Kitcher’s Café, a new series by Lana Kitcher (Yamanashi-ken, 2010-12) is an assortment of articles, topics and commentary written for the JET Alumni community. Lana currently serves as the Business Development Associate at Bridges to Japan, a New York-based cross-cultural consulting firm founded by JET alum Jennifer Jakubowski (Hokkaido, 1995-97).
Dear recent JET returnees and current “job hunters,”
I was given the opportunity to speak at the JETAANY Career Forum in New York City a few weeks ago. Approximately 25 recent returnees (plus JET alumni going through a career transition) attended the event and were able to learn from the presenters, and also from one another, about how to successfully land a job in today’s economy. We learned that it is important to keep strategies current as technology continues to change and as the methods of yesterday are not necessarily effective for our search today.
I would like to share with you some of the points from my presentation called “Making the Most of Your Network,” in case some of you are also going through this transition now. When I first returned home from the JET Program I had a really difficult time figuring out how to start the job search. At that point my only full-time job had been teaching English in Japan, and I didn’t know how to start looking for a new job from scratch. It took me until mid February to get a job, and I really wish someone had told me what I needed to hear earlier.
JETwit Career Update is a new feature where JETwit will list any JET alums who have recently (loosely interpreted) found a new job, gotten a promotion, started a new business, been elected to an office, started a new grad program or have any other career developments to share. You probably see lots of job listings, so I thought it would also be interested to know who’s finding work and what kind of work people are finding.
Let us know about yourself or fellow JET alums by sending an e-mail to jetwit [at] jetwit.com. (Make sure to include prefecture and years on JET. And of course mention if you found your job via JETwit or JETAA listings or connections.)
- Rob Cornilles won the Republican primary for the Congressional seat vacated by David Wu (D-Oregon), who resigned due to allegations of inappropriate sexual behavior. If Rob, who lost to Wu in the last election, wins this election, he would be the first ever JET alum to hold a seat in the U.S. Congress.
- Kiesha Speech (Nagasaki-ken, 2000-02) was elected to the Oak Park School Board last night in Oakland County, Michigan. (http://detnews.com/apps/pbcs.dll/section?Category=POLITICS01) (https://www.facebook.com/#!/kieshaspeech)
- Olivia Nilsson (Tokushima-ken 2006-08) reports she has left her position at the New York Bureau of the Yomiuri Shimbun after three years covering business and economic news. She’s now working as a researcher at Blue Heron Research Partners in NYC.
- Elizabeth Gordon of JETAA Chicago reports: “I am the new Director of Private Events at the Adler Planetarium – totally different from what I was doing, but very exciting!”
- Daniel Sturgeon, a Political Analyst and Speechwriter at the Consulate General of Japan in Atlanta who also previously worked as a Chunichi/Tokyo Shimbun staff reporter in D.C. says: “My last three jobs have been Japan related and were found either at JETwit or the JETAA network.” Daniel also mentioned that he is now a Rotarian, so if anyone is interested in applying for their scholarship, he’s a point of contact.
- Shane Taber (Monbusho English Fellow, Nara-ken, 1979-81) says: ”After a nearly 30 year “break”, 4 kids (now all grown), plus years of public school teaching innorthern California, I am happily back in Kansai teaching full time at Kobe College High School for the next several years. While I became aware of this job opening through other sources, this teaching position was also listed in JETwit’s job section in 2010. Of course, having been an MEF was a big plus in landing this position, I’m sure! I’d love to hear from other former MEFs from the late ’70s/early ’80s who are also in Japan now.” (JETwit note: There’s a LinkedIn group for MEFs. Please join if you haven’t yet!)
- And Kay Munroe-Johnson in Atlanta says: “This is great to see! I rejoice with all of you in achieving such great job success! Maybe I will have a report to share soon as I am looking for a job in (near Atlanta). Thanks JetWit for your dedication and support of all of us JET Alums!”
- And Greg Beck (CIR Hiroshima-ken, 2006-11) (listed in the previous JETwit Career Update) says: ”It is great not just to be employed, but to work in the field I love, not just for a paycheck. That’s a tragically rare thing right now, and a huge concern I had as my JET career wound down. Basically, JETwit ROCKS!”
JETwit Career Update is a new feature where JETwit will list any JET alums who have recently (loosely interpreted) found a new job, gotten a promotion, started a new business, started a new grad program or have any other career developments to share. You probably see lots of job listings, so I thought it would also be interested to know who’s finding work and what kind of work people are finding.
Let us know about yourself or others by sending an e-mail to jetwit [at] jetwit.com. (Make sure to include prefecture and years on JET. And of course mention if you found your job via JETwit or JETAA listings or connections.)
- *Greg Beck (CIR Hiroshima-ken, 2006-11) - ”Thanks in large part to JETwit’s jobs section, I am now living in NYC and working for TBS as an associate producer! “
- Darrell Allen (Monbusho English Fellow, Saitama-ken, 1984-85) - ” This past August, I moved from Seattle to Durango, Colorado to accept a position as Visiting Assistant Professor of History at Fort Lewis College. Currently, I am teaching two sections of East Asian Civilizations I, and a class entitled “From Anime to Rampaging Monsters: An Introduction to Japanese Pop Culture.” Next semester I will do two sections of East Asian Civilizations II, and one of Modern Japanese History.”
- *Karl Rahenkamp (Fukui-ken, 2003-08) - ”In mid-September I started (finally, after 2 years of near unemployment) working as a dormitory supervisor at 慶應義塾ニューヨーク学院 (Keio Academy New York).”
- *Justin Maki (Osaka-fu, 2002-06) - ”I got a job through JETWit — the Assistant Sports Correspondent position at Kyodo News Agency, forwarded back in August by JET alum Scott Dixon. I was still living in Denver at the time of the job posting, but decided to submit a cover letter and resume because my University of Colorado job was coming to an end. Kyodo News did a phone interview with me in early September, invited me toNew York for an in-person interview, and notified me a few weeks ago that I got the job! It’s a job that seems like a perfect fit for a JET alum– now there are three of us in the same office.”
- Lyle Sylvander (Yokohama-shi, 2001-02) - Started grad program at Columbia’s School of International & Public Affairs
- Steven Horowitz (Aichi-ken, Kariya-shi, 1992-94) - Grant writer for the Jewish Outreach Institute (www.joi.org)