2024-06-13

An Indian Electronics and Communication Engineering Graduate Finds Success in Japan

Summary

Driven by a deep admiration for Japan’s work culture, our hero from Tamil Nadu, specializing in Electronics and Communication Engineering, embarked on learning Japanese during university. Overcoming challenges such as mastering kanji and adapting to Japanese pronunciation, she progressed to N3 proficiency. Through the support of FAST OFFER International, she navigated rigorous job interviews, ultimately securing employment in Japan. Her journey, including a memorable student exchange program and multiple job interviews, highlights her dedication to achieving professional success in Japan. Her academic background in antenna design and RF technology aligns perfectly with their new role, making their transition seamless and fulfilling.

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Profile

Countries & Regions
India
University
M.Kumarasamy College of Engineering
Major
Electronics and Telecommunication
Education
Bachelor
Company
Integrated in-house provision of mobile construction cranes, vehicle-mounted cranes, and elevating vehicles, from development to manufacturing, sales, and after-sales service

What sparked my interest in pursuing employment in Japan

Well, I hold a deep admiration for Japan’s work culture. Through conversations with my seniors, I’ve come to appreciate the meticulous approach the Japanese take in decision-making. Their penchant for thorough planning, including the consideration of alternative strategies, resonates with me. They adhere strictly to deadlines and hold themselves accountable for their responsibilities. It’s this dedication to excellence that fuels my passion for pursuing opportunities in Japan’s workforce. 

 

How I started learning Japanese 

I specialize in Electronics and Communication Engineering at my university.

I began studying Japanese in my second year of university. From there, I progressed through various levels of proficiency. While I currently hold certification for N3, I am actively working towards achieving N2 proficiency. 

 

How was learning Japanese for you? 

Learning Japanese has been quite challenging, particularly due to the complexity of kanji characters. However, I found some aspects surprisingly familiar. While English and Japanese have vastly different grammar structures, I noticed similarities between Japanese and some Indian languages, particularly my mother tongue, Tamil. This connection made certain grammar patterns easier to grasp, such as passive forms.

Yet, mastering kanji proved to be a significant hurdle, as it introduced a completely new concept foreign to my cultural background. Additionally, memorizing vocabulary proved to be a continuous challenge. To overcome this, I committed to daily revision. Even when kanji characters appeared similar, discerning their meanings and usage remained difficult. It’s a process that requires ongoing dedication and practice 

Speaking posed its own set of challenges. Even when uttering the same word, the nuances in pronunciation between Indian and Japanese speakers can be stark. Consequently, listening comprehension became a formidable task. 

Understanding the question was only half the battle; the real challenge lay in comprehending spoken Japanese. To overcome this hurdle, I engaged in rigorous practice sessions facilitated by the FAST OFFER team. With dedicated mentors guiding me, I participated in frequent conversations where my responses were meticulously corrected. The constructive feedback from my mentor was invaluable; their gentle guidance steered me towards refining my answers, ensuring they aligned with Japanese communication norms. Thanks to the support and guidance from ASIA to JAPAN, I honed my speaking and listening skills, particularly in the context of interviews. Thus, I directed my focus towards mastering interview-specific Japanese.

 

How were the interviews? 

I wouldn’t say I was nervous, but I was definitely curious about the interview process, given that it was a new experience for me in a foreign country. Interviewing six companies in a single day was both challenging and demanding. From morning to evening, I was immersed in a whirlwind of interviews, which kept me on my toes. Each company posed its own set of questions, with the most common being ‘Why do you want to work in Japan?’ However, what intrigued me the most was the subtle cues and expressions of the interviewers. They seemed to gauge my responses not just based on what I said, but also on how I said it. 

Adapting my answers to match the unique expectations of each company was key. Fortunately, I managed to clear the first round with three out of the six companies. I approached each interview with enthusiasm and energy, meticulously tailoring my responses to fit the company’s ethos and requirements. It was an interesting experience, albeit not without its challenges. 

One of the most daunting aspects was navigating between casual and polite Japanese. Switching between the two seamlessly, especially in the interview setting, proved to be quite the task. Coming from casual conversations with friends and colleagues, transitioning to formal language for interviews required a conscious effort. However, I embraced it as part of the challenge. 

In the end, it all worked out well, and I was accepted. It was a rewarding experience that taught me the importance of preparation and adaptability in the face of new and unfamiliar situations.

 


Have you ever tried job hunting in India as well, or were you solely focused on ASIA to JAPAN? 

My focus was on pursuing opportunities in Japan since it has always been my dream. However, my college insisted that I participate in Indian job interviews to fulfill certain obligations. Reluctantly, I went along and managed to secure a position through one of them. But my heart was set on Japan, and with the help of ASIA to JAPAN, I successfully cleared interviews with two companies in Japan.  

My interview in Japan marked my second visit to the country. The previous year, in September, I had the opportunity to participate in a student exchange program. During my week-long stay, I explored Saitama City, gave a presentation, and even interacted with high school students in Tokyo. It was an enriching experience. 

I experienced both extremes of Japan’s climate during my visits—the scorching heat of September and the biting cold during my interview. Coming from Tamil Nadu, the southern part of India, I’m accustomed to hot summers, but coping with the winter in Japan posed a new challenge for me. 

 

How is your subject studied in university related to your job? 

