The first iPhone came out when I was 7 years old. Born in the year 2000 in Tokyo, I was fortunate to be surrounded by constant innovation and connectivity. But the truth is, "connectivity" become such a constant in my life that I never once questioned what it really meant — until I joined Rakuten Symphony.
If you’ve visited or lived in Japan, Rakuten is a hard name to miss. Launched as an e-commerce platform in 1997, the company has expanded to diverse sectors and became a vital ecosystem for many. It wouldn’t be an exaggeration to say Rakuten is a company I’ve known about my whole life.
In 2013, I moved to the United States. The sudden transition, including adopting a new language, was undoubtedly challenging. Still, all the challenges helped me develop my adaptability, diligence and the constant drive to be and do the best. In 2018, I pursued my education at the University of Oregon with a concentration in public relations. From a national case study competition, to writing coaching, to leading a student-run PR firm, I branched out to build a well-rounded skill set for my early career, which led me to Rakuten.
During my final summer at the university, I began an internship at Rakuten Mobile, working closely with the autonomous networks team to promote its research efforts.
After graduation, I joined Rakuten Symphony’s marketing team. Even after the internship, I couldn’t help but feel that I knew so little about telecom — a nerve-racking feeling. Though I have been lucky to find a place where there are opportunities to work alongside industry leaders while the work and perspectives of newcomers like me are valued.
A great example is my recent trip to MWC Las Vegas. Three short months after joining the team, I attended MWC on the ground and got acquainted with the people and the company. Being in the room where the Rakuten Symphony magic happens, I heard executives speak about one of the highlighted products, Symops Service Assurance. It gave me deeper insights into the challenges facing the current generation of operators and how Rakuten Symphony’s cloud-native approach can address them.
My introduction to telecom in 2021 couldn’t have been more eye-opening in terms of timing. As we have all witnessed and lived through, the lockdown shifted a significant portion of our lives into the virtual space. School, social life, entertainment and work all existed on a thin screen. Especially with the two factors combined, it was apparent that connectivity is the backbone of my life and many others. Still, I had never taken a moment to truly appreciate or question it. I mean… what is 5G, in actuality? What is cloud? What makes it all possible? We use it every day, but a lot of us don’t know much about it.
With all that in mind, it’s exciting to start my learning and growth journey in a field that connects and exemplifies the future. I look forward to telling the stories of Rakuten Symphony and hope to intrigue more people like me to join the telecom transformation.