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Studio Manager

In a nutshell:

IDEO Tokyo is looking for an enthusiastic, motivated and thoughtful Studio Manager to join our Experience team. Strong Japanese (native) and English verbal and written skills are required for this position.

You will work as part of the Experience team in delivering an outstanding level of support to the studio, which in turn will drive our fast-paced, but extremely positive culture. As a cornerstone of the studio, you will be a go-to for all the requests from our broader team, as well as a welcoming IDEO ambassador to clients and employees alike. Working most closely with our Experience team you will grow to share responsibility for leading our client and employee experience in IDEO Tokyo.

Why is this role important to IDEO's work?

A Studio Manager at IDEO makes the biggest impact by being extremely organized, flexible and service driven. Imagine yourself as a concierge to our studio.

Studio Manager is fundamental to our business because they help our teams be their best selves - whether that’s through choosing appropriate food and drinks for events, workshops, the setup of the project spaces that cater to that team, or thinking over and above on the visiting arrangements of our clients.  We count on our experience specialists to help design teams stay on top of things, show up confident, be ready to take on any conversation, and take part in maintaining client relationships.

Why IDEO Tokyo?

IDEO Tokyo’s mission is to help enable change in Japan through design and creativity. As part of a small studio that is still growing, this person must demonstrate a collaborative working style, great communication skills, and the ability to thrive in a non-rules based environment of innovation.

Once here you will:

Daily Operations

  • Cover all aspects of reception; screening phone calls and inquiries, taking the daily post and arranging couriers, greeting all visitors.
  • Be responsible for the upkeep of the front/client facing areas of the studio. This includes checking meeting rooms daily, reporting any IT problems to our IT Admin, checking stationery supplies, as well as making sure rooms and the kitchen area are in tip-top condition. 
  • Manage the studio equipment inventory - make sure what we have, where it is, and who has it so that everyone can use the item whenever necessary. 
  • Setting up meeting rooms for various meetings and visitors (drinks, snacks, etc.).
  • Maintain a good and close relationship with the building manager and manage all aspects of building maintenance to keep the location looking good and in excellent working order to promote great design and experience.
  • Lead the experience for our Monday Lunch Meetings and Thursday Lunch’n Learns (inspiration lunch). 
  • Arrange lunch catering for the studio, as well as day-to-day snacks, and studio breakfasts.
  • Together with the Leadership team and Business Operations, monitor studio expenses and negotiate good deals for IDEO (from food to supplies to furniture, etc.)
  • Oversee all shipping couriers, post coming in and going out.

Hospitality for IDEO Employees and Guests 

  • Help arrange travels (hotel, taxi, restaurant bookings)  for our guest IDEO employees traveling to Tokyo as well as a thoughtful welcome gift for them to enjoy from Japan. 
  • Coordinate with the Talent and Experience team to prepare a customized welcome for our new employees - ordering business cards, setting up their desks with on-boarding items and a fun welcome gift for their first day. 
  • Manage the planning and logistics for public speaking engagements and public events hosted at the studio.
  • Serve as a concierge for our clients when they are on-site. 
  • Collaborate with the global and regional Experience team to share 

Creativity and inspiration 

  • Nurture a diverse community of designers via unique and impactful experiences and spaces that support designers to do their best work, allow clients to feel inspired, and create a fun, inspiring and vibrant studio environment - for example, what kind of event would you like to host to inspire the community? What kind of food experience will make our people excited?  How can we make celebratory moments memorable? 
  • Work with the Experience team on planning, organizing, and hosting studio events and workshops. Celebrations like birthdays and IDEOversaries (work anniversary), annual offsite, bonenkai (end-of-the-year party) are a few examples - basically all kinds of fun stuff that makes our culture unique!

What does IDEO offer you?

Ask anyone in IDEO Tokyo why they like working here, and they will say it’s our people and the diversity of projects. It’s a place where you can solve complex challenges for our clients or the organization, alongside thoughtful, intelligent individuals who lead with curiosity, empathy, and optimism.

We certainly work hard, but we also intentionally focus on our culture to design events where we pause, create, and connect. We encourage our community to bring their whole selves to work and respect the need for work-life balance. IDEO provides you support and development throughout your time here, while allowing for autonomy in the design process and in your career.

Must have experience and mindsets:

  • Strong Japanese (native) and English verbal and written skills
  • At least 3 years of working experience, primarily with businesses located in Japan
  • Experience in hospitality, theatre or stage production or a ‘concierge’ type of role in a design studio, creative consultancy or corporate environment
  • The ability and desire to work with a variety of needs and personalities
  • A true customer-service attitude and exemplary time management and organization skills
  • Ability to multi-task and keeping track of multiple projects, clients, etc.
  • Great communicator - able to be proactive and ask a lot of questions, while holding your own
  • Works well with ambiguity and is able to make decisions even without all the information
  • Excellent discretion, demonstrating sound judgment in dealing with confidential dialogues and information
  • Knowledge of Mac platform, be well versed in Microsoft Office / Google Docs, Gmail and very comfortable using the Internet as a research tool. Keynote, Powerpoint and Adobe Creative Suite is a plus 

Blog Post to Check Out

Question for you:

Send us a sample* of something that’s good, and send us a sample of something that’s great.
*Not something you created, and no explanation needed.

Application requirements and instructions:

If you identify with our values and would love to contribute to our studio, please submit your resume and a cover letter in English (including an answer to the pop quiz above).

Equal Opportunity Employer

IDEO is an equal opportunity employer; applicants are considered for all roles without regard to race, color, religious creed, sex, national origin, citizenship status, age, physical or mental disability, sexual orientation, marital, parental, veteran or military status, unfavorable military discharge, or any other status protected by applicable federal, state or local law.

Apply now
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