Meet UCLA NSU co-president and learn about his 10-week Budokan Internship

Meet UCLA NSU co-president and learn about his 10-week Budokan Internship

Can you give us an introduction of yourself?

My name is Kyle Tsujimoto and I’m a third year student at UCLA and co-president of UCLA NSU (Nikkei Student Union). I’m studying physiological science, and either minoring or double majoring in Asian American Studies. I’m pre med and involved in sports medicine at UCLA and currently interning for the women’s basketball team. 

Why were you interested in interning at Terasaki Budokan?

I got involved in the UCLA NSU, which really steered me towards more of the Japanese-American community that I hadn’t explored previously. This year, I went to a tournament hosted by Budokan, and started gaining interest in the community. I’ve also known a lot of people who’ve had really good experiences interning at Budokan–Mari Shigekawa and Kalyn Wong, to name a few. I think that I saw an interest in getting a bit more involved in the JA-community aside from the one I found in college. 

What’s one challenge or obstacle you’ve had to overcome during this internship?

We initially set out to organize an event that logistically ended up being a little bit too ambitious for us, especially given the responses and the amount of time we had. So as a team, we were really working and doing our best to try to make that work. We eventually pivoted and decided that, you know, another way that we could hopefully make an impact would be through helping document and promote events which serve the community and really support Budokan’s mission.

What do you hope to gain from this internship?

Networking, getting to know people, and having people get to know you. It is really important, in terms of community work and in anything that we do. So I think that Budokan is a really great opportunity to meet people that are doing work that they’re really passionate about, and really inspired about. I hope our time can be an insight into how community organizations work. In our classes, we learn a lot about theoretical concepts or history, or what other people are doing, but I think really seeing it firsthand, being put into practice and having the opportunity ourselves to apply some of the skills is a really great and valuable experience.

What’s your favorite part about Terasaki Budokan?

I mean, just this past Tuesday, we had a really unique opportunity to take a walking tour of Little Tokyo with Mike Murase. That was a really unique and enriching experience. It was interesting to get a different look at Little Tokyo, which is potentially a community that we are trying to be involved in and help. 

Would you recommend this internship to your peers?

Yeah, definitely.I think for younger community members it’s a really great place for people of our generation to see how we can make an impact coming out of college and what we can aspire to do within our own communities. I think that any of my classmates, from any background will benefit a lot from interning at Budokan and I definitely would recommend it!

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