Risa Inada – Nagoya, Japan
Major – Sports Management
Year in School – Sophomore
Family – Father Tomoyuki, Mother Nami, Younger brother Hideto. They all live in Japan.
Hobbies/Interests – I am interested in traveling, cooking, playing sports and watching sports. I’ve been to many places in the U.S., and it is so much fun to experience different cultures. When I was in middle and high school, I played basketball and it built my personality to never give up on anything. I’d rather regret doing something than to regret not doing it.
What is something about yourself that few people know? I have learned Japanese calligraphy since I was 4 years old.
How did you make your decision to come to UNK? I came to UNK in 2017 as an exchange student in a one-year program. I majored in English in Japan. As I spent time here, I came to think that I wanted to learn about something by using English, and then I found out about sports management. When I was in high school, I wanted to be a PE teacher. I really like sports, and I know sports can help and encourage people, but I had no confidence that I taught students various sports well, and so I gave it up. When I found out about sports management, I thought this was what I really wanted to study, because I can learn English and get involved with sports. It was such a big decision to make, but I decided to drop out of the university in Japan, transfer here and major in sports management.
What is your favorite thing about the Kearney community? Everyone is very kind and friendly. Even though people don’t know me, they say hi and smile. They are helpful when I need anything.
What is your fondest memory of UNK so far? My fondest memory of UNK is to have met irreplaceable and precious friends. This is my treasure for life.
What is the biggest challenge you’ve faced in your time at UNK? I emceed at the international food and culture festival in 2018. My friend, who was a president of International Student Association, asked me to be MC at his festival, and I just said okay. But when I thought about this festival after a while, I was like “oh my God, why did I say okay?” I regretted saying okay because thousands of people come to this festival, and I couldn’t imagine I would talk in front of thousands of people. However, I had already said okay, so I decided to finish it to the end. I read through a script again and again and tried to memorize every single line in the script to do my best. I was very nervous, but I made it, and it was a very rewarding experience. I really appreciated having a great opportunity at UNK. I will never stop challenging myself.
What advice do you have for other international students considering UNK? UNK gives you something only you can do, and so I would like you to come to UNK and experience something only you can do.
Your favorite place to visit in Kearney? Starbucks on campus. I’ve been working there and learned a lot of things. One of the things I’ve learned at Starbucks is the importance of communication. If employees don’t communicate well with each other, we can’t provide the best drink and service to satisfy customers. Good communication with customers is also important to find what customers want. For example, if customers order a drink with nondairy products, I try to ask them whether they have allergies or not. If they order a drink with nonfat milk, I ask them whether they need whipped cream on top or not, because I guess they might cut down on sweets. My favorite part of this job is I can get to know many people, and this place brings people together to sit in a chair, talk with friends, drink coffee, relax and surf the net. When I serve a drink, it makes customers smile. When I have a conversation with them, I feel worth and satisfaction.