Ben Norton

The day after graduating from the University of Nebraska–Lincoln College of Business Administration in May, Ben Norton jetted off to Japan to start his career. Norton, who studied abroad at Senshu University while at CBA, now works for Senshu as an English language coordinator.
 
“I provide translations and revisions to correspondences sent between Senshu and its affiliated universities, along with teaching weekly tutorial English courses,” he explained.
 
Norton, a Lincoln, Neb., native, was initially exposed to Japanese culture through a family friend and began to study the Japanese language in middle school. Since then, he has had a life-long interest in Japan and prepared to ultimately work in the world’s third largest economy.
 
“I felt my acquisition of the Japanese language would be in vain if I didn’t have a strong grasp of basic business concepts and terminology, so I decided on majoring in international business,” he said.

His junior year he studied abroad through the CBA-sponsored exchange program with Senshu University. Norton learned how to move past cultural differences and build very meaningful relationships. He became aware of cultural filters, which he refers to how someone’s culture affects his or her paradigm and viewpoint of certain situations.
 
“I learned more and more about the general viewpoints of Japanese people, and by gaining this alternative outlook, I gained a new way to view my environment and culture,” he said.
 
Upon his return, he worked for the CBA Office of Undergraduate Programs as the Senshu study abroad student coordinator. The relationship he established with Senshu University is what ultimately led to him being offered the job prior to graduation.
 
“Since Senshu knew me from when I was an exchange student, there was no interview, nor was there any application I needed to fill out. By following up via email, I learned about the details of the position, and when two representatives from Senshu visited UNL a couple months later, I signed the work contract.”

Norton strongly encourages students to consider studying abroad.
 
“Studying abroad seems to be rather undervalued by the majority of students,” he said. “However, those that study abroad get to have these wonderful experiences that will stay with them their entire lives. Focus on your human capital and don’t let language barriers stop you.”
 
Students can learn more about the Senshu study abroad by contacting CBA Study Abroad Student Coordinators Anthony Ojile and Mackenzie Solt at  cbaundergrad@unl.edu
Senshu University, Tokyo, Japan, spring 2012
Ben Norton (right) looks over eductional materials