How I Got Here: Nicola Vote

nicola1I first came to Japan over 20 years ago as a one year exchange student to ICU (International Christian University), courtesy of the University of London, my home university. Several of my friends were taking a year off to travel in Europe or USA. I wanted to go somewhere a little more challenging, and Japan seemed to fit the bill. I had planned to return to the UK to start my career in the pharmaceutical field, as I was a trained biochemist. But Japan had cast a spell on me and within two years I found myself back in Japan again as a CIR (Coordinator for International Relations) on the JET program.

I have been a FEW member several times throughout my years in Japan. The Career Strategies Seminar first attracted me back when I was still figuring out what to do after JET. Once my career trajectory took off, FEW become my go-to place for developing my personal network. Most recently, FEW is now where I turn to give back to the community that has given so much to me. With over 20 years experience of working in corporate and governmental organizations in Japan under my belt, I hope to funnel this experience into my new role on the FEW Board, helping to further develop FEW as the central place to go for personal and professional development in Japan.

I love traveling in Japan, particularly visiting the numerous islands from Rishiri right down to Ishigaki. The remote islands of Chichibu and Hamajima, accessible only by a 24 hour ferry ride, are on the bucket list – hopefully next summer. I have now spent more time in Japan than any of the other countries I have lived in, and have no plans to leave. Just as well – there are still many islands left to visit.


Q&A with Rina Bovrisse, activist and founder of the Chateau School

Leading up to our upcoming monthly meeting – The Accidental Activist : From Chanel to Governor of Tokyo? – we’re featuring a quick Q&A with speaker Rina Bovrisse. The Q&A is modeled on the Proust Questionnaire, designed to reveal insights into the respondent’s personality. Join us for an insightful discussion next Wednesday, September 12, as Rina […]

Published on 9th September 2018

Insider Intel on the Japan Market Expansion Competition

When the opportunity to apply for a Japan Market Expansion Competition (JMEC) scholarship through FEW arose, FEW members Jane Szafraniec (pictured center left) and Nina Cataldo (pictured center) jumped at the opportunity. To understand the full extent of why this was such an amazing space to be in, they’ve shared what JMEC is, their experiences […]

Published on 7th September 2018

Event Recap: TELL & FEW Presents The Feminine Eye

On Saturday, August 8th, a group of 11 people interested in learning more about photography gathered at the National Art Center in Roppongi for a women-led photo walk by Selena Hoy, TELL Outreach Coordinator and FEW Community Services Director Tia Haygood, who also is a professional photographer of TopTia Photography.

Published on 3rd September 2018

September 2018 Strategic Partner Member Offers & Other News

Check out the latest member offers and opportunities from our Strategic Partners and other FEW Community Events here! Our Strategic Partners are committed to bringing the best services and products to FEW members. And go to our Strategic Partners page to learn more about all of FEW’s Strategic Partners, who not only support FEW’s activities but also […]

Published on 27th August 2018

How I got Here: Kirsten O’Connor

  I decided at age 7, quite resolutely that I wanted to be a teacher. All my decisions thereafter created the path to a teaching qualification, a first teaching post in London, a promotion and then the biggest decision of all – to apply for a teaching job overseas. In Japan no less. Accepting a […]

Published on 27th August 2018