| by Nozomi Ambe MACI ’23


Ambe, Nozomi (Zoe)
Nozomi (Zoe) Ambe MACI ’23

Middlebury Institute graduates discuss where they are working today, how the Institute helped them get there, and what advice they’d give to current and future MIIS students.

My name is Nozomi (Zoe) Ambe and I graduated with an MA in Conference Interpretation from the Middlebury Institute in 2023 (my language pair was Japanese-English). Prior to coming to Monterey, I earned my BA at Keio University in Japan. I am now a conference interpreter at Nikon Research Corporation of America in California.

I specialize in facilitating communication between Nikon’s research and development company in California and its headquarters in Tokyo using my language expertise. My role involves interpreting technical meetings covering diverse topics such as semiconductors, lithography, additive manufacturing, optics, AI, and machine learning for engineers. Additionally, I translate patent-related documents, as well as presentation materials.

The precision required in technical interpreting deepens my understanding of the contexts discussed, which I believe will significantly advance my career. I am grateful to collaborate with a talented and passionate group of engineers dedicated to developing cutting-edge technologies.

The unwavering support and encouragement I received from professors, peers, and alumni during my time in Monterey was invaluable to me, and my two years there were beyond anything I could have imagined. 
— Nozomi (Zoe) Ambe MACI ’23

I found my current position through a job posting on LinkedIn and was also contacted by an Institute graduate from the Class of 2006 who works at the company. This connection was made through my professor, Hideko Russell, the head of the Japanese Translation and Interpretation program at the Institute.

The unwavering support and encouragement I received from professors, peers, and alumni during my time in Monterey was invaluable to me, and my two years there were beyond anything I could have imagined. The program is challenging, and without the support and encouragement of my caring professors, who always gave me clear feedback on my skills and pushed me to test my limits, and my peers, who motivated me every day to grow together, I wouldn’t be where I am today. I will never forget the days I spent at MIIS. The program’s size was perfect for forging tight and personal connections, which I still maintain strongly today. 

While in school, I participated in both the translation practicum and interpretation practicum, served as a committee member for the Fall Forum (an interpretation event open to the whole school and public), and completed a three-month internship over the summer between my first and second years.

Focus on Your Objectives and Build Your Network

I have two pieces of advice to offer to current students.

1. When facing challenges, whether in developing your skills or navigating your career path, it’s crucial to remind yourself of your objectives. Each student’s journey is unique due to the flexible options available at the Institute. While seeking advice from others is valuable, it’s essential to be mindful of your own aspirations at every stage. Maintain a flexible mindset and be willing to adjust your goals based on your evolving passions.

2. Treasure every interaction you have during your time at MIIS. You’ll forge lifelong connections with individuals who share your passion for bridging cultures through language. When encountering difficulties in your professional life, reflecting on the supportive community you experienced in Monterey can provide encouragement and remind you of your resilience. The MIIS alumni network is a testament to the generosity of spirit fostered here, where many are eager to lend support without expecting anything in return. Understanding this, I’m motivated to give back to this community that has given me so much.

I’m excited for you to graduate from MIIS and discover the profound significance of your experiences here. Remember, you’ve got this! Feel free to reach out to me via LinkedIn or email. While I may not have all the answers, sharing not only my successes, but also the lessons learned from failures, can help guide your journey. I look forward to potentially meeting you someday at an interpretation booth.