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Jackson prepares for life and work in Japan

Date: 5/16/2017
Author: Chris Clark

Although language is an intrinsic part of everyday life, for writers in particular, words embody more than just a way to convey meaning. They create life where there was only imagination, and allow for analysis of belief.  Such is the experience of Jerea Jackson, a Wayne State University undergraduate student in Asian Studies.

An author of over five books, Jerea inspires others to maintain strength in their convictions and broaden their horizons, as she herself continues to do every day. So much in fact that when she was encouraged by her coworkers to expand her current role at NGK Automotive Ceramics and accept an offer to work at their headquarters in Japan, she threw herself right in. The only stipulation? That she obtains a Bachelor’s degree in Asian Studies so she has a working knowledge of Japanese language and culture.

Jerea’s bosses have emphasized that working in Japan will be different, and that her coursework is extremely important. She will also need to do some independent study to learn more about the culture of the region she is traveling to. In addition, she was advised to add a Business Administration minor to her degree to make it more “meaty”, since the job she is set to take is very competitive and her Bachelor’s is intended to ensure job security.

Since learning Japanese is Jerea’s next step in establishing this adventure, the transition would not be possible were she not willing to take on this rewarding challenge. When asked if she ever thought learning another language would become the crux of such an opportunity, Jerea explained that she has always treasured communication. In fact, she originally meant to go into medicine but after earning an Associate’s Degree in Liberal Arts, she instead spent years dedicating herself to the study of Sign Language at Madonna University.

Japanese will be her third language, and on top of that, there is a bit of a funny coincidence. Her sister received a Bachelor’s in Criminal Justice at Wayne but took Japanese as her language requirement and now uses it every day on the job. So, the two siblings will be able to communicate in a way they could not before.

Language has opened doors that Jerea did not even know were there, but it is her determination that will walk her through it and into new experiences. The same can be said for anyone who would like to explore what the world has to offer.

As Jerea said, “I really think that the climate has changed and in order for anyone to be a global employee, it is necessary to speak a secondary language – so whether it’s Chinese, Japanese, Spanish, or another language, I believe it is very beneficial to learn.”

Even if you, dear reader, do not have a goal of becoming a global employee, the world we live in is global, and there will be numerous opportunities to use what you learn in the language classroom. Learning the foundation of a language is the best way to prepare yourself. And like Jerea, one day you may be able to take advantage of a remarkable experience!