Asuka Kato MA Development Studies

Asuka Kato

Please tell us a bit about yourself.

My name is Asuka Kato from Japan. I graduated with an MA in Development Studies in 2008. Before joining the University of Leeds, I worked as a writer for newspaper. I came to Leeds as a career change to move into an international cooperation field.

I have been engaged in Japan’s Official Development Assistance (ODA) since graduating from the University of Leeds. After working with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan for policy-making of ODA and British procurement agent Crown Agents for implementation of ODA projects, I’m now a Procurement Officer for the ODA. 

How would you describe your experience at the University?

Undoubtedly, amazing and unforgettable days.  Studied hard, read a lot, wrote a lot. While spending the tough days with a pile of assignment and texts, wonderful course-mates from all over the world provided me lots of helps, laughs and powers to overcome the tough matters. Days and times spending with course-mates with a pint of beer were the best in my last decade.  

What did you think of your course? 

The diversity of teachers and course-mates experienced in various countries and fields absolutely influenced my career choice. Exchanging views and discussing many topics with them led my current career for ODA.

How would you describe the guidance you've received?

Staff were very kind, helpful and quick at work.  When I looked for other universities and communicating with several, I felt that staff from Leeds were the best.

Please tell us about your current role/research. What are your plans for the future?

As a procurement officer, I’m now engaged in PPP/PFI (Public-Private-Partnership/Private Finance Initiative) projects through ODA. To manage and coordinate this kind of project, views of the private sectors are required. Therefore, I am seeking to learn the PPP/PFI more deeply especially in terms of private sector.

What would be your top tips in terms of careers for current students?

To have opportunities to mingle with various people, not only at Leeds and to do things differently from others.

Any other comments you would like to make?

I am very proud that I graduated from the University of Leeds.