Growing up with Japanese Anime
I grew up watching Japanese anime. “Doraemon” and other shows were broadcast on TV daily. They were very familiar to me, yet dubbed in Chinese, so I did not understand the connection to the Japanese language at that time. When I was a high school student, I became interested in the Japanese language when I saw a Japanese version of an anime broadcast on the Internet. So, I first started learning Japanese on my own. At that time, I studied hiragana, katakana, and simple sentence patterns. After passing the university entrance exam, when I was wondering what major to specialize in, I remembered the Japanese I had previously studied on my own. I decided to specialize in Japanese language at university and decided to major in Japanese. So, I enrolled in the Japanese Language Department of Shanghai Foreign Studies University.
Studying in the Japanese language department, Experience of studying abroad in Osaka, and Entering graduate school
In my first year of university, I started with basic characters such as hiragana and katakana and became familiar with Japanese sentences by breaking them down into parts of speech one sentence at a time in detail.
In my second year of university, there were more conversation classes and I studied practical Japanese. Then, at the end of my sophomore year, I passed the Japanese Language Proficiency Test (JLPT) N1.
In my third year of college, I did a one-year exchange program in Osaka. Since there were very few international students at that university, I took all the classes with local students. I belonged to the Japanese language department, but there were almost no restrictions on the classes that international students could take, so I took classes in various departments. One class that I found particularly interesting was a class on Literary Chinese. I had not known that Japanese students also studied Literary Chinese, so I was interested in how Japanese people read and understand classical Chinese texts. I was impressed by the fact that even though they could not read Chinese, they made up rules such as adding some guiding marks to help them decipher those classical Chinese texts.
In my fourth year of university, I studied Japanese Chinese interpretation and translation classes and completed my graduation thesis.
After graduating from the university, I went straight to the master’s program at the Graduate School of Shanghai International Studies University. The most impressive class was the practice of interpretation and translation. Interpretation requires not only language skills but also the ability to respond flexibly, which is interesting but also very difficult.
The reasons that I decided to work in Japan
I finished my master’s program. I had a strong desire to work while utilizing the Japanese language skills and abilities I had worked so hard to learn over the past several years.
I could have worked as a Japanese interpreter, but I felt that it might not be a good fit for me considering my personality. Above all, I wanted to use the Japanese language as a tool to see many other aspects of the world.
If I were to work in China, in order to utilize my Japanese skill, I would have to choose a Japanese company in China or a Chinese/foreign company that has entered the Japanese market. At such companies, I can use Japanese, but the industries and positions are limited. However, when working in Japan, I will be able to use my Japanese language skills, and I will have a wider choice of industries and positions.
I also studied abroad in Japan when I was in college. Of course, I have some anxiety about working in a foreign country, but because of my earlier experience, I believe I will be able to adapt to a new environment quickly.
For these reasons, I thought that finding a job in Japan would be the best choice for me.
Job Hunting in Japan
I had known about FAST OFFER International when I was in my fourth year at university because the university staff who had provided me with employment support at the university had sent me information about FAST OFFER International. However, I was not thinking about employment at the time because I was planning to go on to graduate school. Later, I saw a post about a student who was able to find a job in Japan through FAST OFFER International, and I became interested and registered.
Job hunting through FAST OFFER International was efficient because I could get an offer after two interviews. However, I had never experienced a job interview in Japan, so I was quite anxious at first. When preparing self-PR, gakuchika(something one put effort into while at university), etc., I was asked to provide specific episodes, so it took me some time to look back on my life and reflect on the difficulties and things I overcame. It was difficult to prepare for and conduct these types of interviews that are unique to Japan. However, I was able to successfully prepare for the interview based on the knowledge I gained from the mentoring sessions, which lasted more than an hour and taught me about interview preparation and company information.
The actual interviews were conducted online, and I received offers from two of the three companies I interviewed with. The actual interview was not formal, but more like an everyday conversation, and I felt more at ease than I had expected. I had done a lot of practice with mock interviews beforehand, so I was able to answer all the questions properly without getting too nervous.
Goals and Message
At the company where I am going to work, I would like to study hard to become a full-fledged employee as soon as possible. I would also like to actively aim to acquire qualifications that will contribute to my career development over the medium to long term.
What I feel is most important through my job-hunting activities in Japan is to believe in myself. If you think you are not good enough from the start, you will not be able to take the first step, and if you do not take that first step, nothing will begin. The best thing to do is to just try. No matter what the outcome is, it is better than no start, so please try as much as you can and do your best!