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by Marin Matsuzawa, staff writer


Jennifer Shufen Lin is an HPU student from Taiwan who is majoring in public relations. She obtained her job through the Curricular Practical Training program, offered through HPU’s Career Services Center, which allows international students to gain work experience outside of school. She works as an assistant to the general manager of Asia Crown Enterprise, a wholesale commodities company.

“ It was kind of scary when I first started working in the company because my English skill was very poor, so I tried not to miscommunicate with coworkers and customers,” Lin said. Gradually, she got used to the work, and her enthusiasm was recognized by people around her. Now she is more confident and less hesitant to talk with people.

“ I mostly work in the company’s PR and management divisions, and I always try to do productive work based on what I learn and study at HPU.” Lin added, “I write a term paper after I complete 200 hours of work, and writing it gives me extra time to consider what makes better work.”

Rina Suzuki is an HPU student from Japan who is majoring in public relations. Because she claims economic hardship on her visa, she is able to work off campus at a Hawaiian jewelry store in Waikiki, where she makes enough to cover her living expenses.

“ My parents do not have to be concerned with how much I need for living every month. I do not even make them worry about it,” Suzuki said. She added that working outside of school helps her develop communication skills by talking to customers. From her point of view, the employment generates personal relationships and connections in the local community.

“ My dream,” Suzuki said, “is to open a retail store somewhere in the world, so I need to build my career by using this opportunity as much as I can.”

Maki Konikson is the owner of the jewelry store where Suzuki works. She likes hiring students such as Suzuki because “They are ambitious, and I respect their motivation,” she said.

Konikson believes that motivated young people like Suzuki work hard and develop good reputations and these benefit the store. In addition, their ability to speak Japanese and English allows them to provide good service to a wide range of customers.

“I was also one of those international students when I was young,” Konikson said.

“ I am excited about how bright Suzuki’s future could be,” she added.



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