31st March 2017

Need a Mentor?

A little help

When JETAAUK alum George Stanley returned from Japan in 2011, he realised that the transition to life in the UK would have both its ups and downs. He told Jetlag his story, and hopes to help other returnees with their careers by being a JET mentor.

"I was on the JET Programme for one year, working between two high schools in Nara. My time on JET was incredible and easily qualifies as one of the best years of my life.

There were a lot of occasions in Japan where I was thrust into situations and challenges with little preparation (ranging from helping my school prepare a bid for additional funding to spending a day speaking Japanese at a BBQ with a team of local pharmaceutical employees). More than anything, my time on JET gave me the skills and confidence to adapt to any situation and to meet challenges head on.

Back in the UK, I was really interested in politics so I applied for a graduate scheme in the civil service. My experiences on JET definitely contributed to my success on this application.

I now lead on developing policy for the virtual reality sector in the UK, and I do a lot of work with the video games and animation industries in the Department for Culture, Media and Sport. This gives me a lot of contact with my Japanese counterparts. At the end of last year I hosted a delegation of people from NHK to talk about their approaches to digital media.

I'm happy to talk to any former JETs interested in the public sector or in working in the creative industries. It can be bizarre coming back to the UK and having to find a job from scratch, but I've been there and would love to help if I can."

London-based George is available to provide advice to former JETs in person over a coffee or remotely. To connect with him email

Become a mentor

If you are interested in helping other former JETs settle back into the UK, by providing hints and tips or how you managed it, please get in touch so we can let the JETAA UK community know:

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