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Alumni Stories

Many prospective Japanese majors and minors ask, “What can I do with a major or minor in Japanese?” Here is what recent alumni who majored or minored in Japanese are doing. This is just a sampling. We also have students who are enrolled in graduate schools in the United States and Japan, students who are pursuing jobs in the United States, Japan and in other countries, and we even have a student who won a prestigious Fulbright Scholarship to pursue research after graduation.

If you are a Linfield graduate with Japanese major or minor, please contact us or visit on Facebook: Department of Modern Languages, Linfield College.

Student Profiles

Jon Sasaki

Jon Sasaki, Class of 1999 B.A. International Business. Minor in Japanese.

(May 2012) "I’m a customs broker working as the export traffic coordinator for a scrap metal trading company in Vancouver, Washington. I enjoy spending time with family and friends in the Portland/Vancouver area."

Gervin N. Makaichy, Class of 2002. BA in International Business. Minor in Japanese

(May 2012) "As for my current situation, I am an English Teacher in Taiwan, where I have been for about 3-4 years. I have taught English to age levels ranging from kindergarten to senior high school. It has been an interesting venture, but more rewarding than I ever imagined it to be. I met my soon-to-be wife and mother of my first child here. So I have been blessed beyond expectation."

Steve Will, Class of 2007. B.A. in Japanese and a minor in Asian Studies.

(May 2012) "I met my wife while studying at Rikkyo University in Japan (she was studying there from China). We are expecting our first child this year! I've been working as a Program Manager at Bellevue College for a couple years now and am completing a Master’s Degree at the University of Washington. I've worked with an international population and wouldn't be where I am today without my Linfield education. I highly value my time studying in Japan and can't wait to go back to visit the friends I made."

Miko Hayashi: Class of 2009. BA in Japanese.

(May 2012) "Since I graduated, I've been living and working in Japan. For a year and a half I worked for JoyTalk, a private ALT dispatching company. I taught English daily at four public elementary schools. Afterwards, I spent some time in Kansai, then moved on to work in Tokyo. Since my move, I continue to teach English, but now to preschool children at Learning Tree. Learning Tree is a private international preschool and after school. Right now I'm really enjoying my job and I feel it's very fulfilling. I feel that I'm on the right path when it comes to ESL teaching, or preschool education in general."

Jeff Hsu

Jeff Hsu, Class of 2009. BA in Japanese. BA in International Business

(March 2014) “After graduating in 2009, I taught English to junior high students in South Korea for one year, and have since then moved to Tokyo to pursue a career in the finance industry. Although starting out as a systems engineer, I now work as a broker at a foreign exchange firm.”

Eric Miller, Class of 2009.  BA in Japanese. Minor in History.

(March 2014) “After graduating, I taught English in Northern Japan for a year before getting the opportunity to work in administration for a Tokyo based chemical company. Since then I've moved back to the states and have started a new career in exporting for a Japanese aircraft part manufacturer.”

Amy Shoemaker

Amy Shoemaker, Class of 2009. B.A. in Elementary Education and a double minor in music and Japanese.

(May 2012) "Konnichiwa! After graduation I soon went to Japan to teach English through the JET program, and now find myself in my second year of life in rural Japan. In my free time I enjoy playing the koto, shamisen and practicing Japanese calligraphy with my next door neighbor."

Jonathan Webb, Class of 2009. BA in Japanese. BA in History.

(March 2014) “After graduating from Linfield College, I spent the next two-and-a-half years pursuing a masters degree in International Relations from both Keio University in Japan, and Yonsei University in South Korea. I am now in my third year of employment at Hitachi Ltd., where I am in charge of global business promotion for Hitachi’s IT Platform Division. Living and working in Japan isn’t always easy, but I take pride in challenging myself every day, and am grateful for the opportunities I’ve had to make my dream a reality.”

Alex Hill, Class of 2010. B.A. in Japanese.

(May 2012) "I fell in love with Japan and knew that I needed to return. Currently, I live in Kobe, Japan teaching English to children with Aeon Amity. I spend my days teaching and my weekends exploring the old and new of Japan!"

Kyle Helm, Class of 2010. B.A. in Intercultural Communication and minors in Japanese and Music.

(May 2012) "For the past year and half, I've been teaching English at 7 elementary schools in northern Japan. Living in another country isn't always easy, but the growth I've experienced and the people I've been fortunate to meet make me feel like I've been able to do something special."

Tiffany Ross

 Tiffany Ross, Class of 2011. BA in Japanese. Minor in Music.

(March 2014) “Since graduating from Linfield College, I have been teaching English in Chiba, Japan, on the JET Program. In addition to teaching at elementary and junior high schools, I also volunteer at a local orphanage as well as organize international events in my community.”

Ariel Lillico, Class of 2012, BA in Japanese. Minors in Art and Creative Writing.

(March 2014) “After graduating I worked for a short time at JTB Hawaii, a travel agency specializing in bringing Japanese tourists to Hawaii, before being hired by Barbara Pope Book Design where I am enjoying learning about the publishing industry. In the fall I will be attending Kent State University to study Translation.”

updated April 2014