Honda R&D

Kaya Doi on her Experience Interpreting in the Automotive Industry

Kaya Doi MA Translation & Interpretation Japanese/ English
Kaya Doi
MA Translation & Interpretation
Japanese/ English

Kaya Doi is a 2nd-year Japanese/English Translation and Interpretation student at the Middlebury Institute of International Studies at Monterey (MIIS). Before coming to MIIS, Kaya studied at the International Christian University in Tokyo, Japan, where she majored in Media, Communication, and Culture. While studying at the University, she volunteered as a community interpreter for international mothers. Upon graduation, she co-taught Elementary and Intermediate Japanese courses at Wellesley College in Wellesley, MA as a Japanese Language Assistant.

This summer Kaya did an internship first at Goken America and then Honda R&D. I interviewed Kaya to learn about her experience.

Q1: What were your top 3 criteria as you selected your internship(s)?

My 3 top criteria were:

1) in-house/onsite

2) a totally unfamiliar field

3) paid internship

Q2: What did you learn about your field during your internship?

I was fascinated by how interdisciplinary the automotive field is. I was given the chance to learn about it through the lens of design and engineering, technology, management, and finance, among others. Also, I was amazed to see how the automotive industry attracted people from all over the world, in particular, creating a large Japanese diaspora in Ohio.

Q3: What did you learn about yourself during your internship?

I loved the social interaction that came with the in-house experience. My motivation for interpreting and translating for others grew as I got to know my other colleagues, especially the young engineers who were also starting out their careers. I felt that much of my learning took place thanks to these good interpersonal relationships.

Q4: From the employers’ perspective what does a good intern look like?

Someone who is curious and willing to reach out to others.

Q5: Any words of wisdom you would like to share?

“Planned Happenstance” – Look forward to the unexpected opportunities!


Winnie Heh
Career & Academic Advisor