Taming the Wild with Shigefumi Fugie

They call him ‘hero’ and no, it has nothing to do with the fact that he is Japanese and reminds folks of Hiro from the series ‘Heroes.’ Very few people would venture on a trip to Africa, even fewer would do it alone… This and his steady smile, even when times aren’t the best, are reasons why Shige is our  hero. Join us as we travel around the world with second-year MBA student, Shigefumi Fugie

Where in Japan are you from?
I am from Tokyo, the capital of Japan.

Why did you decide to come for and MBA and why Mason?
I worked about 10 years at Hitachi, Ltd. and came here to acquire more knowledge and for global networking. I chose Mason because the people I met before coming were very hospitable.

What has been the best part of your MBA experience?
The best part of my MBA experience has been meeting diverse people from diverse cultures from around the world.

What is next for you after graduation?
I will go back to Hitachi in Japan since I have been sponsored by the company. I hope to continue to maintain a good relationship between Japan and the world.

Africa is one continent most people never think of visiting but you did that this Spring Break. Why Africa and did you learn anything new?
I have always wanted to visit Africa. I had visited both the Niagara Falls in U.S. and the Iguassu Falls in Brazil and always wanted to see Victoria Falls in Zimbabwe. The local food was delicious and unique. I also talked with many people who were kind and helpful. I learned a lot about Zimbabwe. The country is experiencing hyper-inflation which we discussed in Macro Econ class. Despite the hard economy, Zimbabweans are happy people. The falls and blue skies in Africa were relaxing and I found that I liked Africa.

So we know you love to travel; where is your favorite place of all the places you have been to and why?
All the places I have visited were impressive and gave me something new. Cuba where I visited last year let me think about revolutions, Europe made me engage in critical thinking which is different from the U.S. positive thinking.

If you could live anywhere in the world, where would it be?
I feel that U.S. and Williamsburg are a second home for me. However, I would like to live in Tokyo, Japan when I am older.

Where is your favorite Japanese restaurant? We know it isn’t Benihana
Benihana! I tried it once and it provided good entertainment and dishes but it is very Americanized. “Kyushu” in Virginia Beach provides dishes similar to the authentic Japanese menus.

Do you have any special travel plans in the future you would like to share with us?
I would like to visit more places in U.S. Al Also, I would like to visit places such as Machu Picchu in Peru. Lastly, I would like thank you very much for giving me this wonderful opportunity.

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Damilola Ashaolu

Damilola Ashaolu is a full-time MBA student at the Mason School of Business.

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