Interviews with
New Graduate Recruits


Andra Mijares

the Philippines
Project Development Department
Tokyo Institute of Technology
Ph.D. and M.Eng. in Civil Engineering

Major Projects Engaged

  • Project to Enhance the Capacity of
    Vientiane Capital State Bus Enterprise Phase II (Lao PDR)
  • Preparatory Survey for Phnom Penh-Bavet
    Expressway Development
    Phase II (Cambodia)
  • Countermeasures for Traffic Congestion for
    a Selected Toll Road in Jakarta (Indonesia)

A typical day on an
overseas business trip

  • 7:50Leave from the hotel
  • 8:15Arrive at the office; make a to-do list
  • 8:30Prepare presentation materials
  • 10:00Meet with counterparts
  • 12:00Lunch
  • 13:00Meet with local staff to delegate tasks
  • 14:00Site survey
  • 15:30Analyze data / write a report
  • 17:30Meet with the project team for updates
  • 18:00Leave from the office

Projects that left
a deep impression

My project in Jakarta in 2016 was quite challenging because our team was expected to produce significant output in a short period of time, including conducting traffic surveys in heavy rain. It was tough, but it was fulfilling when we successfully finished the project.
My four-year project in Vientiane from 2016-2020, which aimed to enhance the capacity of the public bus company, also left a deep impression on me. On the outset, the project seemed straightforward, but it was actually quite complicated due to many underlying issues. We had to consider the specific context in Vientiane, and customize a suitable approach to increase public bus use. Moreover, it was a long project so I became more familiar with Lao people and their culture, behavior and way of thinking.

Upcoming Challenges

I realized through the years that international development consulting requires more than just technical skills – it requires the ability to adapt to the local context, to be culturally sensitive, and to understand and respect different points of view, so I would like to improve myself in those aspects.
Furthermore, I would like to experience working in as many developing cities as possible to understand and tackle their transportation problems. Up until now, I’ve mostly been involved in Asian projects, so I would like to be involved in projects in other parts of the world as well, especially mass transit and master plan projects.