Chris Holmes '96
･JPN 301 & 302, East Asian Studies Major
･JYA for Michigan Program in Hikone, Shiga
･Thesis in English –ﾓA Literary Communion: The Fanastic Moment in Modern Japanese Womenﾕs Literatureﾓ
･a member of Deansmen & Choir, performed in the play “Etta Jenks”, volleyball team captain
･Chris is supposed to started a graduate program at Brown University in the fall of ’99.
･What I found out after I started looking for a job after college is that networking is the key to the job hunt. A Bates education opens quite a few doors, but don’t expect to get your first real job based on a jazzy resume and a Bates diploma. It was not until I started to request informational interviews with Admissions directors that I started to recieve some job offers. I started at BU in a admissions assistant position (akin to a secretary) and was promoted after a year to the Assistant Director level. I had plans upon graduation to pursue a Ph.D in Japanese literature, but having entered into the program so late in my academic career I found little sucess in the application process. To really be eligible for an advanced degree you should have completed the full four years of Japanese, and have studied in japan for at least the full Junior year. The competition for spots in the best programs is intense; there are at least ten applicants for every one spot in the Ivy programs, and due to the small size of the departments the chances are often even tighter.
Having forgone the graduate route, I used my Japanese language background to apply for international recruitment positions at universities in the Boston area. To Bates’ credit, the reputation of the school got me several offers (which I never ended up taking), all involving extensive travel to Japan.
At present, my Japanese language skills remain unused in the real world (outside a really funny story of interpreting for a Japanese tourist in Hawaii who was being arrested and couldn’t understand why), but I find that the international experience of living and working in Japan has given me a leg up on other recent graduates in the international job market.
･My experience in the East Asian program at Bates was an excellent one. I loved the professors, and found my language classes to be top notch. My one regret is not deciding sooner to take language classes. AKP would have been the perfect program for me, but do to my total lack of language preparation I was ineligible for consideration. In addition to the specialization I recieved in language, literature, and history, I found my experience of writing a thesis with Sarah Strong to be emmensely beneficial in terms of my writing skills. As her advisee I saw my ability to craft a large scale writing project advance right before my eyes. Those skills have carried over into my current position, where I am often asked to contribute writen work to the publications department.