2015 Asian Studies Careers Night

2015 Careers Night

Tuesday, February 3rd, 2015
6:00 PM
Auditorium, Asian Centre, 1871 West Mall

Alumni Speakers:

Paula Bennett, BA ‘ 73, has been working for various departments related to Immigration Canada since 1973. She has worked all around the word, from the US to Africa to Asia, and, before retiring, was most recently the First Secretary for the Embassy of Canada in Beijing. Although Paula has now retired in Vancouver she has been on contract at our embassies in the Philippines, the Dominican Republic and Chile over the last year.


Jan 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.


Kyubak Lee, BA ’11 currently works in the field of FX risk management and treasury services with Cambridge Mercantile Group. His primary role is to provide foreign exchange (fx) risk management services; specifically using forwards and options based hedging products to help and guide clients to mitigate their fx risk. He is able to use his experience and the education of an Asian Area Studies major and directly apply them to his line of work in identifying cross-country risks and pressure points, and successfully deduce them for his clients.


Gary Matson, BA ’72 Asian Studies, MA’82 Modern Japanese Literature, LLB’85, is a business lawyer in Vancouver. He is fluent in Japanese. Most of his clients are Japanese. He is involved in many Japan-related societies in Vancouver.


Shirley Nakata, BA ’84 (Japanese and PoliSci), LLB ‘88 is the Ombudsperson for Students at UBC. She has worked as a litigator in private practice, in the human rights, and professional regulatory fields before taking her current position at UBC in 2009.


Christine 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.

Peter Scarrow, BA ’77 Chinese Language, JD ’81 Law, currently works in the real estate business in Vancouver. After graduating he spent 10 years practicing law in Vancouver as the partner in charge of the Taiwan office of Bull Housser & Tupper, 10 years as part owner/legal counsel/director of Vancouver real estate brokerage company Macdonald Realty and 13 years in Hong Kong as a private banker/legal counsel with HK office of Swiss-style private bank (LGT Bank) and Director of TMF Group – an international trust company.


Koichi Ronald Shimoda, BA ‘75 (Asian Area Studies) is a bilingual and multicultural executive who has extensive experience and expertise in driving business, restructuring and start-ups in Japan and Canada. Starting in 1986, Mr. Shimoda proved himself to be a leader in the financial services industry at Lehman Brothers and Drexel Burnham Lambert. More recently, Mr. Shimoda, as Representative Director and General Manager at Right Management Japan, provided outplacement services and HR consulting solutions. He is considered a thought leader in Ageing, Globalisation, Inclusivity, Pensions and Talent Mismatch. Furthermore, as the Senior Managing Director and Chief Marketing Officer of ING Life Insurance and Chief Executive Officer of ING/Principal Pensions, Mr. Shimoda developed and sold corporate Defined Contribution pension plans, individual pension products (i.e. annuities) and financial planning in Japan. During his time from 2006 to 2009 with Accenture Japan as the Business Development Director Financial Services, he sold customized Business Processing Outsourcing. Currently he providing financial consulting in Vancouver focused on providing investment advise, retirement and succession planning and re-structuring business for growth.


Kim Smith, BA ’88, has spent most of her life living in Asia. She currently resides in Hong Kong. After working many years in the fashion industry, she has spent the past 12 years as a fundraiser for the Hong Kong Society for the Protection of Children. She has two children and her youngest daughter is now a 3rd year student at UBC.


Suzanne Williams, BA ’96 Asian Studies (Chinese Language), lived, studied and worked in Greater China for a combined total of 12 years between 1991 and 2007. She studied Chinese language and culture in Taiwan prior to entering UBC in 1992 and completed the third year of her undergraduate degree at the Chinese University of Hong Kong. Suzanne worked in education administration, manufacturing and business research in Mainland China from 1998 to 2007. She is now back in Vancouver as a Vice President with SAI Industrial, where she directs global market research projects for industrial clients, primarily in advanced materials, equipment and alternative energy. Thankfully, she still gets to use her Chinese language skills at work, as well as in several of her community volunteer positions, ranging from fundraising to ski instruction.


Gary 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.


Bill Stephenson, BA ’81 Japanese Language, was initially employed (1982) as a Japanese/English bilingual marketing assistant role at the Vancouver office of a major shosha. In 1987 he relocated to Tokyo and moved into finance – initially servicing Japanese institutional investors, and later moving into operations/senior management roles. Acquired CFA (chartered financial analyst) certification along the way. Returned to Vancouver in 2007 and focused on fund operational due diligence until retiring in 2014.


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 JETAABC, and currently volunteers with Japan Fair Association of Vancouver and Big Sisters of BC Lower Mainland.


Michael Zipursky, BA ’04, moved to Japan after graduating and established a branding and design firm where he worked with some of Japan’s top companies as a consultant and advisor. Since then he has returned to Vancouver and has established two successful online businesses, FreshGigs.ca and ConsultingSuccess.com.