Making an Impact

Hikaru Teramoto is an economics major from Japan who has taken advantage of opportunities for getting involved in campus life. He has been a student senator, a multicultural peer leader, an international student orientation leader, a discus thrower for the men’s track and field team, and a practice player for the women’s basketball team. He lifts weights, plays soccer and softball, does volunteer work, and has held several campus jobs. Beyond campus, he has interned with both Medtronic in Tokyo and ABN AMRO in Beijing, and he will spend a summer working at JP Morgan in Tokyo. “I want to be the type of person who can influence the world in a good way, through economics or business or writing a book or somehow using my liberal arts background,” he says.

Tell us about your experience in student government

The Carleton Student Association allocates its budget fairly to student clubs and organizations, so that people have some money to do activities. We also encourage communication and information sharing between the deans of the college and the students. I decided to run for CSA because I didn’t see many international students represented. Being elected a senator made me interact with people of all different background, and that was a great experience. I was able to offer an international perspective.

What did you learn?

I learned how to work in a team and how to respect other people’s perspectives and opinions. I learned that communication is important to solving problems efficiently, and I realized that learning from others is very important.

What does being a multicultural peer leader-an MPL-entail?

I help incoming students of color establish their identity at Carleton and help them succeed by offering advice. I have four advisees, two international students and two from the United States. Basically I’m their friend-a peer they can come to for assistance and guidance. It really helped me to have an MPL when I was a freshman. Even though I went to an international high school in Japan, coming here to Minnesota required some transitions. My MPL made me feel I was cared for. That’s something good about Carleton-people care about each other because it’s a small community.

Why are you so involved?

Coming from Tokyo and having a Filipina mother, I can offer something unique to the campus. I didn’t feel obligated, but I really wanted to share my background with the community. I also wanted to learn from others. Also, when the weather’s bad, it’s good to be busy!