Ohio-Japan Alumni Network (OH-JAN) Signature Event, "Alumni Voices: Sharing Japan-related Experiences and Opportunities": Oct. 24, 2015
About two weeks ago, I had the opportunity to attend and be a panelist at The Ohio-Japan Alumni Network event held at The Ohio State University. This event has been in the works for quite some time, as Janet Stucky from OSU has been diligently working together with various Alumni from all over the state to put it together. She has done all kind of great work related to Japan and Japanese in Ohio and you should definitely check out her work here.
The goal of this program was to connect Alumni from the state of Ohio who have studied Japanese and use it in their careers with students, educators, and other alumni. Many universities from all over Ohio were represented at this event including OSU, Denison University and University of Findlay.
The alumni who spoke at this event showed possible career paths with Japanese, offered job opportunities and networking, and were able to serve as mentors to future professionals in the field. They not only spoke about their journey as students, but were also able to showcase the steps they took and how they got to different places in their careers.
It was really cool to hear other people’s paths and journeys with Japanese, and how all of us had various interests along the way. We all used Japanese as a tool to get to where we are today. We had various travel and study experiences, and none of us really had a straight path to the careers we have currently. It was the unique combination of experiences and studies which we shared that differentiated us from our peers.
This event was a great networking opportunity among alumni as well as a helpful mini career fair for current students and individuals looking for career ideas. The alumni and panelists met during lunch and brainstormed various ideas for growing our network, as well as subdividing the state of Ohio into smaller areas and defining ways to reach out and connect within the universities of that area.
The link to the OH-JAN webpage is here.
Please visit for more upcoming events and contact information for the panelists.
Videos from the event and interviews of the Alumni with their stories can be found here.
They are being uploaded currently, so stay tuned.
If you are an Ohio Alumni and are interested in contributing with your story, please submit information and a video of how your career is related to Japan here.
More photos from the event can be found here.
My big takeaway from this is stay connected, network, network, network, and continue your Japanese studies. You never know where they will take you!
States where studying Japanese is prevalent, you should definitely think about creating your own alumni group as a way to stay connected and to see what your graduates are doing!
I am a high school Japanese teacher developing my own comprehensive and communicative Japanese program in Marysville, Ohio.