President Koji Yamada
- Aichi Prefecture
When I was studying for a bar exam after graduating from university, I was also working as a part-time instructor for a class on some licenses and certificates, and I became unexpectedly popular. Then, more and more companies, and cram schools for university exams sent me requests to hold lectures for them, boosting my income to beyond 10 million yen a year. After a hard time making a decision on which career to pursue, I made up my mind that the most suitable career for me would be as an instructor for educational services.
When I was a student, teaching was a career that I didn’t want to pursue, so I never thought about being involved in education. I founded my own company because I saw a lot of restrictions on the textbooks used and class schedules at the cram schools where I worked as an instructor. I was only 30 years old. Everything started in a small apartment room, with only three staff members. The term “venture company” didn’t exist back then and I had a hard time gaining credibility for the business as few people so young start a company.
The business gradually got on track, and I managed to open schools in front of Nagoya Station and in Shinjuku. By then, I believed that real educational services can be offered only when students come to our schools to have face-to-face lessons with our staff instructors. But one day, one of my clients who was in charge of training company workers, asked me, “Could it be possible to launch a system enabling our company workers in local areas across the country, who don’t have chances to attend collective training courses, to have the same training anywhere without going to schools?” This gave me a trigger to start the correspondence educational courses.
I set up a recording studio, which is exclusively used for shooting instructors’ lectures, because I wanted to make recorded lessons as “live” as possible. Through trial and error I developed textbooks and introduced e-learning systems. With the help of the growing popularity of the Internet, the number of students taking our lessons exceeded 10,000 a year, three years after launching the services. I often think why people learn something. I may never come up with a clear answer, but I think it is to grow up. That is why I want to give my students classes that offer them not just information and knowledge, but also something profound to help them grow up.
If you think about what you are good at and what you’d like to do for your career, you will never find the answer. You will find out who you are only when meeting a lot of different kinds of people and experiencing a lot of different kinds of jobs. So, I recommend you act first, before thinking. I recommend you experience a lot of different kinds of things, such as traveling and doing part-time jobs, and talk with a lot of different kinds of people. If you repeat the practice, you will slowly find out more about yourself. And, find your mentor in various fields. I found a mentor for marketing and another for how to live life. I had periodical meetings with them, asked for advice and sometimes got told off, and then I grew up. I see challenging something and meeting with people as keys to life.
- Foresight Inc.
- Educational services