Michelle Mego

Name: Michelle Mego
Graduation Year: 2012
Major: East Asian Languages and Cultures

I entered Miami University as an Interactive Media Studies major. Having taken classes in computer programming and website design in high school, I was fairly certain of my future goals. I decided to take Japanese language classes for my foreign language requirement. I had taken Spanish for 7 years by that point, and I was ready to move toward a non-Romance language. My thoughts at the time were that the number of students enrolling in Mandarin classes was increasing exponentially, and Miami did not have a four-year Korean language program. I thought that if I studied Japanese, it would make it easier to study Mandarin or Korean in the future. I would have exposure to the Chinese character system while still having the benefit of an alphabet.

Within a couple months, I developed an intense fascination with language studies and changed my major immediately to East Asian Languages and Cultures. I figured that I could eventually go into translation since Japanese was listed as a critical language.

I spent my junior year abroad at Ritsumeikan University in Kyoto, Japan. While there, I realized two things. First, I was not yet skilled enough to do professional translation. Second, although I had no experience in it yet, I realized that I liked the idea of global marketing. I decided then and there that I wanted to work between cultures. I did not want to limit myself to only the States or to only Japan.

Upon my return to Miami University, I realized that if I wanted an international job, I would have to gain more skills. I took classes in the Farmer School of Business in marketing, accounting, and economics. I strongly believe that these courses helped me to become a more well-rounded student. My background in Arts & Sciences brought a different perspective to the classroom. When I did case studies, I was constantly comparing the situation to my time abroad. I always considered how to adapt the situation to a different region.

Thanks to the wealth of support from the East Asian Languages and Cultures, and Marketing programs, I was able to balance my skills. I am now employed in the marketing division at a hospital consulting firm in Tokyo, Japan. I work with regional hospitals to improve cardiovascular care in Japan. All of the marketing analysis I do is in Japanese, although our parent company is American.

If there is only one piece of advice that I can share today, it’s that you always have the power to shape your education. Thank you again to all of the professors who supported me. I can never thank you enough for your words of wisdom. And to those who are reading this now, never stop learning. If you learn at least one new thing every day, then you can achieve your dream.