February 2024. This year an online networking event was again held for Panasonic Scholarship Asia alumni.

Panasonic Scholarship Asia offers three main types of support.
These are “Support for Learning,” “Philosophy Learning,” and “Support for Networking.”

The “Support for Learning” scholarship provides financial support so that students can concentrate on their studies when studying abroad.
“Philosophy Learning” is a training program to learn the management philosophy of our founder, Konosuke Matsushita. This is the first initiative of its type which was launched in FY2023.
The “Support for Networking” program provides financial assistance during their studies and also supports networking among graduates after graduation. The main purpose of the program is to help them build a network of talented human resources that transcends age and country. We are committed to not only supporting them during their study abroad, but also staying in contact with alumni and keeping a close eye on their activities afterwards.

These support programs are unique to Panasonic Scholarship Asia and not found in other scholarships.

This networking event is held online once a year as part of the “Support for Networking” program.
Once again, 34 participants from 13 countries around the world, including Japan and other Asian countries as well as the United Kingdom and Australia, took part in the program. Everyone’s current jobs and positions vary, ranging from telecommunications, IT, human resource education, and AI-related companies to universities and government research institutes. After graduating from the Panasonic scholarship program, some students have worked in multiple countries and companies, and some have even started their own businesses to achieve their dreams, so the opportunities for success are increasingly expanding.

Drinking a toast. Participants can be seen holding glasses, mugs, plastic bottles, and the like in their hand, revealing their individual circumstances and “convenience,” another image of people enjoying themselves typical of an online social gathering.

We then asked all participants to appear by year of accreditation and give a status report. That also allowed us to get some idea of everyone’s activities.

Of the alumni participating in this event, Mr. Mao, accredited in 1998, is the alumnus with the longest-standing involvement in the program. This was his first time participating.
He is currently setting up his own patent-related firm in Shanghai. He has also been appointed as an advisor to the Panasonic Intellectual Property Center in China.
“I still have business ties with Panasonic, and even accept new recruits for training here.”

Ms. Jin, accredited in 2000, is working in research support in the medical field at a university in Kanagawa.
“For me, my fellow scholarship recipients are like family," said Ms. Jin, who unveiled a quote from Konosuke Matsushita that she wanted to share with everyone.
“‘Youth is youngness at heart.
Youth is eternal for those who are full of faith and hope
And greet the challenges of each new day
With courage and confidence.’
Learning this phrase has made me realize that it is important to follow my beliefs and live positively.”
“We are in the midst of our youth,” she added.

Mr. Binh, who was accredited in 2005, returned to his native Vietnam after finishing his scholarship, but could not forget Japan and returned to the country. After further study, he is now focusing on AI research at a Scottish university.

Some of the alumni are seeking new employment in order to achieve their goals.
Certified in 2012, Ms. Chua studied at the University of Tokyo, then moved to the United Kingdom and Australia. However, she is now hoping to work in a more sustainability-related business.
“I would also like to take into consideration what you, our seniors, have said today.”
In response to this, Mr. Tada of the Japan office said, “Please chat with everyone and give them advice. Please take advantage of this networking event not only to exchange information, but also as a way to find another position,” he encouraged the participants.

It was surprising that so many people were able to come together, even though it was online, despite their individual duties, environments, and time difference, and to express their thoughts. Some of them left the farewell party of the company they are currently working at in order to participate, while others participated from an outdoor location on their way home.
Many of them were meeting for the first time since graduating from their scholarships, and there were cheers and cries of surprise at how much each other had grown.

Good times really do seem to be short. By the time everyone had finished their status reports, the event had lasted for two and a half hours, well over the scheduled two hours, before coming to a close.

Finally, Mr. Muzafar from Malaysia, representing the alumni, gave the closing remarks.

“It has been an honor and a joy to be able to spend time with all of you today around the world. It makes me very sad to think that this time is coming to an end.
There is no limit to what we can do and what we want to achieve. To this end, let us all work together to achieve results, and let us continue to treasure this network.
We have a responsibility to apply our experience to social contribution.
Let each of us continue to rise to that challenge.”

We plan to continue holding these networking events. To those who participated this time, we hope to see you again next time, and to those who were unfortunately unable to attend, we hope to see you next time.

Group photo of the participants.