News

Q&A with Catherine O’Connell and Naoko Matsuzaki

Leading up to our upcoming monthly meeting on ‘Lessons from the Lawyers,’ we’re featuring a Q&A with Catherine O’Connell, a bilingual New Zealand lawyer and founder of Catherine O’Connell Law, and Naoko Matsuzaki, Director, International Anti-Corruption and Global Intelligence for PwC Japan’s Forensic Services Group. The Q&A is modeled on the Proust Questionnaire, designed to reveal insights into the respondent’s personality.

Join us for an insightful discussion this Thursday, April 12, on how to incorporate key legal skills and mindsets into your personal and professional lives, along with how Catherine and Naoko help women find a voice through law, and other key issues, such as the ‘Me Too’ movement in Japan. Register for the meeting here!

Catherine O'ConnellCatherine O’Connell

What is your idea of perfect happiness?

Healthy body, healthy mind and being with family & friends.

What is your greatest fear?

Dark caves with cold flowing water.

What is your current state of mind?

Serene and excited at the same time.

What do you consider the most overrated virtue?

(False) modesty/gratitude (seen so much on social “I’m so pleased to be chosen to… I am so thankful for the opportunity to…). So, when “grateful” is used as a way to market and promote oneself rather than actually being thankful.

What or who is the greatest love of your life?

My dad.

When and where were you happiest?

Talking with my dad on the phone from Japan to New Zealand.

Which talent would you most like to have?

An ability to predict the future.

What do you consider your greatest achievement? 

Being a trusted advisor. In an ethics/compliance investigation, where a witness told me the only reason they spoke up and told the truth was because they trusted me, that they felt protected and that I showed empathy. The evidence from that witness allowed us to finally get rid of the evil people in the business that no one wanted to speak up about. That moment was when I knew that my work as a lawyer had meaning and was valuable to others.

What is your most treasured possession?

Photos of my family and friends.

What do you most value in your friends?

That they are not fair-weather friends.

Which book do you think is a must-read for women?

“The Happiness Project” by Gretchen Rubin (also “Presence” by Amy Cuddy).

Who are your heroes in real life?

My mum… and my mum again.

Catherine O'Connell MottoWhat is your motto? 

See the picture here. To fill one’s life with experiences not things. To have stories to tell, not stuff to show.

What does FEW mean to you?

A place to connect with like-minded and diverse-minded women, share experiences and help each other with our various talents/knowledge/experiences.

When have you have felt most empowered?

Right now, as I launch my own business. It’s like the gates opened to an open field and I am able to do anything I want, only limited by myself.

Naoko MatsuzakiNaoko Matsuzaki

What is your idea of perfect happiness?

Health, peaceful state of mind, independence, freedom.

What is your greatest fear?

Losing important people in my life (family, close friends, mentors who helped me in critical circumstances).

What is your current state of mind?

Satisfied overall, enjoying my new adventure.

What do you consider the most overrated virtue?

Feminineness.

What or who is the greatest love of your life?

Mom.

When and where were you happiest?

College, Law school.

Which talent would you most like to have?

Youthfulness, both mentally and physically.

What do you consider your greatest achievement?

Being accepted to and graduating from Stanford (I still think it was a miracle…).

What is your most treasured possession?

Pictures and memories.

What do you most value in your friends?

Trust, sharing same values.

Which book do you think is a must-read for women?

“What I Wish I Knew When I Was 20” by Tiena Seelig.

Who are your heroes in real life?

Mom.

What is your motto?

“Live as if you were to die tomorrow, learn as if you were to live forever.”

What does FEW mean to you?

A place to learn from others and get inspired.

When have you have felt most empowered?

When I was able to help people overcome challenges, when clients or colleagues call me for help.

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