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International Students For The Japan Rugby World Cup 2019

Author: Putri Nurdivi

Published on October 17th, 2019


Japan is hosting the ninth Rugby World Cup 2019 from September 20th to November 2nd, 2019 that is taking place in different prefectures of Japan. This event successfully gave plenty of opportunities for foreigners, particularly students who live in the nearest region and keen to experience to be a part of this big tournament.

JPort had a great chance to interview three Ritsumeikan Asia Pacific University students; BRANDON Chevy (Chevy) from Indonesia, NURAZAM Aziz (Azam) from Malaysia, and BACKAERT Gem Kenneth (Ken) from the Philippines who are participating as stadium staff in the ongoing Rugby World Cup 2019 in Oita as part-time workers. Want to know more about their stories and experience? We will cover their exciting journey in this article. 


The World Cup Experience


Chevy (Left) and Ken (Right)

Being a part of a World Cup committee of any sort is a rare opportunity and really a once in a lifetime experience for most people. An abundance of volunteer and part-time positions were offered by the official committee and local organization, earning a lot of attention from students in the past few months.


Ken shared his first impression of the news: “I was stunned after hearing that the Rugby World Cup would also be held in Oita. What came across my mind was that it would be wonderful to take part in this once in a lifetime opportunity. When the chance came, I knew I had to be a part of it!”


Azam had the same thought as Ken’s.

“Living in a small city, Beppu, I realized this kind of opportunity doesn't come along every day– to be involved in the international tournament, not even the local one. I was really excited and so decided to look for a part-time job. I thought, let’s give a try!” 


On the other hand, Chevy had a particular reason to take part in this tournament. His love and passion for sports brought him into this new adventure. He believes that this experience could help him through job-hunting, which is he is due to start next spring.


“I once met my friend in the gym where I spent most of my free time. I still remember when he offered me a part-time job by an organization that mostly works at local events. I think this would be good to have on my resume while doing job hunting in the sports industry later on.”


Though he only takes a small responsibility as a part of the tournament, Chevy is deeply grateful for having a part-time job that is in line with his interest.


Azam (Middle) With Australian Rugby Team Head Coach

Be Local, Act International


Behind every successful sports tournament, there are thousands of people working hand-in-hand in various departments to support the operational procedures of the event. Since Japan has come forth in hosting the games themselves, even foreign workers need to keep in mind the Japanese hospitality culture at all times. The Japanese proverb Okyakusama wa Kamisama or "the customer is God" was real! Our three interviewees have experienced it first-hand, working to give the best experience possible to customers.


Chevy and Ken are assigned staff in the same food and beverage stalls. They both realized that management skills and the ability to work efficiently are needed for this job.

Ken gladly shared his experience with us. “A sense of awareness is important because everything happens so fast, and you must react efficiently. A welcoming nature packed with a good smile will be your weapon. Particularly in my job, being good at math is helpful too.” Ken also noticed that it is important to have the right communication and trust among coworkers is the key to ensure a successful day. 


Chevy shared with what he learned on the committee. “My management skill was being tested – this job also required me to be able to move quickly from one customer to another, even sometimes I needed to talk with the Japanese staff. On top of that, tons of local and international visitors were coming to our stalls which challenged me to play with my language abilities. Though I found this job really challenging, it was really fun!” 


On the other hand, Azam was assigned as a Liaison Officer and stationed at the airport. He was provided with proper Airport guidance and training to enhance his knowledge of the job. Aside from gaining the airport management skills, he also had some precious moments to meet some VIPs such as former Japan prime minister and athletes. “My job is quite relaxed compared to those who are working in the tournament venue. Yet, I need to know more details about the airport like how to help foreign tourists to purchase bus tickets and drop them off at the bus stop. Hence, there was an interview and training for workers beforehand. I also met several public figures throughout my jobs.”


Chevy remarks on the importance of punctuality in Japanese business. “I have done several part-time jobs before, but this job required me to think like a local. I need to be punctual, if not simply for the bus pick-up time. Working rules are way more strict, and we can’t break it since we - as a worker - are the face of Japan to the visitors.” 

For this job, Japanese and English skills are also required. However, English is being used more often since visitors were coming from all over the world. 

“My job requires me to talk mostly with English since we tend to interact with foreigners rather than Japanese”, Azam added. 



To close the interview, Chevy shared his advice for future workers with us. “Once you get the job, remember to always give it your best, and most importantly, show your commitment to the organizations you are working with. Do not waste the opportunity, you never know what other opportunities might be waiting for you in the future.”  


The journey of Ken, Chevy, and Azam show us that international students' presence is, indeed, needed to support such big tournaments. Keep in mind that opportunity is everywhere, it is open for everyone and there is no limitation. So make sure you take the chance and give it a try while you can! 


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