Help me find a job near Ann Arbor!
June 8, 2007 12:22 PM   Subscribe

RecentGradFilter: B.A. in each of English and Japanese. Where to look for a job in the Ann Arbor area? Career related to the latter is perhaps preferable but hardly a deal-breaker.

I'm moving to suburban Detroit Ann Arbor this Fall, and I'm at an utter loss when it comes to where to look for work. I have a B.A. in English and a B.A. in Japanese, but no teaching certification (nor desire, at least not at a non-collegiate level, but I'd also probably prefer to avoid grad school).

What it all boils down to is that I have no idea what's out there in the area that would have any desire for me or my skill sets, and so I don't even know where to start looking.

My dream jobs involve either writing or editing (or both), optionally involving Japanese (although I'd be unable to clear JLPT level 2, the first one that matters), although I'm more than willing to find a decent gig that doesn't have the first thing to do with Japanese. It's hardly a deal-breaker.

Basically, in short, where would the hive mind suggest looking for an entry-level editing position or technical writing position in suburban Ann Arbor, or something involving localization from Japanese where dictionary-dependence wouldn't be an issue? Beyond those, I'm good with computers (although not in any resume-quantifiable manner) and enjoy working with design (but I can't draw worth a crap), so I don't know what to make of that sort of thing.

I'm told that the local universities all tell Japanese majors (and minors) to go work for Toyota, that they'll "hire anyone who's even heard of the language," but is there anywhere else that anyone out there would suggest for anything I've said?

Thanks to anyone with any suggestions!
posted by DoctorFedora to Grab Bag (5 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
This company is looking. They are close to Ann Arbor.

Accordingly, think about living on the West Coast. There are always translation jobs popping up around Seattle and SF Bay area.
posted by YoBananaBoy at 12:46 PM on June 8, 2007

I did some work a long time ago with Michigan Automotive Compressor (MACI) in Jackson, which is a joint venture between Denso and Toyota, in which I helped them find a Japanese translator for technical writing, and they took someone without a technical background for the job.

The metro Detroit and Ann Arbor areas are chock full of Japanese auto suppliers, and there's got to be one company out there looking for someone who can bridge the cultures. Get thee to a recruiter. Robert Half in Ann Arbor is a big agency, Kelly Automotive Services Group handles a nice chunk of business for big companies, and Kimata appears to have some Detroit-area jobs on their board (although I can't vouch for them personally).

It's also totally okay to Google around and find Japanese auto suppliers in the area, call their HR department, and ask who they work with that help them find bilingual candidates. The worst they'll do is blow you off, but you'll get more help than doors slammed in your face if you just ask for it.

(Apologies for being so auto-centric here. Supporting Japanese suppliers in SE Michigan used to be my job.)
posted by peacecorn at 2:35 PM on June 8, 2007

Response by poster: Thanks for the advice! It's kind of hard not to be auto-centric when talking about SE Michigan industry, really...
posted by DoctorFedora at 3:23 PM on June 8, 2007

Are you looking for writing/editing positions as a lead in to a career in publishing? If so, Borders is headquartered in Ann Arbor, and might have jobs that appeal at corporate headquarters.
posted by booksherpa at 3:32 PM on June 8, 2007

The Department of Family Medicine at UM has a Japanese Family Health Initiative that may have openings or know of an Ann Arbor-centric Japanese job board. I know that all of their written supplies are created through Allegra Print & Imaging (though the dept currently does all of the proofreading), they may have need of an in-house expert.
posted by blackkar at 3:40 PM on June 8, 2007

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