2014 Asian Studies Careers Night

Annually, we invite some of our most notable alumni back to UBC. Our Careers Nights are famous for our free and scrumptious catered dinners, invaluable advice from our amazing alumni, and our awesome free Asian Studies swag!


Tuesday, February 4th, 2014
6:00 PM
Auditorium, Asian Centre, 1871 West Mall (map)

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Our Careers Night has something to offer for everyone!

As a student:
* Ask the burning questions about what a degree in Asian Studies has to offer
* Gain extremely helpful networking tips
* Meet your fellow undergraduates and learn about their career and academic plans
* Gain an excellent head-start in planning your next move during and after UBC

As an alumni:
* Share what you did at UBC that helped you succeed
* Give back to your alma mater by providing your insights to the students of what they should be expecting
* Meet and make connections with other alumni, faculty, and students
* Meet potential employees among our dilligent and passionate students

Confirmed Alumni Speakers

Nick AngiersNick Angiers, BA ’08 (Chinese program), did his Masters in northeastern China in Chinese Linguistics, and has now lived in China for a total of six years. He worked as a television host/writer/director, then as a freelance host and translator, now as a full-time freelance translator, but still does hosting sometimes for fun. He says the coolest thing about living in China was having the opportunity to study xiangsheng, a form of performance based on the language and culture of China, with a famous xiangsheng master, and travel all around China performing.

Justin AultJustin Ault, BA ’94, in 2003 opened the first Hapa Izakaya on Robson Street, which has since become one of Vancouver’s most popular Japanese restaurants. Garnering many awards and critical acclaim the business has now expanded to include four restaurants in Vancouver and two in Ontario.



Julia Chalifoux, BA ’04 Since graduating from UBC with her degree in Asian Studies in 2004, Julia Chalifoux has been working as a graphic designer in the magazine and newspaper industries. Most recently she launched her own publication BC Craft Beer News. A newsprint publication dedicated to the promotion, growth and enjoyment of craft beer and brewing culture in British Columbia. When not working, Julia enjoys yoga, running, biking, blogging and watching addictive Korean TV dramas like ‘Pasta’.

cropped-Gordon1.jpgGordan Djurdjevic, Ph.D. ‘ 05, is currently teaching at the University of British Columbia and continues to research and write on the subject of comparative esotericism. His book India and the Occult: The Influence of South Asian Spirituality on Modern Western Occultism is forthcoming from Palgrave Macmillan. He is currently engaged in a project, which concerns the translations of the Gorakh Bānī (“Sayings of Gorakhnath”), done in collaboration with Shukdev Singh, with his introduction and notes (Oxford University Press, forthcoming).

KeikoFunahashiKeiko Funahashi, BA ’03, got her interdisciplinary BA with one of the concentrations being Chinese (and the other two are in Fine Arts and Applied Linguistics). She also got a Teaching English as a Second Language diploma from the Faculty of Education. After graduating from UBC she taught English and developed language programs in Japan. Later she got her MA in educational technology from Stanford University in 2009, and worked for an English language education software company in San Francisco before moving to China. She has worked for a company called EF Education First that has English schools around the world, and focused on digital classroom and independent study tools for English language education. She moved back to Vancouver in 2012 and continues to consult for the same organization.

JettelJan Jettel, BA ’05, MBA ’12. Following his graduation from UBC, Jan moved to Seoul, South Korea, and worked as a business journalist at The Korea Times and the German Chamber of Commerce. He then moved to Frankfurt, Germany to work as a management consultant at KPMG for three years, before returning to UBC in 2010 to get an MBA at the Sauder School of Business. He is currently a manager at a Chinese-Canadian mining equipment manufacturer in Vancouver, developing global business relationships. Jan considers his minor in Korean language & literature the most memorable part of his UBC education.

jason KatouJason Kato, BA ’05 Asian Studies and History.  He has been actively involved in sales and business development since 2005 and currently works as a business development professional for Columbia Fuels; the pacific region brand of Parkland Industries.  Jason is responsible for managing a sales territory of small, medium and large accounts with specific focus on large supply contracts across fleet, construction, mining, forestry, marine, commercial/industrial and manufacturing sectors. His current portfolio includes Delivered, Cardlock and Mobile fuel as well as the full line of Shell Canada’s Commercial and Industrial Lubricants.

