James Carter

BA Japanese Studies with Spanish
Current job:Trade Adviser, Technology Team, The Department of International Trade
Current employer: British Embassy, Tokyo

What is your current job and what does it involve?
The main focus of my job is to assist British companies in the technology sector to develop business in Japan. This can include UK companies that already have presence in the region, or first-time exporters and start-ups that are still developing their business offering.

Aside from that, I also represent the wider Embassy through events and projects to draw attention to the UK in Japan. These have included taking representing the UK/Embassy in the Oxfam Trailwalker, Tokyo Rainbow Pride and Tokyo Friendly Run.

Do you use the knowledge and skills you gained from your studies in your job?
Yes – I deal a lot with Japanese clients and put to use a lot of the language and cultural lessons I learnt at Sheffield.

Do your language skills play an important role in your job?
Yes, my current role is around 50/50 Japanese and English, both with external clients and internal colleagues

What has been the highlight of your career so far?
I’d say the changing nature of the job, and the various different roles I’m allowed to take. No two days are the same here and there is always the opportunity to try something new.

Why did you choose to Study East Asian Studies at Sheffield?
I was originally going to study Spanish and English, but changed to Japanese with Spanish at the last minute after a gap year visit to Japan. I remember being fascinated by the language and especially kanji, and wanting the opportunity to learn more about it.

What are your favourite memories of studying at Sheffield?
The great staff at the Japanese department, and especially Nagai-sensei’s tireless effort to make the grammar stick. More broadly, the whole atmosphere of the University with its bars, cafes, nights out, great student village, friendly local people…

Do you have any tips and advice for students wishing to go down a similar career path to you?
Jump at any good opportunities and be confident in your abilities, especially coming to work somewhere like here. Oh, and keep at the study!