[Blog Update] Sibos 2011 and Stepping Out of the Comfort Zone
September 13, 2011 2 Comments
Next week, I will be going to Sibos, an annual banking and financial conference revolving around discussion of issues relevant to the financial industry (hosted by Toronto this year). I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t nervous. Being surrounded by powerful, executive management types isn’t exactly a comfortable environment for the average secondary-school student. Although I spend most of my commute to and from school reading up on economics, Japanese history and finance, these individuals have way more experience under their belt than I do. Suffice to say, it will be a humbling experience as the youngest journalist in attendance.
The event first came to my attention thanks to someone (no names will be mentioned) working for BNY Mellon’s Japan branch, who came across my blog and articles on Japan Today. One email led to another, and I eventually scored a press pass to Sibos. Life is like a box of chocolates.
To make matters worse (or better, depending on how you look at it), the public relations department in charge of Sibos has set me up with a one-on-one opportunity with an executive from the Nomura Research Institute, Japan’s largest consulting firm; an interview with a Japan-based partner from Brown Brothers Harriman, the oldest and largest public bank in the United States and an executive from Cerberus Capital Management, one of the biggest private equity firms in the world. Please do keep in mind that regardless of what I write on this blog or in any other publication, I am still physically a seventeen year old student. And I’m not sure those being interviewed realize that until we meet face to face.
Perhaps this will be one of the most awkward moments of my life. Perhaps the aforementioned individuals will be shocked (or pleasantly surprised) by my age. Perhaps they won’t even let me in upon realizing this fact. But without going, Sibos will pass by simply as a “what-if” moment in my life. This is why I have decided to go notwithstanding all of the above.
Most of this battle is psychological, and will mostly be waged against myself in stepping out of my comfort zone. Stepping out of one’s comfort zone, however, is integral to personal growth. I am certainly not exempt from this rule.
With all this said, I will be uploading all videos and pictures taken from Sibos to Saving Japan. I would not have been able to get this far without the ongoing support of readers. Thank you once again for your continued support of Saving Japan.
(Just to go on a little bit of a tangent: I submitted an essay in response to a contest sponsored by the Japan Foreign Trade Council. The topic was “Vision for a New Japan after 3.11″. Results come in mid-December – I’m hoping for the best and expecting the worst.)