Faces of the Pack: Arnie Glassberg and Hinako Akeyama

Members of the Honors College Career and Community Mentorship Program

A man stands next to a woman in a coffee shop, smiling.

Faces of the Pack: Arnie Glassberg and Hinako Akeyama

Members of the Honors College Career and Community Mentorship Program

A man stands next to a woman in a coffee shop, smiling.

Once a week, Arnie Glassberg and Hinako Akeyama meet at a local coffee shop and discuss questions and concerns Hinako accumulates throughout the week. Glassberg, a director on the Honors College Advocacy Board, mentors Akeyama as part of the Career and Community Mentorship Program.

The Career and Community Mentorship Program (CCM) provides Honors students an opportunity to connect with professionals in the community, whether they are experienced in the student’s desired career field or know how to navigate the workforce, like Glassberg. Akeyama, an international student from Osaka, Japan, majoring in information systems and minoring in business analytics, says seniors especially benefit from this program because learning about the real world outside of the stable environment of school is a great way to transition into it.

Since joining the Honors College, Akeyama has been working with her professors on projects to become further involved in her education. 

“That really has helped me a lot to learn within that field,” she said.

Akeyama joined the CCM program after deciding to stay in the U.S. to work after graduation, though she debated on whether or not to return to Japan.

“I started thinking about what are some things I can do right now to search for my opportunities to stay here,” Akeyama said. “I like making connections and learning and meeting people from here so I can learn how they think, like their perspectives.”

Glassberg has many years of experience working in education (K-12) in a wide spectrum of positions from teacher to superintendent. He also served as an appointed member of the board of directors for the Reno Philharmonic before the Honors College Advocacy Board. Glassberg provides an abundance of knowledge and advice to Akeyama about the working culture in America. The two also work through assignments, like a term paper Akeyama was assigned for a class.

Though on the surface it would seem that the mentee benefits the most from the Career and Community Mentorship program, Glassberg said he has learned a lot from his time with Akeyama. He originally joined the program after hearing about it through his position on the advocacy board. His motivation for becoming a mentor was based on his belief in what’s most important.

“I believe so much in education. I committed my adult life to it, it’s our future,” Glassberg said.

According to Glassberg, making a connection with someone younger has had a great impact on him.

“Staying connected with the new generation keeps me aware of what’s going on in our society,” Glassberg said. “I just think it’s a nice connection.”

This opportunity not only helped bridge the gap between generations but served as a way to educate both parties on a different culture. Akeyama learned through Glassberg about the workforce in the U.S. 

“In the beginning, it was more me responding to general questions Hinako had, just about working here in the U.S., some of our cultural norms as it relates to the workplace,” Glassberg said.

Though he is an experienced traveler, Glassberg said he learned more about Japanese culture through this experience.

“Having the opportunity to be paired with Hinako I thought was really a great opportunity, so I learned a lot from her about the differences in culture,” Glassberg said.

Both Akeyama and Glassberg said they would go through the program again if given the chance. Akeyama felt her weekly meetings helped not only answer questions but also got her in the habit of coming to her meetings prepared, a skill that will come in handy later on. 

“I’ve learned a lot through this program,” Akeyama said. “Whenever I had a question he was always helpful and gave me advice. That was something I really appreciate.”

Her mentor said he would like to continue helping young people navigate the transition between school and what comes after. 

“I’ve had a few more experiences,” Glassberg explained. “Being able to share those things I hope answers some questions that she didn’t even know to ask.”

Akeyama has already been offered a position after she graduates this May. One aspect she learned through her mentorship that she feels she is already implementing as she gets ready to graduate is how to go with the flow and adapt to different situations.

For more information visit the Honors College Career and Community Mentorship program webpage.

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