CLA Students Meet with President of Japan America Society of Southern California for Mentor Lunch
On April 17th, nine selected CLA students met with Douglas Erber, President of the Japan American Society of Southern California. Associate Dean, Dr. Amy Bippus hosted the luncheon for the attendees, which included: James Allen, Elizabeth Chan, Natalie Desantiago, Adriana Prudencio, Katrina Que, Taryn Sauer, Iryka Smeke, Cassandra Weaver, and Alisa Yasuda. They toured the Gardena office of the organization and learned that they are preparing for a visit from the Japanese Prime minister in the next few weeks.
Erber is an alumnus of CSULB who parlayed his language and cultural proficiency into international business opportunities selling surf merchandise in Japan. He spoke about how a student ambassador position in Japan provided him with the inspiration to pursue his studies in Speech Communication and Japanese when his plans to be an Air Force pilot path fell through.
Students had the opportunity to ask Erber’s advice about their career aspirations over lunch at a nearby restaurant. He advised students interested in nonprofit work to first acquire a variety of work experience to ensure that they have the wide range of skills needed in what are often, small and understaffed nonprofit organizations. He also recommended volunteering as the ideal way to learn about an organization and to get one’s foot in the door. Eber cites the major rewards of his job being the endless opportunity to meet amazing people and the overall importance of the work.