Up until last spring, Hiromi
Takiguchi was mostly known as the
Plant Operations’ employee who’d
racked up 24 years of experience
working in a department formerly
known as Custodial and Grounds
Services. She came to the university
first as a senior secretary in 1985
and worked her way up to
administrative coordinator. However,
last April when Plant Ops
reorganized, she transferred into an
administrative coordinator position
within Risk Management. But instead
of doing basic secretarial work, her
new position would expose her to
workers' compensation paperwork and
motor vehicle record checks.
The title was eventually changed to
claims and safety coordinator, and
Hiromi welcomed the transition and
noticed the differences right away.
“In Custodial and Grounds, I’d stay
in the office, send emails, and not
get to see the people,” she said.
But in Risk Management, she
expressed delight at being able to
talk to a myriad of employees who
hand-carry their workers'
compensation paperwork. One other
notable change is that she picks up
the telephone and calls doctors'
offices on a daily basis. And when
her work calls her out of the
office, she said, “I’m able to get
more familiar with buildings on
Originally from Japan, her
background includes working for
Marine and Fire Insurance Company
where she handled automobile
accident billing. She also worked in
Washington D.C. for the Japanese
Embassy doing secretarial work.
Prior to coming to the U.S. she
said, “I had no [significant]
experience as a claims coordinator.
I went from a very big department in
Custodial and Grounds to a smaller
family-like atmosphere. I’m thankful
to come here.”
One other scary, but welcome,
transition she had to face was
learning to speak in front of a
group of people. A few months ago,
she gave her first presentation ever
to the Environmental Health and
Safety department (which is over
“Every day is a learning
experience,” she said.
The new information she’s required
to learn for her claims coordinator
position led her to study hard, and
she is now certified for workers'
compensation and as a property and
Although she’d been accustomed to
doing the same job for practically
two decades, she said she is happy
to experience a change in her career
where she is exposed to various
types of people and no two days are
ever the same.