Employee Profile | Yukiko Harris, Executive Assistant

Tell me about yourself.
I was born and raised in Tokyo, Japan, so I am bi-lingual, speaking English and Japanese. In high school, I participated in an exchange program, and I lived in Califonia for a month and didn’t return until I married my husband. He was stationed in Tennessee and then outside of Seattle and finally in Illinois outside of Chicago. It was there that I began my career as a marketing/sales assistant supporting an executive who needed bi-lingual support. When we moved to Ann Arbor, Michigan, I worked for over 20 years in the automotive industry as an executive assistant and a program specialist. 

Can you tell me about what you do?
I support the Director and Deputy Director for NASEO (AJW-B) in Air Traffic Organization as an executive assistant. As the person in charge of their schedules and important documents, you have to see and understand what’s going on as a whole to keep on track. This industry and office are really one of the most diverse places I’ve worked, which was surprising when I first started. I am a very detailed and precise person, partially due to my experience working with high-level executives. 

What’s the most meaningful part of your work?
I’m able to work with a variety of co-workers and leaders. I consider each of them my mentor and teacher.

What career lessons or anecdotes would you like to share?
Always welcome challenges. The things outside of your comfort zone might be the opportunities that will benefit you in the future. Circumstances change and evolve, and you have to be able to adapt. I’ve been promoted to new programs based on my willingness to adapt to an organization’s challenges and changes. 

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