Prof. Dr. Daniel Citterio was the first speaker in the newly initiated series “Swiss’ Experiences: Thriving and Surviving in Japan”, organized jointly by the Science & Technology Office Tokyo and the Swiss Chamber of Commerce and Industry SCCIJ.
The newly started series was inspired by the “Swiss Japanese Roundtable on Business and Academic Collaboration” that was initiated by Professor Claude Siegenthaler and Mr. Christoph Saxer and took place about ten times from 2009 and 2011. The goal of the presentation series is to provide a platform to share ideas and to learn from each other. The first presenters chosen have very diverse backgrounds and careers.
Too many interested people signed up for the 35 available seats at the meeting room of the law-firm Okuno & Partners where SCCIJ President Mr. Michael Mroczek is attorney-at-law. The idea was to have a real round-table atmosphere that would lead to interesting discussions among all participants.
Prof. Citterio did a great job introducing his “unplanned” career in Japan: He had his first contacts with the land of the rising sun during a research exchange at the University of Tokyo in 1996. After an extended stay as a post-doc he became the first tenured faculty member at the Department of Applied Chemistry of Keio University and in 2014 to the promotion to become full professor.
Daniel Citterio based his lecture on his fourteen years of research and teaching experience at Keio University. In April 2009 he was the first foreigner to become a tenured faculty member in the history of the Department of Applied Chemistry at Keio University (Faculty of Science and Technology). In 2014, he was promoted from associate professor to professor and even gave his introductory lecture in Japanese! Prof. Citterio kept emphasizing that this “was not a straightforward planned career”. He attributed his academic career in Japan to a certain degree of coincidence.
His advice to newcomers was to learn the Japanese language as soon as possible and to adapt to local customs while trying to “stay oneself”.
A lively discussion started after the presentation and continued well beyond scheduled time – the last participants left the venue only before 10pm – happy and with new inputs.
Thank you, Prof. Citterio for a very interesting presentation and discussion!
More details on the series of presentations: www.stofficetokyo.ch/swissexperiences/
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