A Short Term Fellowship for Social Innovators: The Fujitsu Scholarship Experience

Aug 28, 2020
Gaurav (center, in bow tie) at the Fujitsu Fellowships’s Convocation Ceremony, where he was recognized with an Honorable Student Award

The Fujitsu Scholarship is a short-term fellowship for mid-career social innovators. Over three and a half months, participants travel to four countries – Japan, the United States (Hawaii), Thailand, and Singapore – and develop a unique plan for innovation in the social sphere. Participants benefit from discussions with advisors and instructions, first-hand experiences of real issues facing local communities in multiple countries, and dialog with each other. At the end of the program, fellows present their plans for innovation and, upon return to their home countries, begin to implement their plans to solve some of the challenges facing the world.

We talked to Gaurav Misa, a Fujitsu Scholar, to learn more about the program and get some application tips.  

1. What inspired you to apply for the Fujitsu Scholarship? 

I strongly believe that teachers are positive change-makers and they should keep learning and evolving. My journey to the place where I am today has not been an easy one. My early days of struggle gave me a significant insight into the value of education since it came to me as a reward through sheer hard work. I believe this is how I developed a keen desire to keep learning and a passion for sharing my learning with my community.

A major part of my passion and profession is to help youth become employable and economically developed. I’ve been working as a life skills coach and employability trainer for a decade now. I have taught more than 10,000 student trainees and trained around 1,500 teachers. I teach creativity, critical thinking, and the ability to communicate and collaborate along with personal and social responsibility.

I applied for the prestigious Fujitsu Scholarship to groom my leadership skills by familiarizing myself with the best practices of leadership across a wide range of cultures. This unique program offers an opportunity to gain “Practical Wisdom”. The program is based on the vision of the globally recognized Management Guru and very influential business thinker Dr. Ikujiro Nonaka. This well-designed world-class program enables one to learn crucial leadership lessons and network with brilliant minds through coursework and fieldwork in four different countries.

Through my participation, I hoped to learn examples of the latest innovations and to examine values as they apply to different cultures. Afterward, I also wanted to formulate a plan for my ‘Capstone Project’ for innovation to create new value for my community utilizing the knowledge and skills acquired through the Global Leaders for Innovation and Knowledge program. 

Gaurav conducting a session on self-motivation for a high school girls’ soccer team in Hawaii

2. What are the benefits of the fellowship? 

The Fujitsu Scholarship supports the selected scholar’s development as a global leader by funding his/her participation in the ‘Global Leaders for Innovation and Knowledge’ program. This specialized program hones leadership vision, delivered by the Fujitsu-JAIMS Foundation, with a multi-campus network of Japan, Hawaii, Thailand, and Singapore. The diverse student body and rigorous curriculum stretch one to be one’s best, and prepares one to lead an organization to success in the 21st Century.

As a participant, I focused on solving social issues with the help of my Capstone Project. I created a plan for Innovation as this program provided me an opportunity not only to study social issues but also to develop a feasible plan for innovation that can be realistically implemented upon my completion of the program.

I had the privilege of being taught, trained, and coached by world-class mentors like Morales Jr. (Notable US Army Official), Steve Novak (President, Steve Novak Consulting), Takashi Saito (Former President, Levis Strauss, Japan), Saburo Kobayashi (Sr VP Honda R & D) and Prof. Nonaka (Global Expert on Innovation Management) to name a few. Additionally, I also had the opportunity to participate in world-class training programs at Chuo University (Tokyo), Fujitsu (Yokohama), Temasek Polytechnic (Singapore), and Mae Fah Luang Foundation (Thailand).

I traveled as a team to four countries, where I learned first-hand about the local value systems and ways of thinking through experience and by hearing the thoughts of residents. By stepping beyond the borders of my own country and gaining on-the-ground experience with social issues and economic activity on a global scale, I developed a broader perspective and a more sophisticated way of thinking about and experiencing the world.

I am glad that my learning sojourn as a ‘Global Leader for Innovation & Knowledge’ was way more fulfilling than I expected in the first place. At the Convocation Ceremony, I received two most prestigious awards too:

  1. I was selected for the ‘Honorable Student Award, in 2019,’ and my
  2. My Capstone Project based on Skill Development made it to the Top Three Positions.
Gaurav (center) volunteering for a Japanese NGO

3. What tips would you give others applying to the Fujitsu Fellowship? 

The Fujitsu Scholarship is quite a competitive one and you have to be well-prepared in advance to make your chances of getting selected strong. Here are a few tips for applying successfully for Fujitsu Scholarship:

  1. You should be a person who has a keen interest in social issues and a desire to resolve them.
  2. Read and understand the scholarship eligibility criteria well.
  3. Pay attention to the deadline for scholarship applications to assess if you can complete and provide all the paperwork by the due deadline.
  4. Your essays should be well-crafted and specific to the point.
  5. Stay well prepared for a personal interview at the last stage of the selection process.
  6. Finally, think of ways how you can add value to your community after accomplishing the program. 

With more than a decade of experience in the field of Training & Development, Gaurav Misra is an enthusiastic learner and a passionate trainer. He has trained school students, university graduates, and corporate professionals from India, the USA, the UK, and Mauritius. He is also the founder of Uttarakhand’s Ist UN-recognized social service initiative “Project Utthan” for which he received ‘International Recognition’ from the Committee on Teaching about the United Nations (CTAUN), United Nations, New York in 2019.

He holds a Post Graduate Diploma in Management from the Lal Bahadur Shastri Institute of Management and a master’s degree in English Literature from Bareilly College. He has completed soft skills certifications from the University of Montana (Missoula), Syracuse University (New York), Infosys and Pearson. He pursued his passion for Human Resource Development by achieving his diploma in Training and Development from The Indian Society for Training and Development in New Delhi. 

Interested in applying? Bookmark the Fujitsu Scholarship to your ProFellow account.

© Victoria Johnson 2020, all rights reserved.