As Director of the International Internship Program, I work on our big picture planning and managing the office and team, as well as developing our internship opportunities in Japan and supporting students through those experiences. I also co-chair the campus Internship Committee looking at internship access and best practices across campus, as well as contributing to national resources and committees on international internships.
I grew up in Madison and received a Bachelor of Arts in Japanese with certificates in Technical Japanese for Engineers and Global Cultures from UW-Madison. I studied Japanese in high school and my parents supported my interest, but did not have financial means or travel experience to support my goal to go there. I received full scholarships and studied in Japan twice in high school which encouraged me to pursue scholarships to spend my junior year at Keio University in Tokyo, Japan. When I returned, I became a peer advisor in International Academic Programs (IAP) and decided to pursue a summer study program in Ireland and a career in international education.
I earned a Master of Arts in Intercultural Relations from Lesley University in Cambridge, MA and worked at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) as the MIT-Japan Program Manager coordinating research and internships in Japan before returning to UW-Madison in 2011. In my free time I enjoy yoga, reading, podcasts, making and eating good food, and spending time with my dog and family.
Michelle became director in February 2019 after serving as interim director since March 2017 and previously as the Assistant Director. She cultivates and advises on internships in Japan while planning and overseeing the office and team’s work on internships around the world.