An interview with Tiffany C., a 2015-2018 Tokyo prefecture JET ALT, who now works for the Embassy of Japan. Pictured is Tiffany with the official torch of the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games.
Tell us a little bit about your current work.
At the Embassy, I handle press duties such as monitoring news articles, setting up press conferences, and generating letters for Japanese reporters’ press pass applications. I also support the various events held by the Public Affairs Division for promoting Japanese culture, and do other administrative assisting on a daily basis.
How did you end up at your current position?
I came back from Japan with no game plan whatsoever, and decided to job hunt in the meantime. I saw the listing for my position on a JET Alumni page, and decided to go for it since I had a background in International Studies and I knew I wanted to go into Admin after the JET Program.
How did JET prepare you for your current position?
Understanding the culture of a Japanese workplace has been key to doing well in a Japan related position even in America. We also get a lot of school visits, so having worked in a school already makes it easy to speak with and give tours to the students who visit. And of course, learning Japanese on the JET Program is extremely useful in my everyday work and gave me a competitive edge when applying to my position.
What advice would you give to JET participants or future JET applicants when it comes to establishing a career after JET?
First, take full advantage of the alumni network— there are former JETs in all sorts of different industries, and they’re all very helpful people! Second, if you intend to seriously take on a position in a Japan related industry after JET, don’t slack on learning how to speak and read business Japanese.
What was your most memorable JET Program experience?
On my last day at school, the teachers all came together and surprised me with a send-off at the farewell party with “X” marks on their arms in the pose made famous in the One Piece manga. We had all bonded over our obsession with it during down time in the teachers’ room, and it was a very thoughtful way of saying goodbye that meant a lot to me!