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One-Line Bio

I'm an aspiring SCM professional working in Melbourne, Australia.

Biography

The following is a revision (08/16/06):

Early Years:
I grew up in Big Rapids, MI, a West Michigan town and remained in the area through high school graduation. I became interested in travel and international affairs during my junior year via participation in two student events--the National Youth Leadership Conference (D.C.) and the World Affairs Seminar (Wisconsin). The impact of these experiences was important in deciding which university to attend after high school.

Undergraduate Years:
I applied to only one school--Kalamazoo College--and once accepted early on, made my decision to go there. Because the college requires base proficiency in a foreign language, I chose during my freshman year to study Japanese after briefly considering Chinese. With most students studying European languages, my thoughts were that "if I am going to study a language on-campus and overseas, I want to challenge myself in a context far different from the US." As a result, I spent 4 quarters (1.3 years) of college in Japan. As an art major, I also spent another quarter interning in New York City for Marvel Comics as part of my early ambitions to be a comic book artist. Although I had a great time in that experience and in follow-up experiences with Marvel Comics' partner firm in Japan, towards the end of college I become more influenced by my minor in international commerce.

After-College Working Years:
Despite starting my entry into the real-world by helping lead a non-profit organization involved in the arts, I was still gravitating toward opportunities where I could continue using my Japanese on a regular basis. This led me to finding a job with Denso Corporation in Michigan, where I worked for about 4 years in the role of a production engineering liaison. Even though the first couple years consisted of mainly just translation and on-site interpreting, over time the work environment helped give me a foundation for moving on to get my management degrees while fine-tuning my Japanese ability.

Graduate School Years:
I spent three years in graduate school, combining an MBA from Michigan State with a Masters in International Management from Thunderbird. The two degrees were very complementary and well worth spending an extra year relative to just going through the MBA. In essence, MSU provided the foundational business education and theory while Thunderbird allowed me to get back to what I love--business management in a global context. Also, I can't say enough about the Thunderbird alumni network.

During this time, I made my first trip to China as an intern in Beijing, which was fantastic in terms of further rounding out my East Asia experience. Around the Beijing trip, I had also made a few trips to Japan and South Korea for study and visiting friends.

After Graduate School:
Now I am working in Tokyo and immersing myself in the Japanese (and by extension the Asia) logistics world. My choice to start out working in Japan (versus starting out in the US and then coming here) was, in my experience up to today, by far the right choice. The relative proximity to the rest of East Asia has been awesome. The degree to which logistics here in Japan is influenced by the rest of East Asia is I feel reflected in my blog posts.

Future Aspirations:
Since 2003, my strategy has been to work as if all of East Asia is my operating ground, not just Japan. Thus, over the next few years I plan to make China my home as well to immerse myself in the culture and language while further working in the logistics field. Many in East Asia are trying to make logistics infrastructure between the countries "seamless." My goal is to make myself "seamless" in my ability to move between primarily Japan, China and South Korea. This blog reflects part of that preparation.

Eventually, much much further down the road, I would like to utilize my experience and abilities in consultation on regional, diplomatic issues that require coordination with the private sector.

Current: I am a consultant with Manhattan Associates, focused on project management, system design, and customer account management. In my first two years, I worked on warehouse management system implementations in Japan, South Africa, South Korea and Russia. Currently, I am working on a transportation management system implementation in Melbourne.

Interests

studying languages, and writing., i have several interests--probably too many--but most recently i'm into travel