Yukino Yasuda, better known as Yuki, first came to the United States as an international student in 1998. She had already completed her associate's degree in English from Kanazawa Gakuin Junior College; Kanazawa, Ishikawa, Japan, and continues to work on her fluency.
Yuki attended Lake Washington Technical College (LWTC) in Kirkland, Wash., for two quarters, then returned to Japan for a time, where she landed a job as an administrative assistant and a tutor of English and Japanese as mathematics.
She built on her secretarial background in Japan, and worked to improve and expand her business skills, which include 50wpm typing skills. Yuki returned to LWTC in 2003 to complete her studies. She earned President's List and Dean's List honors throughout her LWTC schooling, and in June 2005 received an associate's degree in administrative assistant and an accounting certificate. A student member of the International Association of Administrative Professionals, Yuki received a scholarship through that organization to help fund her education. Likewise, she was a 2004 recipient of a Boeing Scholarship.
Yuki is quick to note that her instructors and classmates are patient and understanding with her progress with English as a second language. Mentors, faculty advisors and professors have each helped guide Yuki in her studies and have encouraged her English fluency goals.
What did you like and dislike about your administrative assistant/accounting education at Lake Washington Technical College?
I like the friendly diverse environment in the faculty, my classmates and the staff, as well as the location, facilities, low-cost tuition and high quality courses.
How did you decide to study administrative assistant/accounting?
I am interested in administrative assistant/accounting since I had experience as an executive secretary when I was in Japan. I heard of the programs at Lake Washington Technical College from my friends.
Do administrative assistant/accounting professionals typically use specialized computer programs? If so, which ones, and how important is it for graduating students to be well-versed with these programs?
Yes, they do. It depends on the companies you are applying to. I use Microsoft Office, mostly Outlook, Word, Excel, and PowerPoint, for administrative/accounting assistant work and Excel and QuickBooks for accounting assistant roles.
You are a member of the International Association of Administrative Assistants. How is such membership important to your education and career development?
By exchanging information with other people, you can expand your knowledge, skills, and abilities.
What steps did you take as a student to build your career (past experience in Japan, cooperative work experience, internships, etc.)?
I've been employed by LWTC in a cooperative work experience for school credit in the Admissions & Registration office. I created and translated brochures in Japanese, was responsible for data entry, participated in a college online recruitment fair, and served as an Administrative Assistant for the office.
In March 2005, I landed an internship with the company TEC Group Inc. as Accounting and Business Assistant. My goal is to gain as much work experience as possible, while I strive to become an Executive Secretary/Administrative Assistant.
You graduated in June 2005. What's next?
I continue working for TEC Group Inc. and have also started working for a Japanese retail company as an administrative assistant.
What are some of your personal and/or professional goals for the future?
My short-term goal is finding a full-time job in the United States, and my long-term goal is working as an executive secretary and having a family.
Editor's Note: For more about the International Association of Administrative Professionals, visit: http://www.iaap-hq.org/. If you would like to follow up with Yuki about her technical college experience as an international student, click here.