Beckie Cassidy

Beckie Cassidy

Program Director of Japan Market Expansion Competition


Originally published on on September 2007


What brought you to Japan?
I arrived in Japan a year and a half ago with my husband. He was transferred here for his job and I came along.

How did you become involved in JMEC?
Upon arrival in Japan, I began networking in an effort to find work. A woman I met who is now a good friend of mine heard of the position through Foreign Executive Women (FEW) and encouraged me to apply.

Could you tell us about JMEC?
JMEC stands for the Japan Market Expansion Competition, sponsored by eleven foreign chambers of commerce, the European Business Council and corporate sponsors including Shinsei Bank. It is a business training program centered on a competition to write the best business plan. The program, conducted in English, is divided into two parts. The first part is a lecture series covering basic business topics as well as the intricacies of doing business in Japan. Once the lecture series is complete, participants are placed into teams to write a business plan for a company entering into or expanding within the Japanese market. At the completion of the program, teams hand in the written business plan and perform an oral presentation for both the company and a panel of JMEC judges. Based on the quality of the project, winners are chosen by the judges and prizes are awarded.

How can participants benefit from JMEC?
One of the great features about the program is that participants write business plans for actual companies dealing with real issues in the Japanese market. As a result, participants get hands-on experience that can enhance their resumes. Participants also gain time management, project management and group dynamic skills, making them more valuable to employers. In addition, participants build their network of contacts and friends, and if they are lucky, they win a great prize.

How does someone get involved in JMEC?
JMEC is conducting information sessions for the upcoming program year, scheduled to begin in November. The sessions will take place on Thursday, September 27, and Tuesday, October 16. There is no fee to attend the session, but registration is required. To register for a session or to find out more about JMEC, visit