Yoshikoshi aims to use the skills she gains in the MSCAPP program to help position the Ministry of Finance of Japan as a model workplace for other Japanese organizations.
Headshot of Fumi Yoshikoshi
Fumi Yoshikoshi

“My work experience taught me that the problems in the real world are extremely complex and rarely can be resolved with a simple change,” said Fumi Yoshikoshi, a rising second-year Master of Science in Computational Analysis and Public Policy student who has held several roles in the Ministry of Finance of Japan.

“Often, I would propose changes and be met with excuses of ‘this is how it always has been,’ and I was irritated with myself that I could not design a path to the solution while acknowledging others' concern about change. I was eager to learn both theoretical understanding and practical skills so that the solutions I proposed not only looked good on paper but also worked.”

Although a native of Tokyo, Yoshikoshi lived in Mexico and San Diego as a child—a formative experience, she said, that led her to be curious about the unknown world. “Then, while I was studying abroad in France for a year in college, I also became aware of how a country can bind individuals' lives, and that motivated me to work in the government,” she said.

Upon completing her bachelor's degree in economics from the University of Tokyo, she began working in the HR Division of the Ministry of Finance of Japan. Yoshikoshi was eventually promoted to an HR Section Chief before she moved to the Customs and Tariff Division, where she serves as a Section Chief for the Planning and Administration Division.

“Over the course of my time with the Customs and Tariff Division, I realized I wanted to strengthen my broad knowledge about policies in a practical way,” Yoshikoshi said. “I was attracted by Harris’ philosophy to teach students knowledge and skills that can be applied to the real world. It’s a foundation I’ve always sought.

“As a girl, I grew up thinking that I would not achieve a lot: I often felt somewhat lost between ambition and a lack of confidence,” said Yoshikoshi. “Yet, here I am in Harris. While I sometimes still feel lost, I don’t give up. I’ve also become more comfortable asking for help when necessary, which has been easier given the supportive nature of the Harris community.”

Yoshikoshi said that she has built connections despite the distance brought about by COVID measures: “COVID-19 couldn’t prevent me from enjoying my life as a student. I have been inspired by my classmates from all over the world.” Yoshikoshi also said she has been actively involved in the Harris Student Organization HarrisTech.

Yoshikoshi said one of her favorite classes thus far has been Python Programming, taught by Professor Lamont Samuels. “Prior to joining the Harris community, I had taught myself coding—and that was far from perfect. Professor Samuels’ Python Programming course improved my skill set immensely.” Yoshikoshi said that while initially the assignments felt incredibly tough, “Professor Samuel’s class was so exceptionally well-planned that everything became clear. It felt like magic when I finished a coding assignment and could see the results.”

When asked if she had any advice for prospective and current students, Yoshikoshi said, “Don’t limit your own possibilities. Harris provides a lot of opportunities: explore them! They will make your experience all the more rewarding.”