Just think of Tomomi Suyama as PM’s foreign exchange student, only in this case, the Japanese-born woman already has a degree in international business. She works for Suzuki and Associates, which is our largest Japanese distributor (and no relation to the Suzuki Motor Co.)
While interning with us, Tomomi still works for Suzuki, but is using PM as an office and home base. The 23-year-old says she hopes to improve her English while she’s with us and she’s eager to learn more about how American businesses operate.
To date, Tomomi has gone horseback riding and she’s planned a visit to Disneyland. She also intends to get in as much shopping as she can during her stay. And she says she’s hopelessly addicted to pizza, has a hankering for tacos, and she’s eager to try more Mexican dishes.
Performance Machine: How did you become involved in the motorcycle industry? Do you ride or have family members who ride?
Tomomi Suyama: My dad used to ride a motorcycle. But to be honest, I never imagined working in the industry. I didn’t know about motorcycles at all. I just wanted to work in other countries and other people. But now, I find I’m interested in motorcycles and the powersports industry.
PM: What exactly do you do for Suzuki and Associates, and how long have you worked for them?
TS: I communicate with our vendors about orders and claims. I’ve only worked for Suzuki and Associates for a year so far, and I started right out of college.
PM: Where do you see yourself — professionally speaking — five years from now?
TS: It’s a difficult question. But I hope to continue working for Suzuki and Associates, especially with the PM brand, and hopefully living in California.
PM: In your opinion, what PM products do that you think would fly off the shelves in Japan and why?
TS: That’s easy! Wheels- there are so many kinds of finishes and such good quality. Many people order wheels and all of the matching components. And air cleaners — matching the wheel designs offers a great improvement on the bike. All PM items have excellent quality so we don’t hear complaints so much, even though the Japanese people are particular about quality.
PM: What are some of the differences you’ve noticed between working in an office in the U.S. and working in an office in Japan?
TS: First, it’s the clothing. Here, you can wear casual clothes to work. Second, American people go home early, ha-ha! Third, speaking frankly with the boss. When you speak to a boss in Japan, you address them with more respect. It’s not so easy going like it is here.
We understand you’ve become addicted to pizza. What’s your favorite topping?
TS: Everything!! But especially sausage. Once I had pizza with chocolate in Japan and I really liked it!