[Fellow – Interview]Nicholas Lloyd
“We all try to communicate through stories, I help to make them happy endings.”
Nicholas Wayne Lloyd
- Age: 24
- Nationality: England
- 2nd Generation Fellow
- Languages: English
- Hobbies: Writing, Photography, Basketball, Strategy Games
Nicholas is a proud “Jack of all trades”; a person that excels in developing a variety of flexible skills to be able to adapt to the situation, instead of being defined by a singular role. He believes having a strong comprehension of many disciplines gives him the ability to connect to a wide range of people and help to solve their problems.
Nicholas academic history begins with studies in psychology. At a young age, he developed a fascination with human behaviour and countless ways in which people communicate with one another – in particular, storytelling.
He went on to attend The University of Hertfordshire, England where he studied Philosophy, Publishing, Japanese and International Business – staying true to his desire to gain as many versatile skills as possible. Along the way, Nicholas spent a semester at Aoyama Gakuin University, Tokyo and a year at Ritsumeikan Asia Pacific University, Oita – cementing his attachment to Japan.
After Graduation Nicholas quickly put his versatility to the test, working a wide variety of roles such as Market Researcher, Copywriter, Business Analyst and Project Manager in industries such as FinTech, Agriculture, Blockchain and Cosmetics. His work has taken him to London, Paris, Kenya, Macau and other countries where he has had the opportunity to meet with organizations such as The United Nations, Safaricom, AidEx and the O.E.C.D.
What is your connection to Japan?
“It started with my Dad. My father was captain of the England Karate team and later went on to be the England team’s coach. From an early age, I was exposed to a part of Japanese culture through him and the souvenirs from Japan he placed around the house. Although my dad may not admit it, I’m fairly certain he stole my name from one of his favourite novels, “Ninja” by “Eric Van Lustbader” – a story about a mixed-raced, Japanese-English man named “Nicholas” after the World War II.
From there my fate was set. I spent many Saturday mornings watching cartoons imported from Japan that drip-fed a growing curiosity about a culture so different from my own. Years later, I found myself at university with not only the opportunity to start studying a second language, but was also offered the chance to visit Japan.
The time I spent studying both in Tokyo and Oita was the final nail in the coffin; I doubled down on trying to learn the language and knew someday I would return to Japan.”
Why did you apply to AYF?
“I started working straight out of university, gaining as much experience across as many industries and positions I could get my hands on.
After almost a year of working 16 hours a day, 6 days a week and travelling across continents for business, a Facebook post of all things caught my attention. My Japanese host family, who I kept in contact with from my time studying in Oita, shared an advertisement encouraging people to apply for the AYF program.
With everything the AYF program was trying to accomplish on Awaji, it sounded like the perfect opportunity to use all the experience I had gained and contribute to a cause I felt worth committing a year of my life to. Throughout the interview stage, my passion for Japan began to rekindle and when a place on the program was finally offered to me, I knew it was the right decision for me. “
What do you want to accomplish at AYF?
“There is a lot happening in AYF and Japan itself that most of the international community is unaware of. Whether that is due to the language barrier or Japan hasn’t quite figured out how to engage an international audience yet, I’m not sure, but there is a need for people to bridge that gap.
My goal at AYF is not only to use my experience and skills to help developing projects come to fruition, but also become one of the bridges that will help connect AYF and Japan to a global audience.
With my background in communications and content production, my aim is to produce engaging content about the interesting things happening here on Awaji Island and grow a community of individuals that are not only interested in the development of Japan, but also those individuals who wish to contribute to its growth.”
How would you describe the working environment within AYF?
“AYF is the definition of multicultural. This year’s fellows are made up of 27 individuals that come from all different types of professional and educational backgrounds. Between us, over 22 countries and cultures are represented, with each member bringing a wealth of experiences and knowledge for the group’s benefit. For someone like me, who values having a diverse skill set, AYF is a fantastic opportunity to learn new skills that will help create a solid foundation for my future career.”
How do you think AYF will help you develop personally and professionally?
“AYF is a great testing ground for those who are looking to apply their already established skills to new challenges. Likewise, people who are looking to get a wide range of hands-on, practical experience within a business will find what they are looking for here. Since I am somewhere between those two types of people, I benefit more than most others. AYF gives the freedom to apply my skills to managing new projects and often replicates the feeling of working on multiple of my own ‘start-up’ businesses – accelerating the rate I acquired real business experience.
All that is complemented by the fact that AYF is a subsidiary of Pasona, one of the largest Human Resource companies in Japan. In AYF not only am I gaining practice experience, but I regularly receive training and support on topics such as Japanese language, work culture and business within Japan.”
If you are interested in the Awaji Youth Federation program or would like to be one of next year’s fellows, then please head over to the AYF program website.
There you can find all the information about the program’s admission process for the chance to be selected and join us here in Japan!