My Uncle, Anime, and Lockdown Connected Me to Japan
My interests and journey to Japan were influenced by my uncle, Japanese Anime, and the COVID lockdown in 2020. My uncle is working in a Japanese company, and he always shared Japanese culture, including the working culture, the language itself, and what the Japanese company is like particularly the IT company where he works. Through his sharing, I gained a deep appreciation for the serious and disciplined society of Japan, an experience unlike any I had encountered before. In addition, since he has been to Japan, he told me about the stark differences between Japanese and Indian lives, which deepened my interest in Japan. As a young girl growing up in India, I occasionally indulged in Japanese anime as well, which made me easier to imagine life in Japan and I got some of the Japanese words. Intrigued by his stories, I decided to explore the Japanese language and culture on my own at some point.
It was the early days of the 2020 lockdown, and I was in 12th grade, where I was due to take the college entrance exams. Owing to the pandemic, we had to transition to distance learning. Probably because of that, I was losing interest in studying what I was focusing on, chemistry, biology, physics, and so on. Then, I started to study Japanese for fun. What started as a hobby quickly turned into something more. As I learn more Japanese, I got to know more about Japan and became more interested in Japan, which boosted my motivation to learn Japanese. Motivated by my growing fascination, my uncle graciously took on the role of my Japanese tutor in a sense. I did quizzes about Japanese with him. Sometimes, he would ask me about the meaning of certain words, and if I were unsure, I would make it a point to research them, thereby expanding my vocabulary. As I became increasingly serious about learning Japanese, I came to learn Japanese with my uncle every weekend. I watched Japanese lessons on YouTube, and on weekends, I visited my uncle and asked him to teach me Japanese, and asked me questions like how much have you studied this week? How many chapters did you do? which ensured that I was able to continue learning Japanese and understanding the contents properly, which made my language skills polished and refined.
As my interest in Japan, as well as my motivation to go to Japan, grew, I started to rethink my way to go. When I was in 10th grade, I wanted to become a pilot, because I had some interest in flying, but later I thought this was not my cup of tea. Then, I was introduced to biology in 11th grade, which fascinated me a lot and made me think about majoring in medicine at the university and becoming a nurse or doctor. However, the COVID things and lockdown things made me feel like I needed to do something in the field of medicine but at the same time, as mentioned above, took away my interests in biology and other stuff. At the time, the only subjects I found enjoyable to study were English and Japanese. I would say I had a strong interest in language. However, since I have been in Pune, where we do not have a school that can major in language, I had to choose another major. If there were Japanese studies or something, I am sure that I would have chosen it as my major. Then, I thought I should study something that can be related to Japan or a field that is developing in Japan. I did research and asked my uncle, and decided to do computer science because in Japan, the IT industry has developed very vastly and there are so many jobs available in the field.
Though we did not have a language major, and I became a student studying computer science, I still have a strong interest in the Japanese language. To further enhance my language skills, I enrolled in private Japanese courses. Balancing the demands of college became a complex juggling act, but my determination and love for the language and support from my family, including my uncle and my college, kept me going. While there were times when I had to skip Japanese sessions because there was some exam that came in between my college classes and Japanese classes, I continued to set aside weekends to do whatever was missed out and immerse myself in the language. I was lucky because my college was supportive, my teacher allowed me to stay at home and study Japanese when I was about to have JLPT exams. They appreciate that you do something out of the box, and they want you to become a role model in a sense. Though I was also considering going to do a master’s degree in Japan to stay connected with the Japanese language, but since I was clear that I want to work in Japan at that point, and doing a master’s degree was just a way for that, so I began my job-hunting for Japanese company. I got to know Fast Offer International, registered, and began to prepare for the selection process.
Whole Selection Process
The journey to securing a job in Japan was not an easy one. The selection process was rigorous, and preparing my answers proved to be a challenge. Particularly, since I was still in the first year of my studies in college, I did not have any completed projects. Fortunately, my uncle provided me with invaluable mentorship throughout the interview process. He advised me on the craft of better answers even when I had little to no details to share about projects or my studies in college compared to senior students. It was his suggestion to do thorough background research instead and relate my home country’s IT industry to that of Japan. In preparation for other questions, I first wrote my answers in English, ensuring their coherence and clarity, before consulting Japanese dictionaries for accurate translations. As a safety move, I also got it double-checked by my uncle as well as a mentor from ASIA to JAPAN. This application process helped me familiarize myself with new words and solidify my understanding of the language. It was essential to highlight my unique perspective and demonstrate my adaptability in my answers. Their guidance was instrumental in instilling confidence and finesse into my responses. Although I was initially dubious of my ability to deliver a compelling answer, their advice helped clear my doubts and embellished my aspirations with bright words.
When the time came for job interviews, I was both excited and anxious. Elaborating on my motivations and establishing good communication was challenging. Nonetheless, the real hurdle rested in recalling the intricate Japanese vocabulary required for the conversation. In contrast to India, where background checks and salary discussions are routine aspects of the hiring process, Japanese interviews focus more on orientation about the company and its values. I struggled a bit to find the right words to express my eagerness to work for a company that would contribute to society and make a meaningful impact. However, thanks to all the practice and preparation, I managed to excel in the interview. When I got an offer, my family, especially my uncle, and of course, I, were so delighted. They were also supportive of my dream, so I felt relieved as well at that time. Now, I simply cannot wait to fly to Japan and begin my new life.
Do Not Lose Hope and Keep Trying
Having successfully secured a position in a Japanese logistical mechanical company, I have some words of advice for those aspiring to work in Japan. Despite all the rejections, do not lose hope. It is common for you to get continuously rejected by 2 to 3 or more companies. But keep trying. If you endeavor, you will be able to work in Japan. With hard work and perseverance, you will eventually find success. Many students think that they will never get a job once they fail in the first round. That is not the case. I am sure your efforts will not go to waste. They will pave the way for your dream to come true.