Tell us a little bit about your current organization and your current position.
I work for the Kansai Tourism Bureau. We are the regional DMO (Destination Marketing Organization) responsible for 10 prefectures in Western Japan. Specifically, it is responsible for the following roles.
(1) Suggesting the direction of policies for the entire Kansai region based on market trends (marketing and targeting).
(2) Receiving and disseminating detailed information throughout the Kansai region and to the rest of the world
(3) Support for the development of infrastructure to receive foreign visitors to Japan (support for improving accessibility and comfort)
(4) Building a system to promote tourism in the Kansai region as a whole
In my current position, I am responsible for Social Media Accounts and working with media outlets as well as social media influencers to market on behalf of the Kansai Region.
How did you end up at your current position? [How did you get to where you are now? What was the path you took after your time on the JET Program?]
It was a journey for sure! After completing 3 years of JET, I decided I want to try fully immersing myself in the Japanese working environment but it was a little bumpy to start. I took up a few odd jobs before landing a job with share house management and real estate. That was a very interesting job but I wanted something more akin to the job I have now with the Kansai Tourism Bureau.
How did JET prepare you for your current position? / What skills or experiences did you gain from the JET Program that helped you get to where you are now?
As a JET, I had lots of time to study Japanese language and culture. JET also let me use my networking skills to max by providing me a platform to get into Japan. These skills are used on a daily basis even though I am still learning.
What advice would you give to JET participants or future JET applicants when it comes to establishing a career after JET?
JET is a small part of the bigger picture. Take advantage of all opportunities presented to you and don’t be afraid to step outside of your comfort zone. If you’re going halfway around the world, you might as well make the best of it right?
What was your most memorable JET experience?
SO MANY! From participating in festivals, giving community lectures, hanging out at Suma beach, taking the first train home from Osaka back to my inaka house, planning local events for cultural exchange, etc. I can’t just choose one thing from those 3 years as a JET ALT.