Photo2Kyubak Lee, BA ’11, was born in Korea, raised in Thailand, and moved to Vancouver for university. From this background, one can guess with relative ease why he chose Asian Area Studies as a major. He currently work as a Marketing Manager (domestic and international) for Vanwest College; an ESL school in downtown Vancouver, overseaing all marketing efforts; starting from budgeting to culturally applicable marketing campaigns. Leading a team of 7, with all members coming from different parts of the globe, he is very glad to have been able to take Asian Area studies as his major during his time at the University.

Patrick McCleery

Patrick McCleery, BA ’97,  is a business development professional that specializes in building distribution networks in Asia. He is employed with HEXONET Services Inc. (Vancouver), a leading wholesale domain name registrar with strong ties to Asia.  Patrick studied in Japan on a Monbusho (Japan Ministry of Education) scholarship. After graduating from UBC, he worked at a market research agency in Tokyo.


Moto Mukai, BA’02 (Asian Studies), is the Executive Director of MYK Enterprises, a tour company that specializes in organizing customized study tours and assisting schools in Japan and Canada with their International Education Programs.  He helps students on both sides of the Pacific gain meaningful life experiences through various exchange programs and owes much of his expert knowledge to UBC Asian Studies and his one year spent as an exchange student at the Tokyo University of Foreign Studies

Christine ParkChristine Park, BA ’11, is currently a Program Assistant at the Asia Pacific Foundation of Canada – a non-profit think tank on Canada-Asia affairs. Prior to working at the Foundation, she has worked as a Border Services Officer and as a Research Analyst at the Ministry of Health Services. While at UBC, she studied International Relations and Asian Studies and was very active in student clubs. She participated in IRSA, Model NATO, Model UN, and was the Vice President of the Asian Studies Interests Association.

Laura-Russell-150x150Laura Russell, BA ’09, is currently working at Ocean Productions as a Production Coordinator creating English adaptations of foreign animation projects. She works primarily with Japanese clients, guiding ‘anime’ projects through all stages of audio post-production to create English language versions for DVD and Broadcast. She also translates Japanese language media into English for various companies. While at UBC, she did a one year exchange to Ritsumeikan university in Kyoto, Japan and volunteered for the UBC exchange program Go Global in her final year.

3c86ebe - CopyDenise Wong, BA’06, is currently the Administrative Officer of D&H Group LLP Chartered Accountant. After graduation, she went back to UBC to study accounting and received her Certified General Accounting designation in 2010. She is currently studying toward her MBA and will graduate this year, 2014. She is currently part of the UBC volunteering community, volunteering for the UBC Sauder Business Club of Vancouver as their Director of Events.

Gary WongGary Wong, BA ’03, MBA ’13 is an award winning, full time Realtor for Macdonald Realty Ltd.  After graduating from UBC in 2003, he worked in various sales and operations roles at Buy&Sell, Telus, HSBC and Schneider Electric before going back to do his MBA at SFU and discovering his passion for real estate.  Gary studied multiple languages over the years, including Mandarin, Korean and Japanese and has always had a thirst for continuous learning.

wagner110_134981Betty Wu, BA ’06 double major Asian Studies and Psychology. After graduation Betty began working at an intellectual property law firm doing patent administration and translation work. She developed a passion for law and subsequently went abroad to read law at the University of Nottingham, U.K. Upon completion of her law degree, she returned to Vancouver and is now working in the legal department at a medical device company.

Emily pic

Emily Wu, MA ’07, is currently a Program Coordinator at the UBC Continuing Studies Centre for Intercultural Communication. Her current work involves developing, delivering, and managing innovative educational programs for adult professionals.  Prior to working at UBC, she has worked as an Assistant to Consul for Cultural Affairs at Consulate General of Japan in Vancouver and a Coordinator for International Relations on the JET program. Emily is passionate about language, culture, and diversity and she attributes this to her education (Asian Studies and International Relations) and experience.  Emily has served on the board of Vancouver Mokuyokai Society and currently volunteers with Japan Fair Association of Vancouver and UBC Arts Tri-Mentorship Program.