From studying abroad in Paris to interning at a Japanese TV station, Kurumi Fukushima ’12 (Glen Ridge, N.J.) is building a wealth of global experience while studying at Lafayette.
This summer, Fukushima is working at the New York City bureau of Fuji Television. Last summer, she interned at CBS 21 in Harrisburg, Pa. Throughout both experiences, Fukushima, who is a double major in international affairs with a French concentration and a self-designed major in broadcasting and media studies, noticed a common thread.
“Stepping foot in the newsroom is electrifying for me. There is something about the studio and minutes before a broadcast that I love. It’s this pent-up energy mixed with tension, but in an exciting way that you cannot find anywhere else,” she says. “That is the one thing that is the same in newsrooms all across the country and around the world.”
Working at a foreign media outlet is not without its differences, though. According to Fukushima, interning at the leading commercial broadcaster in the Japanese media industry has been an eye-opening experience.
“The inner workings of the station differ from that of an American station like CBS 21,” says Fukushima. “Fuji TV aims to broadcast live news to its audience overseas in Japan, and reports only the top headlines from across the U.S. each day. At CBS 21, we reported everything and anything we could get our hands on that would interest the area viewers.”
In addition to learning the ins and outs of an international news station, Fukushima says her time at Fuji TV is helping her connect with her Japanese culture.
“Having been so focused on doing school work in English, I’ve found myself stopping mid-sentence during a phone call with my mother because I couldn’t remember a certain word in Japanese. My internship with Fuji TV is allowing me to talk and write in Japanese while learning about broadcasting news,” Fukushima says. “I enjoy the fact that when I step into the office, I feel like I am suddenly back in Tokyo. And at the end of the work day when I step out of the elevator, I’m back in New York!”
Fukushima says her internship and travel experiences have changed her ideas about what “normal” is.
“I’ve always enjoyed traveling to various countries and learning about different cultures, but I never realized how it changes your perception of the world. I think that my recent international experiences have changed my idea of what is the ‘norm,’” she says. “Most people think that their life is the standard, and anything that differs is not. It’s not until I come home after a semester abroad in Paris, or a summer back in Tokyo to realize that each country has its own way of living, and it is so important to be respectful of their traditions.”
On campus, Fukushima is an anchor, writer, and producer for Lafayette’s student-run weekly news show, The Vibe. She also serves on the executive board of Pi Beta Phi sorority, is vice president of the Gymnastics Club, and is a member of the cheerleading team and the Investment Club.
“I am hoping to find my career path in broadcasting news while using my knowledge of world affairs. My goal in 10 years would be to become a news anchor at an influential and well-respected news station. But, my goal for next year is to work in London for NBC to cover the 2012 Summer Olympics!”