After a decade of formal French studies, I wanted to challenge myself and learn a completely new language in college. My brushes with Japanese culture as a youth led me to take up beginner’s Japanese. I was so enthralled with the language, history, and culture lessons that when I decided to study abroad, I applied for Japan instead of France. Engaging in random conversations in Japanese with elderly women with violet-streaked hair at the ATM, the experience of touring the castles and temples that I had only previously read about, and developing friendships with fellow exchange students from other countries I have yet to visit made the relatively simple decision to go abroad the best decision of my life thus far. However, I feel I have only scratched the surface. There are so many other areas of the country that I have yet to encounter and experience.
As an Assistant Language Teacher, I would delight in the opportunity to plant and nurture the same curiosity about the world and passion for language that I have in students by giving them the chance to work with somebody from a different culture than their own. I would also act as an unofficial American ambassador to both the Japanese and other non-American ALTs nationals to dispel any misconceptions about America, specifically black Americans, that may have been generated by mainstream media by making positive contributions to the community. Living in Japan would enhance my future studies and career in cross-cultural and environmental psychology by allowing me to gain firsthand a new perspective of everyday behavior and understand how others approach and achieve similar goals.
Although I do not have teaching experience in a formal classroom, my current position as an associate human resources manager at a theater developed similar leadership and effective communication skills by supervising and guiding a staff of thirty employees and through contact with my superiors. I frequently find myself in the role of instructor by conducting orientations for new hires and continually providing training to new and current employees when new procedures are implemented. Working with AEON would require me to use my abilities and skills in communication, leadership, and building professional interpersonal relationships with students, teachers, and other ALTs alike, which would give everybody the benefit of full exposure to foreign cultures.
I feel that my educational, professional, and travel experiences would make me an excellent ALT candidate. It would provide a unique channel to enrich my life and make discoveries about the world and myself. By returning to Japan and working with AEON, I hope to make an impact, whether major or minor, and continue to encourage positive relations between the United States, Japan, and the rest of the world.