Japan Intercultural Consulting’s founder Rochelle Kopp is a prominent voice on Japanese business culture and the global operations of Japanese companies. Through her consulting work, books, and commentary in leading Japanese publications, she helps bridge cultural divides in the workplace.
As a student who enjoyed drawing and printmaking as a hobby and who was planning a career in business, Rochelle was intrigued both by Japan’s then-booming economy and by its visual arts. She decided to learn as much as she could about Japan, including studying Japanese in an intensive program at Yale University under the famed Jorden Method, and completing a business internship in Kyoto.
After graduating from Yale with a B.A. in history and the university’s Williams Prize in East Asian Studies, and then completing a consulting assignment in the United States, Rochelle returned to Japan to coordinate global communications at the head office of a major Japanese bank. As the bank rapidly globalized, she observed first-hand the human resource management challenges of expanding across borders. Returning to the U.S. to get her M.B.A., she researched the cultural issues faced by Japanese multinationals, eventually publishing an academic paper and two books on the topic. During her research, she recognized a need to support Japanese companies in becoming more effective on the global stage, leading her to create Japan Intercultural Consulting in 1994.
Rochelle has since spearheaded the firm’s growth to its current global scale, while personally leading numerous seminars and teambuilding sessions each year. She is also active as a speaker, educator, author, and columnist.