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Alumni Spotlight

Read about this month’s International Studies Alumni Spotlight. Alumni were asked to share how their International Studies major or minor has influenced their path after graduating from the University of Michigan.

September 2021

Tsukumo Niwa

BA International Studies (Comparative Culture and Identity); BM Music (Oboe Performance); minor, Community Action and Social Change; Honors ‘17

Hometown: Yokohama, Japan

University of Michigan Affiliations: Program in International and Comparative Studies Honors Plan

“After I graduated from the University of Michigan in 2017, I worked as an in-house translator and interpreter at a Japanese automotive manufacturer in Jackson, MI. I drew from my experiences in Japanese studies, intergroup dialogue, and music performance as I began to establish my career as a translator/interpreter. In 2020, I decided to take the next step in my career path and apply for the Middlebury Institute of International Studies (MIIS) – MA Conference Interpreting program. MIIS is a graduate school in Monterey, CA known for its programs in translation, interpretation, localization, language teaching, nonproliferation, international policy, and environment, among others. 

MIIS’s MA Conference Interpreting, Translation and Interpretation, and Translation programs are top-notch in the country, if not the world. Its graduates go on to work for various international organizations, federal governments, and prominent companies across the world. Students may choose from Chinese, Korean, Japanese, Spanish, German, French, and Russian as their working languages (to be paired with English) and may pursue a third language as well. Thanks to the MIIS community, I was able to pursue an internship as a Junior Interpreter for the Tokyo Olympic Games 2020, for which I interpreted for press conferences involving Japan’s top players and national team head coaches. This is among many opportunities that MIIS affords its students, and I am grateful for them!”