Desiree Erchick '17

Major: Japanese and French
Hometown:Alliance, OH

Mount Union provides wonderful opportunities to experience the world around you, whether it's studying abroad, spring break trips or volunteering in different communities.

Jonathan Lipaj '06

lipaj.jpgWorking for Japanese Company in the U.S.

About three months after graduating from Mount Union I landed a job with Rikenkaki America Corporation in Dublin, Ohio. They are a Japanese automotive parts manufacturer that supplies to Honda of America. Our mother company is called Rikenkaki Kogyo and they are based in Saitama, Japan. They had been doing business with Honda for over 30 years and recently decided to open an office in Ohio to be able to do more direct business with Honda of America.

Having been founded in 2002 our American branch is fairly new. I am only the third person to have been hired here. As of right now we do not have our own factory or production facility in the U.S., so all of our parts are still produced in our factories in Japan and China. We mainly work on the administrative side of supplying parts to Honda. My main responsibilities consist of daily operations, logistics and inventory control. However, there are many issues that can arise in the course of supplying many different kinds of parts to a few different Honda plants. When this happens I am very involved with the problem solving and countermeasure processes.

Every once in awhile I am able to go on a business trip to our mother company in Japan. I have been there twice in the three years that I have worked for this company. Both times I went for training in a certain area of the business that I would need to implement stateside. Many of the people I work with, including my boss, do not speak English, and I must use my Japanese language skills to communicate with them in face to face meetings, over the phone or in an email. I enjoy being able to use Japanese everyday at work and it has significantly improved my fluency in the language. I have also learned a lot about Japanese business culture which is very different from that of America.

I am very happy that Mount Union had such a good Japanese program that has opened up many opportunities for me not only in a multinational company but, also as a businessman.

Update

Johnathan Lipaj now works at a Japanese company which is located in Columbus, Ohio. He is a Sales Manager, and he supervises several salesmen at the corporation. This company manufactures electronic parts for the automotive industry among others. He previously worked at another Japanese company which has provided him with helpful experience for his current position. Lipaj sometimes goes on business trips to Japan because the head office of the company he works for is located in Tokyo, Japan. Lipaj enjoys his current position and enjoys working for a Japanese company.

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