Stefanie Wakata, CEO, Exploring Concepts, Ltd. Co.
Born and raised in Germany, Wakata began her cross-cultural exploration as an exchange student in France at age 12. During her years in high school, she participated in multiple exchange programs in France, the UK and the US.
Her journey took her to Bonn University in Germany where she studied Japanese. A one-year stay at Kyushu University in Fukuoka, Japan, 1987/88 laid the foundation for her profound interest in the Asian nation.
After her graduation from Bonn University in 1992 with a diploma (Bachelor of Arts) in Japanese language, Wakata held the position of public relations assistant for the European headquarters of Japanese video equipment manufacturer Ikegami Electronics (Europe) GmbH in Neuss, Germany. While learning the trade of marketing communications, she stayed close to cross-cultural issues at her workplace.
Wakata relocated to Houston, Texas, in the United States in 1994. She served as Account Executive and Senior Account Executive at Houston-based Griffin Integrated Marketing, a full-service marketing communications agency for over 6 years.
In 2002, she earned her Master’s degree in Business Administration (MBA) from the University of Houston’s Bauer College of Business, and in 2005, Wakata founded Exploring Concepts, Ltd. Co. The company offers cross-cultural training programs with focus on Europe, the US and Japan and consults on strategic cultural integration for relocating professionals and local professionals working in a multi-national environment. Besides her native language German, Wakata is fluent in English, conversational French and conversational Japanese.
Wakata’s continued interface with an international community of professionals, friends and family in three continents make her an invaluable resource for all those who find themselves exploring new horizons.