A chance encounter with ASIA to JAPAN through a programming competition.
Since my last year of high school, I participated in several programming competitions. It’s similar to math competitions, but participants are required to implement solutions by coding. I like this type of competition because I find solving many problems at a fast pace interesting. So, it’s like a hobby for me. So far, I regularly joined many contests such as National Olympiad in Informatics, Atcoder, Codeforces, ICPC International College Programming Contest, Google Code Jam, etc.
As part of that, I also participated in CODE to JAPAN hosted by ASIA to JAPAN. We could join the competition for free and over 1000 students from all over the world competed.
And those who were highly evaluated in the competition were invited to interviews with major Japanese companies as a prize. CODE to JAPAN held two contests: Algorithm and AI (Artificial Intelligence). I participated in both contests. It was great because the event was held smoothly with clear instructions. To my delight, I achieved near-perfect scores in both categories, and I ranked 4th in the Algorithms Challenge. So, I was invited to join interviews with Japanese companies.
Originally having interests in working abroad
Previously I didn’t prepare much about my career, but I have been interested in working overseas vaguely because I think there is more to learn, and experience compared to working locally such as new culture, lifestyle, technical skills, and social norms. And among many countries, I found Japan to be the most approachable because I studied Japanese since I was a high school student. I took Japanese classes because I was relatively interested as compared to other languages and subjects. I also took a Japanese course at the university, so I have been studying for about 7 years and passed JLPT N3. Furthermore, I have friends and relatives who work in Japan for a long period and have heard good reviews about working in Japan.
So, after I got an invitation for job interviews with Japanese companies from ASIA to JAPAN, I seriously considered working in Japan and came to think positively about it.
I took online interviews with 2 major Japanese companies. I had never taken job interviews before, so it was the first time for me.
With the help of the ASIA to JAPAN staff, I prepared carefully for the interview. Both interviews were conducted in English, so I had to be prepared to explain what I wanted to say in English. At first, I was a little worried about it because English is not my mother tongue, but the preparation sessions were a great chance to improve speaking English. Thanks to them, the actual interviews went well. I didn’t have to think of the answers because I already prepared the expected answers, and it helped me a lot. Also, the interviewers were welcoming, relaxing, and nice, not scary or stressful atmosphere at all.
When I was given the acceptance letter from a company, I was really surprised at how fast it was. I took the final interview in the afternoon, and I got the result in the evening. Within hours, my life changed greatly!
Vision & Message
After I enter the company next year, I would like to just try everything I can. I want to try conversing with foreign people, getting used to life in Japan, and hopefully participate in any big projects at the company that has an impact on large-scale users.
To those who want to work in Japan, I think I’m a lucky person to succeed in job-hunting in Japan, but I know most participants of FAST OFFER International feel this is a tough challenge. But I believe everyone has the opportunity and everyone can be lucky like me. So do your best for your dream! Good luck!