Name Kevin Salter
Graduation year 2016
Major BA in Japanese with a Korean Studies Certificate.
What's your current job?
I work at Authentic Brands Group as the coordinator for the sports brands team. My company is in essence ann advertisement agency that happens to hold brands, many of which have retailers in Japan. I communicate with our licensees on a daily basis to ensure that their marketing and brand quality needs are met.
How does language and culture help you succeed in your career?
My company needed someone with language skills to ensure that when a Japanese partner sends us a certificate of insurance they are being transparent about what is insured. I also can check their social media posts against our quality criteria and answer any questions that a Japanese licensee who is not skilled in English may have. Knowing Japanese culture also helps me significantly when explaining decisions that a Japanese licensee has made to my team. More often than not the Japanese style of business differs from how things are done in the USA. Being able to facilitate communications through cultural difference among my peers has been a perk in the work place.
Did you study abroad? If so, can you speak about your experience?
I studied abroad at Waseda University 2013-2014 (in Japan). It was one of the best years of my life, and I would love to be able to live in Japan again someday. I started out studying as hard as I could, but I actually realized that staying in and studying wasn't helping me as much as talking with my new Japanese friends. I did not do a lot of traveling during my year abroad, which is something that I regret, so if I return to Japan on vacation in the future I think I'll take The Road to The Deep North and explore as much of the country as I can.
How did ASU and the language program at SILC prepare you for your future?
ASU showed me that there should not only be an emphasis on learning vocabulary and grammar, but also having a functional understanding of Japanese history, pop culture and traditions is necessary to become truly fluent in the language. I've made a lot more friends in Japan joking about Murakami Haruki books than I have trying to talk about Taylor Swift. Not that I listen to all of her songs all the time, or anything like that...
What was your favorite thing about learning a language?
My favorite thing about speaking a second language is being able to make friends with people who I otherwise couldn't. Speaking a second language opens up a door to a whole new world of people.