Dec. 28, 2018

FY2018 “Next Leaders’ Camp” held to enhance the career support of prospective graduates

For the second year running, Sumitomo Corporation held its “Next Leaders’ Camp” (NLC), a program designed to support the career formation of prospective graduates. 694 students participated in this year’s NLC sessions, which took place on separate dates in Tokyo and Osaka over the months of November and December under the three themes of “Business,” “Global,” and “Innovation.” Relevant lectures and workshops were delivered, encouraging students to envisage what awaits them in professional life.

The NLC session themed on “Innovation” took place on December 21, with nearly 90 students in attendance. The students conducted a simulation of an investment selection based on the idea that innovation is not only about the latest technologies but also about delivering value to society by linking technologies with needs through unconventional thinking. Students worked in groups to hold discussions under the assumption that they were members of a business investment team of an integrated trading and business investment company.

In the following panel discussion, Sumitomo Corporation employees talked about investment cases they had actually worked on. By actively raising questions, students learned something of the challenges and rewards of injecting innovative thinking into real-life business scenarios. Post-session feedback from students included comments to the effect that the session promoted deeper understanding of an integrated trading and business investment company, and provided perspectives on the theme of innovation that would prove valuable in considering future career paths.

The NLC session in Tokyo was held at Sumitomo Corporation Global HRD Center in Higashi Ginza
Meeting each other for the first time, the students formed groups to discuss challenging themes. Diverse opinions were proposed by participants with diverse backgrounds, contributing to the discussions
Conclusions drawn from comprehensive discussions were presented in front of other groups, demonstrating that a single theme could be interpreted in many different ways
Rui Kakuta from the Automotive Division No.2 argued that Sumitomo Corporation’s commitment to service to others plays a part in its innovation
Masaaki Saito from the New Business Investment Department encouraged students to “Become ‘geeks’ in a positive sense,” and to “Always communicate in person to increase contacts in and out of the company”
Shoma Shigehisa from the Human Resources Department shared his view on the career support program, saying: “In a day and age when internships offered simply to advertise the company are not uncommon, I think this event managed to remain faithful to Japan Business Federation (“Keidanren”) guidelines, and to the aim of furthering the career prospects of students, which I believe was appreciated by participating students. I look forward to continuously offering genuine career education that extends beyond the framework of hiring activities.”