Tokyo Institute of Technology: ToTAL holds second debrief for Leadership Off-campus Project, Leadership Interdisciplinary Research Project

Tokyo Tech Academy for Leadershipouter (ToTAL) held its second Leadership Off-campus Project and Leadership Interdisciplinary Research Project Debrief online on August 26. More than 50 students, faculty members, and staff participated. During the session, six students — two from ToTAL and four registered in educational programs at the Academy for Co-creative Education of Environment and Energy Scienceouter, the Education Academy of Computational Life Sciencesouter, or the Academy for Global Leadershipouter — gave presentations on their research projects. This was the second debrief to be held following the inaugural one at ToTAL in March 2021.

The Leadership Off-campus Project is a course intended as a capstone project in the ToTAL program, and serves as a culminating academic and intellectual experience for students. Students plan and participate in research and development projects at a company, university, institution, NGO, or NPO in Japan or overseas for approximately three months, helping them to further their career plans and leadership competencies.

The Leadership Interdisciplinary Research Project was established in April 2021 at ToTAL for students who cannot take the Off-campus Project overseas, or students who have difficulties making arrangements with a host institution in Japan due to COVID-19. By joining the Leadership Interdisciplinary Research Project instead of the Leadership Off-campus Project, students can take the course at a laboratory of a different discipline from their own at Tokyo Tech. The aim of these courses is to place students in a real-life setting where they can practice and test the leadership skills and expertise acquired at ToTAL and through their major. By doing so, students gain a deeper understanding of where they stand in terms of their abilities, which they can then reflect in their study plan after the project.

At the beginning of the debrief, Professor Mamoru Tanahashi explained the outline of the two courses and touched on the achievements of students who had completed either of them in the past. Each presenter then gave an eight-minute presentation about their experiences and takeaways while planning and carrying out the project. The presenters also answered questions from the audience, many of whom were students who are planning to take either the Leadership Off-campus Project or Leadership Interdisciplinary Project in the near future.