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Karin Wellbrock

COO and Partner
Kay Group K.K.

Hometown: Isny im Allgau, Germany

Number of years in Japan (cumulative): 7 (as of December 2019)

Karin Wellbrock
Q1: What was your first encounter with Japan?

Back in the late 1980s, I met this really nice guy at college in Germany who would cook Japanese food for me and tell me about his childhood growing up in Tokyo. Aside from being fascinated by him, I fell in love with the Kanto and Kansai regions during trips in the 1990s and while working for a large advisory firm in Osaka and Tokyo in the 2000s.

Q2: Please state your motto in life and why you have chosen it.

“You only live once” — after almost three decades of eventful and cross-continental education and consultant life, I am privileged to choose the kind of work and place to live that is nurturing young and executive talent here in Tokyo. In my chosen role as coach and talent developer, I can focus on what I always have liked the most while in the industry: enabling people to grow and expand their horizons.

Q3 : Over your career, what achievement are you the proudest of?

Having been included and accepted by my colleagues and community in Japan has been on of the most enlightening and humbling experiences, together with the encouragement to come back and set up shop here. Now, I am using my international work and educational background to give back to my Japanese friends, colleagues and clients in form of fresh perspectives regarding their own strengths and development opportunities; I want to give talented individuals as many as possible ideas about what they could do or achieve in their careers while helping develop the needed competencies. In short, I want to help unleash the tremendous potential and creativity here.

Q4 : What are your goals during your time in Japan, your current position or in life?


Q5 : What wisdom, advice or tips can you give to people living and working in Japan?

  “Suspend your judgment and listen with your heart.” Japan is different things to different people and it can be full of contradictions — from fascinating to outright weird, depending on your own point of view. Although, Japanese do most of the things their way and with good reason; and with an open mind a lot can be learned.

Last updated: Dec 26, 2019