Name: Shunjiro Saito
Position: Account Manager
Favorite food: Tantanmen (spicy noodles) at Chitose
Shunjiro joined our account team with a splash last summer on our team trip to Italy, after he “fell” (was pushed?) fully clothed into a pool. He immediately became an indispensable team member, from sharing the driving through Sicily, to helping to organize team building activities.
This is Shunjiro’s second time working with the team, and we’re thrilled to have him back. Four years ago, fresh from finishing his MSc (Management) in London, he joined us as an intern, doing anything needed on the Visit Nara website project. After several years of putting his strategic skills to use for multinational corporations, he swapped the suit and tie for a T-shirt, and came back to us.
There are two things Shunjiro loves to do: work and read, which may be because he grew up in a Buddhist temple (his father was the head priest). “Being a son of the temple, meant I had to be responsible, and set a good example. Even the usual cartoons were out, and I mainly watched samurai shows and historical dramas, when I wasn’t studying or getting up at 5am to clean the temple before school.” Temple life also gave him the opportunity to talk with people from all walks of life, which explains his ease in any situation.
After a fairly strict upbringing, grad school in the UK was a revelation. “In class, people were so passionate about their point of view; they would argue and criticize, but it was all for the greater good. After class, everyone would be friendly and supportive.” Heading into the corporate world, he saw how large organizations worked, and how the smallest actions can make a difference. It also gave him valuable insights into the needs of clients. Now that he’s back at FunkyCorp, he enjoys the diversity of his team members, and having conversations that aren’t purely work-related. “It’s a more casual, more approachable work environment,” he says. “People work hard here, but we also have a lot of fun.”