I'm originally from a small town near Toronto, Canada, but moved to Ottawa to study Architecture at University. During my studies, I focused on Japanese architecture, and ended up moving to Japan right after graduation, following whims and wanderlust.
When I was 18 I was a semi-pro box lacrosse player (Canada's national sport!). I had to choose between going pro, or going to university. I think I made the right choice! While a university student I was an elected member of student council, spent one year as an RA (Residence Advisor), and worked architectural roles for both the Canadian House of Commons (Parliament) and The Department of Foreign Affairs. I also played guitar in a band at open mic nights, lost 75kg between 1st and 2nd year, and co-wrote our university's first viral newsletter.
I believe that we all have three careers in us - no less, probably more. I spent the first third of my working life headhunting for Venture Capital firms and their portfolio companies, helping build start-up teams in Japan. My second career is defined by founding businesses - Evolany is my fourth. As for my third career, it will either be novelist or baker. I'm not too sure yet!
For the recruitment aspect of my work, I research candidates, interview and help onboard.
For the design aspect, it's case by case: design could be as simple as updating sales documents or creating rich menus, or as detailed as creating admin console designs or miniapps templates.
As a (non-engineering) hyper-generalist, each day looks different, but generally revolves around meeting candidates in the morning, and scouting or designing in the afternoon. I'm also a designated cook when we have parties.
The most rewarding thing about work is giving young people a chance to prove themselves in areas they're interested in, or giving them a chance to try things they've never tried.
I don't define growth by 'upwards movement', which is rather limiting. Some trees grow tall, some branch out; others grow so deep as to spend most their lives underground. Growth, for me, is learning something new, and satisfaction comes from applying it in practical, useful ways. Growth is about unlocking new talents, not matter what they are, and applying them with confidence and passion.
I would love to work projects in the GreenTech or 'DeathTech' space; ideally combining both.
The people. It's important for me to try and build a unique office with unique points-of-view. I like the idea that modern Japan will be defined and built by the people I'm working with now.
Everyday I spend about 2-3 hours reading, writing, or some useful combination thereof. As a spice aficionado with fearless tastebuds and a willing family I also cook for at least an hour daily, and usually make a few loaves of artisnal bread weekly. At night I read with my children, and on the weekends we play. To keep my heart strong and gut from spilling over my pants, I walk daily, hit the gym on the weekends, and cycle 150km+ weekly, weather permitting.
I love working with creative, quirky, "switched-on" people who know how to work efficiently, have the confidence to ask questions, but who also know that sometimes cheap beer and good conversation is the answer.