Tsunoda Stylings is an online international multilingual agency that strives to create successful, responsive websites that are fast, easy to use, and built with the best techniques. At Tsunoda Stylings, we search for new talent to develop their portfolios via paid-per-project remote work! Not too long after we opened our doors, we received a request from an international graduate student and content writer looking to enhance her skills.
Her name is April, and she is an American native living in Japan who has been interested in different cultures and languages and decided to put that curiosity to good use. Read below to learn more about her and what she plans to accomplish during her time here at Tsunoda Stylings.
Jasmine: "Hello April, could you please introduce yourself to the readers?"
April: Hi! My name is April, and I suck at introductions. I’m from the east coast and currently living in the land of the rising sun. I love music, reading, writing, baking, and laughing. Is it weird to say laughing is my hobby? I love cooking on a good day, and I can’t wait to bake on a great day. However, if you live in Japan, you already know how much of a struggle baking can be.
Jasmine: " What interests you about the general design, marketing, social media, and tech world that Tsunoda Stylings provides for its clients?"
April: "I love the idea that started this company. It was started with the greatest intention; to help up-and-coming businesses that usually can’t afford these services. I have enjoyed hearing the stories behind the client’s businesses and seeing the team bring their ideas to life. It’s the warmth that is in the very foundation of Tsunoda Stylings that interests me.
That warmth can be seen in the designs that are tailored to the client's needs until they’re satisfied. That warmth can be seen in the marketing and social media packets that are often customized to help people. I just like helping people, and it feels nice being a part of a company that gets to be involved in so many different stories and industries. Whether it’s non-profits, self-care, tableware that provides more inclusivity, etc., it’s been a blast so far, and I’m excited to see how many other stories we’ll be part of."
Jasmine: "Why did you decide to start studying Peace and Conflict Studies? What do you want to do after graduation?"
April: "This is a little long, so I apologize in advance. A few people asked me about graduate school a few times, but I got the question more often than usual around 2019. I shut that down immediately because I was NOT trying to go back to school in my late 20s. However, as the pandemic started, BLM and the world started seeming less filled with hope and more full of problems; I kept feeling like I wanted to do something. But wanting to do something and actually making an effort to do something are two different things.
So, I volunteered at marches, spoke at human rights seminars, and realized I could do something. I can listen, and I can speak. My voice matters. So I applied, shared my story, and got into the program. It hasn’t always been easy. At times I’ve had 3 jobs while working on my master's, one of which was full-time. What has kept me going is that I hate quitting, but that is mainly why I wanted to join this major to help. PCS has taught me the power of a voice but also the importance of it. Good intentions are good and all, but knowing the history, peacekeeping practices, the cultural significance of words, gestures, etc., is more important than going in blindly with good intentions. Cultural competency is something that I hope I always have and continue to grow. "
Jasmine: "What will I do after graduation?"
April: "Honestly? I have no idea. The sky's the limit when it comes to this field. I can help businesses or organizations. I can travel to countries trying to rebuild after a disaster or a war. The most important thing for me is to help people. Sometimes it can be daunting trying to maintain that line where I’m helping others but not forgetting about and neglecting myself in the process. I know that life is going to live and that there are bad people in the world, but I get to choose what kind of person I’m going to be, and I choose to be kind. I choose peace. "
Jasmine: "What made you apply for the job opening at Tsunoda Stylings, and how do you like it so far?"
April: " I’ve known our amazing CEO for about 8 years. I remember hearing the excitement in her voice when she decided she loved coding. I remember how proud I felt when she said that she decided to open her own company. She’s one of my best friends, so I had zero hesitations when she said she needed someone she trusted to join her on this journey. I love working with Tsunoda Stylings. Who wouldn’t love watching one of their best friends grow and thrive? More than all of the wonderful people who have joined the team and the amazing clients we have met, I’m just honored to be a part of her dream and to be able to help even though I’m not an amazing designer or an editor. I’m happy that I can bring something to the table."
Jasmine: " So, what do you like most about being an HR assistant?"
April: "I love getting to hear everyone’s stories, the clients, and the employees. Everyone has such unique stories and journeys that led them to Tsunoda Stylings. These stories often come from the same place that our CEOs came from; wanting to help. We have so many talented and creative people on the team, and watching them bring the client's vision to life has been amazing. "
Jasmine: "What do you find most challenging about working in HR?"
April: "The most challenging part for me is sometimes feeling like I don’t do enough. I mean, have you seen our team? These people are so talented, and these are their stomping grounds; design, marketing, etc. It can be hard not to get lost in the sauce. "
Jasmine: "What do you hope to accomplish while working with us?"
April: "I hope I can support our CEO as the company continues to grow. One of the many jobs I will be qualified for once I receive my master's will be HR. This is an internship in the sense that I can gain hands-on experience if I decide to focus on human resources. Even if I choose to focus on another aspect, many of the clients and partnerships, such as Giving Tuesday, are right up my alley. It’s been a great experience getting to see the ends and outs of an organization like that. "
Jasmine: " What advice would you give anyone wanting to become a freelancer or graduate in your field?"
April: "To anyone wanting to become a freelancer, I would say to make sure you have great communication skills. Unlike most bosses, our CEO listens and cares because, let’s be real, stuff happens, and avoidable problems can occur when there is no communication, avoidable problems can occur. If you’re going into peace and conflict studies, I would say to brace yourself if you’re anything like me. I’ve cried so much while reading case studies and about the things that have happened during conflicts. It can break your heart, but the most important thing for me is remembering that it’s good to hit me the way it does. It means I’m still in touch with my humanity. "
Whether you are a student looking for a major to study, wanting to learn a new skill for a promotion, or a professional considering a career change, April has shown us that it is never too late to pursue your dreams with a bit of determination.