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Charles Schanen

Elekta K.K.

Date of birth: Sept. 15, 1961

Hometown: Luxembourg

Number of years in Japan (cumulative): 3 (as of July 2018)

Charles Schanen
Q1: What was your first encounter with Japan?

Back in 1983 I had the chance to come to Japan for a two-month internship. This was a great experience and it encouraged me to apply for a post graduate research grant and so I came back in 1985 for two years to conduct research at the Tokyo Institute of Technology. Although I have been coming to visit Japan regularly, it is only since last summer that, after 30 years, I am living here again.

Q2: Please state your motto in life and why you have chosen it.

Never give up! Whether it’s in business or in life, there are many challenges we have to overcome. Often with the right encouragement, we can achieve much more than we originally thought would be possible. Even in the most desperate situations, there is usually another solution, so never give up.

Q3 : Over your career, what achievement are you the proudest of?

I had the chance to work in many countries, cultures, functions and industries, and so whenever I left, I was most proud of developing my team and leaving a lasting mark on them. I am proud that I could motivate them to go the extra mile not only for our company, but also for themselves and later hear about how they developed in their careers long after I left.

Q4 : What are your goals during your time in Japan, your current position or in life?

Cancer is a major cause of death in Japan and the availability of radiotherapy is unfortunately not as widespread as it should be. I want to ensure that Elekta Japan develops into a trusted partner for all clinicians in Japan and that with our products and solutions we can help them in their fight with cancer and save more patients’ lives.

Q5 : What wisdom, advice or tips can you give to people living and working in Japan?

Use the time you have here in Japan to learn about Japanese culture and traditions, travel the country to explore all the wonderful places, participate in festivals and learn about the history. Also, if possible, learn the language, that is in fact easier than it appears at first sight. A little bit of Japanese language can take you so much further. Make local friends to better understand the Japanese way of thinking and how they express themselves. It will open up a different way of looking at things and will simplify your life in the office quite substantially.

Last updated: Sep 4, 2018