Currently, we offer not only contact center services but also consulting services and many other services that capitalize on our communication skills in such areas as e-mail and chat. Human resources and our English-language proficiency are the success factors of the Philippines. Using these factors to the fullest will lead to greater employment, which in turn will enable the people of the Philippines to change their lifestyles.

Also, Fujitsu's generosity has actually inspired me to pay it forward to other people from the Philippines by starting my own scholarship fund. I don't earn that much so I cannot assist as many persons, but it's a start. I have already helped one college student. Being able to participate in the Fujitsu Scholarship has inspired me to pay it forward because Fujitsu changed my life. I want to share the same thing with many others.