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UW International & English Language Programs

Taka Nakamura

Global Business Certificate

Taka Nakamura

When Taka Nakamura, who majored in education at a university in Tokyo, took a job selling sportswear in China, Korea and Taiwan, he felt out of his element. “The clients had a different kind of culture. And selling required business talk. But I didn’t know any.”

So when his company announced that they’d allow employees to get business training overseas, Taka quickly raised his hand. His wife didn’t hesitate to support his choice to go to the UW, either, even though it meant they’d be living apart for a year or more. “I had never been to America. She saw this was a good chance, so she pushed my back to come here.”

Taka made arrangements, and then, worries began to surface, starting with the physical distance between Tokyo and Seattle. 

Also, working in Asia, he’d learned how difficult communicating across cultures can be. “I thought, I may do rude things without even noticing!” he said. Luckily, those worries disappeared just a couple weeks after he arrived “because people in Seattle are so nice.” 

Taka has been surprised by the positive difference his classmates make to the learning experience. “They are from all over the world and have completely different ideas from me. I think we should do this, but my classmate says we should do that. And just that talk is really interesting.”

“I think it's easier now for me to explain the direction of how business should go. It’ll help me in the negotiation or communication part,” Taka says, thinking ahead to when he returns to Japan, and about the skills and mindset he’ll be bringing back. “I want to share my experience so the country and Japanese people think more globally.”