Counselor Interview

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Marcus Lovitt Marcus Lovitt
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A veteran English and business skills trainer with over 14 years' experience, Marcus is a Senior Academic Consultant at Agos. Originally from Australia, Marcus lived in UK and Germany before settling in Japan.
At Agos, his role is to guide candidates through the university admissions process, assisting with the drafting of resumes and providing feedback on essays.
Marcus is a part-time lecturer at Hosei University, where he teaches English writing, Academic Skills, Basic and Advanced English Test Preparation (TOEFL) as well a course focusing on Australian culture and identity. He also teaches medical students and Nippon Medical School.
Marcus has also provided English business skills training to many of Japan's top corporations and organizations. In particular, he has worked with Japanese financial institutions (BOJ, JBIC, the so-called megabanks) consulting firms, manufacturers (Nissan, IHI, Ikegami Tsushinki) pharmaceutical and medical device companies (Otsuka Pharmaceuticals, Daichi Sankyo, Terumo) and in system integration (IBM, Hitachi).
In 2012 he assisted the Vice President of the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Bid in preparation for Tokyo's (successful) presentation to the IOC.
Aside from his professional interests, Marcus is a keen photographer and videographer. In 2011 he traveled to southern Japan to take photographs for an English language guide to shochu. He is also a passionate traveler who has visited over 40 countries in Asia, Europe and the Americas.

Hey, Marcus, tell us a bit about yourself.

After graduating from university in Australia, I had the opportunity to move to London and join the staff of a venerable stock-broking firm in The City. During this period, I took advantage of a generous vacation allowance to travel Eastern Europe. I lost count of how many English teachers I met along the way, culminating in the realisation that this was what I wanted to do with my life. After returning to Australia to visit family, I relocated to Tokyo, took up a job with an English school, and have thoroughly enjoyed working here ever since. Outside the classroom, I am a keen photographer and videographer. In 2007 and 2009 I traveled to Germany to study still photography. I'm particularly inspired by subjects such as travel (I've visited some 30 countries) and live music. Food photography is another passion. I'm currently collaborating on an English-language guide to /shochu/, and in 2011 toured Kyushu to gather material.

Why did you decide to come to Japan and what has your experience been like so far?

I first came to Japan because I wanted to gain teaching experience, and after my time in Europe, I knew I wanted to live in the capital. After a year working for a busy /eikaiwa/ in Shimbashi, I realised that working as a teacher in Japan gave me more satisfaction than anything I had previously done. I love living in Tokyo - one of the world's most exciting cities - and expect I will be living here for many years to come.

And you are a admissions consultant at AGOS. What do you like best about your work?

The most satisfying aspect of my job is meeting people from so many different industries. I've always had a wide range of interests, and I derive a huge amount of satisfaction learning from my students. Even after teaching for more than ten years, my enthusiasm for my work is constantly being replenished by my students and their achievements.

How would you describe your admissions consulting style?

Ask any of my former students and they'll say I bring a great deal of enthusiasm and energy to my admissions consulting sessions. While I am there to support students in the application process, I also try to take an honest approach and give clear, direct advice.

What advice do you have for students who decide to work with you?

Students preparing for overseas study need to distinguish themselves in their application essays, not to simply present what they /think/ business, law and graduate schools want to hear. Ask yourself what makes you different to the hundreds of other applicants, and don't waste time trying to airbrush your experiences. Remember too that application essays are not the same thing as your /resume/ - it must be more than a list of degrees earned and places worked.

Any final comments?

The essays are perhaps the most important aspect of your application. They explain who you are in ways no /resume/, GMAT(R) or TOEFL(R)TEST score can. Devote time to the drafting process and be prepared to get to know yourself a bit better. I'll be there to help you along the way.