Jessica Latherow (Class of 2015)
Neill Peterson (Class of 2013)
Anastasia Letcher (Class of 2010)
Denton Clark (Class of 2009)
Allison Miller (Class of 2008)

   Jessica Latherow (Class of 2015)

I studied Japanese for 2.5 years at UF, where I passed the Japanese Language Proficiency Test (JLPT N3) and my last year at UF I studied abroad at Aoyama Gakuin University. After graduating in 2015, I stayed in Japan to work 2 years at an eikaiwa (English language conversation school) and a year in Tokyo at a private school. I am currently finishing my master’s in TESOL and will be a licensed homeroom teacher for the private junior high school in Shizuoka Prefecture. I will work not only as a teacher, but facilitate relations between my school and the city through English and Japanese. As many students wish to try homestay and study abroad, I will also operate in a school relations capacity.
I also work as a freelance translator for several manga translation companies as well as several newspapers. I have my own website and take private commissions as well. I’ve also picked up various projects, such as writing Eiken tests, and have become a Cambridge speaking examiner for various levels in Japan.
The UF Japanese department prepared me for this path by providing me with challenging, yet unforgettable courses. I use business Japanese daily and have achieved a high level of translation skills thanks to these wonderful classes and professors.
(Received February 20, 2018)

   Neill Peterson (Class of 2013)

I graduated from the University of Florida’s East Asian Languages & Literatures – Japanese Program in 2013 after joining the program as a transfer student from the University of Central Florida in my junior year of college. Upon graduating, I worked in the Aomori Prefectural Education Center helping to create the English questions for the prefectural high school entrance exams for a year on the JET Program before moving to Tokyo in 2014.
I am currently a marketing strategist at Nikko Asset Management, working closely with both our global offices and our local offices to put on advertising campaigns for our funds, events, and brand. Outside of work, I am also a part of Tokyo’s up-and-coming body building scene.
As the majority of my work is done in Japanese, UF’s Japanese language classes and classes on the culture were critical to my having an easy transition into the professional, no-nonsense business world of Tokyo. My classes afforded me a foundational understanding that has been continually built on year after year, and I am extremely grateful for the program which I feel adequately prepared me.
(Received February 2018)

   Anastasia Letcher (Class of 2010)

I graduated from the University of Florida’s East Asian Languages and Literatures –Japanese Program in 2010. Following graduate school where I studied education, I joined the JET program for three and a half years utilizing both my degrees as I assisted in English instruction at the elementary and junior high levels. During this time, I was able to improve my workplace Japanese as well as gain a greater understanding of Japanese workplace culture.
I ended my tenure with the JET program to accept a fulltime teaching position at a public secondary school in Gunma Prefecture. My duties are identical to those of my Japanese coworkers including homeroom responsibilities and club activity coaching and supervision. I can say with confidence that I would not have had the freedom or confidence to choose my current career if it had not been for the Japanese program at UF.
The focus and attention to conversation and spoken fluency coupled with ample opportunities both in and out of class to apply these skills has enabled me to hold my own in a Japanese workplace where English cannot be relied upon.
As an educator myself, I find the personalized attention and devotion of UF`s Japanese language instructors has remained with me over the years as something that makes the program not only effective but incredibly enjoyable.
(Received February 2018)

   Denton Clark (Class of 2009)

I graduated from the University of Florida’s East Asian Languages & Literatures – Japanese Program in 2009. After that, I joined the JET Program, where I facilitated communication between non-Japanese speakers and the local board of education in a small city in Saitama Prefecture, while also teaching English at five elementary schools, one junior high school, and a preschool. I was able to refine my Japanese language ability during this time, and now I work as a translator at a general trading company in Tokyo called Sojitz Corporation.
It is no exaggeration to say that my education at UF laid the groundwork for a career in Japan. Without the analytical understanding of language afforded by my Japanese classes, the opportunity to practice using Japanese with native speakers studying at UF, and the cultural understanding of not only Japan, but greater Asia which the program provides, I would never have achieved my long-held dream of working in translation.
(Received February 2018)

   Allison Miller (Class of 2008)

I graduated from the University of Florida’s East Asian Languages & Literatures Japanese Program in 2008 – nearly 10 years ago. When I chose the EALL – Japanese major, I got not only a well-rounded knowledge of Japanese language and culture, but also life-changing experiences that I otherwise may not have had the opportunity to pursue.
During my time at the University of Florida, I was fortunate enough to have the chance to participate in several summer internships – including one with the Department of State in Osaka, Japan. Using the solid Japanese language and critical thinking skills that I gained from my classes and knowledgeable professors at the University of Florida, I was able to reach out and communicate with people in Japan on a personal level. The experience I gained from that opportunity led me to later pursue a career in the State Department as a Foreign Service Officer.
Although I studied Japanese, my career path has taken me around the globe – first as an intern in Japan, then to the Philippines, and now to Johannesburg, South Africa, where I serve as a vice-consul. In addition to a solid foundation of Japanese language skills, I have found that my time in the University of Florida’s East Asian Languages & Literatures Japanese Program has also afforded me valuable skills, connections, and friendships which continue to this day.
(Received March 2018)