We reached out to Chase Sutherland, an alumnus from the 2014 JCMU Summer Intensive Language program and a former JCMU Media Specialist, about his experiences both as a student and an employee of JCMU.
What is your name, and what JCMU program did you participate in?
My name is Chase Sutherland, I participated in the 2014 Summer Language and Culture Intensive program.
How and why you did you come to participate in the 2014 Summer program? What was your favorite part about the program?
My main motivation to participate in the program was because I was pursuing a Japanese minor and the summer program would help me complete a large amount of credits in a short period of time. I had also never been to Japan before and I wanted to experience the culture first hand and learn things that I couldn’t in a classroom setting.
When you came back to Michigan, you became the JCMU Media Specialist. What did the position entail? Did it change the way you viewed studying abroad in Hikone?
The position entailed developing JCMU’s social media presence across various platforms, producing promotional materials such as press releases and newsletters, and outreach to third parties for collaboration and promotion of JCMU’s activities and mission. As I grew accustomed to the position and working for JCMU, I realized just how much students could do while at JCMU and how it wasn’t just a good experience, but an investment in students’ futures.
What did you do after JCMU, and what are you doing now?
After JCMU I continued to be an active member of the MSU Japan Club Executive Board. I also was a part of MSU’s chapter of American Advertising Federation (AAF). Currently, I am an intern for Isobar in Detroit, a digital advertising agency.
How did JCMU benefit your future aspirations?
Having experience with Japanese language and culture made me much more marketable in a vast and competitive job market – during every interview an employer made a comment about it. I also hope to work in Japan for at least a few years, so the immersive language-learning environment definitely helped me in that regard as well.
What would you say to prospective students considering JCMU?
Take advantage of the opportunity! Hikone and Japan are incredibly beautiful and there’s so much to discover, both places and people. Some of my favorite memories have been talking to people on the trains or around town!
We would like to thank Chase for sharing his experiences with us, and we hope this inspires future students to consider studying abroad in Hikone! For more information about Chase’s program, please visit the Summer Intensive Language program page.