Daniel Gordon, Contributor at Large

A dream job is one thing.

The exact job, with the exact training and perfect timing, en route to the one country where you’ve always wanted to live? When Kit Cox saw the job description, it seemed almost too good to be true.

Kit had been a broadcast engineer in Sacramento, California for over a decade, designing and maintaining television broadcast systems for a major network TV station. Through the years, she became increasingly interested in the applications side of engineering. Outside of work, most of her hobbies centered on her lifelong interest in Japanese culture. She took night classes to learn Japanese, practiced martial arts, watched anime, and studied the indigenous Shinto faith.

Meanwhile, Mini-Circuits had opened a regional office in Japan and needed not only a talented engineer, but one who was willing to relocate there. Kit was familiar with Mini-Circuits from working with one of the news station’s audio solutions providers, a Mini-Circuits customer.

“It all converged both personally and professionally,” Kit said. “What are the chances?”

Kit completed the interview and onboarding process with Mini-Circuits remotely, officially joining the team in November 2020. Her first relocation would be to Brooklyn, New York for a year of training at Mini-Circuits’ global headquarters. By Summer 2021, she was going into the Brooklyn office regularly.

In her first phase of training, Kit essentially learned Mini-Circuits’ entire product catalog. Each week, she’d research and compile a report on a different product line. The reports were primarily intended to equip her for her future role in Japan but became much more. The reports were so thorough and accurate that they caught the attention of executive leaders.

In addition to her slated applications training, Kit began working with Mini-Circuits’ marketing team to turn her reports into internal and external resources. She compiled them all into a 500-plus-page textbook for pipeline engineers to use for learning and development, and also released an e-book in Japan. When the e-book was translated, she cleaned up grammatical errors—in Japanese.

By July 2021, Kit’s training moved into the main event, applications engineering, which she likens to a puzzle. “The customer has complicated challenges and complex requirements, and we have to put the pieces together in a way that’s efficient, reliable and economical all at once,” she said. “It’s my favorite part of engineering.”

Now fully trained with her January 2022 relocation to Japan coming into focus, Kit is preparing to move to a place that feels more familiar than foreign. Mini-Circuits Japan is located in Yokohama, one town over from where one of her best friends lives in nearby Yokosuka.

From the landmarks and natural beauty to the food, fashion, entertainment and sense of social harmony, a surreal opportunity will soon become reality as Kit works alongside Regional Sales Director Thomas Joyce in Japan. Thomas, who joined Mini-Circuits in 2019, shares a similar story and sentiment of moving to Japan over 35 years ago.

“When I came to Japan from Ireland, I saw it as a once in a lifetime opportunity,” Thomas said. “I see that same enthusiasm in Kit and I’m looking forward to welcoming her here.”

In Japan, Kit will help manage relationships with Mini-Circuits’ regional customers, including some of the world’s largest telecommunications companies, as well as reps. Between the knowledge she has gained in training and her fluency in the Japanese language, she’ll be able to reduce communications from days to minutes working on Japan time. The journey is a big part of the excitement, but the greater purpose lies in the job.

“We’re not just testing or designing for applications,” Kit said. “We’re solving problems, delivering solutions, and helping the world advance forward with what we’re capable of as human beings. That’s rewarding.”

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