Q: What lead to your decision to study East Asian Studies?
SS: Growing up, I learned how to speak Mandarin, Cantonese and Japanese. The fluency in these languages helped me gain familiarity with different East Asian cultures, which I naturally grew fond of. I have always been very interested in studying history and literature throughout my early school years, so I thought it would be very cool to learn more about the history and literature of other East Asian countries. As an avid consumer of East Asian pop culture products, I decided to focus on studying Japanese media and popular culture when I was in the department.
Q: What skills and experiences did you gain from studying East Asian Studies?
SS: My Japanese definitely improved and I think I have become much more knowledgeable about East Asian history. This helped me better understand East Asian societies and cultures that we see and experience today. I also obtained many relevant internships in the fields of culture and education. All in all, I have found a field that I am really passionate about.
Q: What was your first EAS related job/internship/graduate program? Where there skills you were able to market from your academic background?
SS: I was an intern at Japan Society during my junior year. Since I knew Japanese, I was able to play a very active role in my department and help my seniors to the point that I was trusted to manage their twitter account where I post regularly in English and Japanese. My knowledge about Japanese history and culture also helped me a lot when I was organizing cultural activities, such as Shichigosan and tanabata, for the department.
Q: What advice would you give to someone thinking about an EAS major?
SS: I think choosing a major really comes down to what you are really passionate about studying. For me, the experience of doing the EAS major was really rewarding. EAS may not be the most popular and marketable major, but it is such an interdisciplinary field that it would often surprisingly pave your path to many other fields.