An interview with Kyle, a Hyogo prefecture JET Program alumni, who now works for Crunchyroll, one of the largest US distributors of streaming anime, manga and dorama.
How did you come to work for Crunchyroll?
I’ve been an anime fan for quite some time, so Crunchyroll was always on the radar. After I finished JET and returned to America, I volunteered at conventions around the country, since I have Japanese language skills. It was there I met some Crunchyroll employees and got to know them, and the company, pretty well. After working in D.C. for a few years, I saw an opening at Crunchyroll that seemed like a good fit, so I decided to take the chance and apply. And now I’ve achieved a childhood dream of working in the anime industry.
How did your JET Program experience prepare you for your current position?
JET has prepared me in more ways than I can imagine. First and foremost was learning how to be flexible on the fly and to take things as they come. But getting a really solid hold on my Japanese language skills while I was on JET was crucial to getting my current job, in my opinion. Being able to be a cross-cultural bridge, even when you’re working with an inherent Japanese industry, has also been a prime tool in my everyday work.
What is your most memorable JET Program experience?
Walking and completing the Shikoku 88 Buddhist Temple Pilgrimage.
What advice would you give to current and future JET Program Participants?
You’re only going to have an experience like this once, so use it to your fullest potential: Say yes. Learn Japanese. Take deep breaths and breaks when you need it. Know yourself and how you respond to change. Eat as much as you can because back home it’s way more expensive. Have fun!!