1. Why did you decide to become a Japanese minor?
I spent one year in Japan when I was 15, at Hokkaido International School (boarding school). I fell in love with Japan that year - and thought it would be fun to live somewhere in Japan, when I actually spoke Japanese. I also love the way Japanese sounds, when spoken.
2. What has been your most rewarding experience in your Japanese minor?
This probably isn’t going to look good on the website, but I would have to say “meeting my husband.” He was a study abroad student at Ursinus and we lived in the same dorm. We got married shortly after graduation, where he whisked me off to Tokyo.
Now I’m living the dream as a successful, self-employed American woman in Tokyo, doing jobs that I love every single day.
My second most rewarding experience was studying abroad in Tokyo back in 2012-2013. While abroad, I started interning at a travel start-up company in Shibuya. I learned all about the start-up scene in Tokyo, the pros and cons of being self-employed, and tips for dealing with large corporations in Japan (when you, yourself are a very small company). It was incredible.
That year abroad taught me that yes, I really can live in Tokyo and thrive as a business professional in a foreign country.
3. What did you do after Ursinus?
A couple months after graduation, I moved to Japan with my husband Ryosuke. I work as a freelance consultant with start-up companies in the Tokyo area, giving presentations and personal training for SEO (Search Engine Optimization) for small websites.
A couple months after we moved to Tokyo, I wrote a comic book My Japanese Husband Thinks I’m Crazy about my life in Japan as an American woman married to a Japanese man. The book was successful funded 220% (~$14,000) by Kickstarter (a crowd funding website).
Although I was hoping to get a job with the US government in Japan and use my Japanese skills to help others, for now I am settled as a freelance writer/consultant, Youtube personality, and semi-professional blogger. It isn’t anything I thought I wanted, but happens to be one of the best jobs in the world. I love it.