As far as discussions with the team of my prospective company have revealed, I am likely to assume a role in research and development. This aligns seamlessly with my academic background, particularly my focus on antennas and RF technology. The projects I undertook during my studies were directly related to radar systems, a field I anticipate working in. The knowledge and skills I gained in university, specifically in antenna design and RF technology, are directly applicable to the projects I’ll be involved in. Therefore, I believe my academic expertise is well-suited to the needs of the company.

 

What did you find interesting about Japan that you did not expect? 

One aspect that immediately struck me was the unparalleled hospitality and humility of the Japanese people, even from the elderly. Their genuine warmth and humility were truly endearing and made a lasting impression on me. It was remarkable to witness the elder sensei graciously sitting alongside us during a group photograph, a gesture that is not commonly seen in India where teachers typically maintain a more formal stance. This unexpected display of kindness left me in awe and sparked my admiration for Japanese culture. 

Additionally, Japan’s technological advancements were beyond anything I had imagined. I was fascinated by Japan’s cutting-edge innovations and futuristic infrastructure. The seamless integration of technology into everyday life, coupled with the people’s punctuality and sincerity, further heightened my fascination with Japan. It’s a combination of these factors—punctuality, humility, sincerity, and technological prowess—that continue to captivate me about Japan.

 

Exploring the city of Tokyo during the stay

Indeed, all the interviews were scheduled in Akihabara, a renowned district known for its vibrant atmosphere. Despite the tight schedule, I managed to carve out some time to wander around the area. I strolled through the bustling streets, exploring the eclectic shops and vibrant markets nearby. A particular highlight was stumbling upon a charming Chinese shop while searching for gift shops. The towering buildings and bustling streets of Akihabara left a lasting impression on me, evoking a sense of awe and wonder akin to exploring a foreign land for the first time. 

On one occasion, I ventured to the Ueno market, where I indulged in a steaming bowl of ramen along Ueno Machi Street. While I enjoyed the flavorsome ramen, my heart ultimately belongs to udon noodles. Nevertheless, the experience of immersing myself in the bustling energy of the market and sampling authentic Japanese cuisine was truly memorable. 

 

Unique experience 

One particularly memorable experience occurred during the second round of interviews for a company in Tokyo. As I participated in the interview, my laptop unexpectedly began to run out of charge. With half of the interview panel present in person and the remaining members joining online, I found myself in a precarious situation. 

I quickly reached out to the ASIA to JAPAN team, requesting a charger for my laptop. However, they were unaware of the interview’s online component and did not anticipate the need for a charger. As my laptop abruptly shut down mid-interview, I felt a wave of panic wash over me. 

In a remarkable display of kindness and solidarity, one of the crew members swiftly came to my aid. She tried to offered her laptop and headphones, allowing me to continue the interview using her equipment. Her selflessness and quick thinking were truly admirable, and I felt deeply grateful for her assistance. 

Despite her valiant efforts, I unfortunately did not clear that particular interview. It was a disappointment, especially since it was my top-choice company. However, the support I received from my mentor and the ASIA to JAPAN staff was invaluable. They provided reassurance and encouragement, restoring my confidence and reminding me to stay focused on the next opportunity. 

Although I did not secure a position with that company, the memory of the crew members’ kindness and support remains a cherished one. It serves as a reminder of the camaraderie and compassion that exists within the ASIA to JAPAN community. 

 

Your university provides chances to study Japanese, but if other universities in India have similar chances, do you think students will come to Japan more? 

For many middle-class individuals, the idea of securing a foreign job and earning a higher income holds strong appeal. However, beyond monetary gain, coming to Japan offers the opportunity to gain invaluable experiences. The allure of exploring a new land, immersing oneself in a different culture, and facing new challenges may attract students to Japan. 

In India, students undergo rigorous academic training, particularly in engineering disciplines. Engineering students are constantly engaged in laboratory work and other academic pursuits, rarely enjoying extended breaks. This dedication and work ethic produce technically proficient individuals who would undoubtedly be valued by Japanese companies. 

Therefore, if other universities in India offer similar opportunities to study Japanese, I believe there would still be a significant number of students eager to explore the possibilities in Japan. The appeal lies not only in the prospect of professional growth but also in the chance to broaden one’s horizons and embrace new experiences. 

 

Do you have any friends who have tried to look for jobs abroad outside of India?

Yes, I have several friends who have also been actively seeking job opportunities in Japan. Additionally, among my juniors, there is a growing interest in studying Japanese with the aim of securing jobs in Japan. Our university offers Japanese classes, making it convenient for students to learn the language.  

Furthermore, we have juniors who have participated in student exchange programs to Japan, further fueling their interest in working there. The firsthand experience of living and studying in Japan has left a lasting impression on them, motivating them to pursue career opportunities in the country. Overall, there is a palpable enthusiasm among my peers and juniors for working in Japan.
 

Plans for the future 

My plan is to build my career in Japan for as long as possible. I am eager to contribute to my company’s success and immerse myself in the professional opportunities that Japan offers. While I am committed to working in Japan, I am also open to the possibility of business trips to other countries if my company permits. However, my primary focus remains on my role in Kagawa, where my company is located. Kagawa is renowned for its delicious udon noodles, and I had the pleasure of experiencing them firsthand at Koko-Ichiban during my exchange program visit in September. So, while I’m open to occasional travel, my heart and career aspirations are firmly rooted in Japan. 

 

Advice, message for future students

My advice to fellow students is to never lose hope, especially in the face of failure. Every setback is a stepping stone towards success. I personally experienced this when I encountered failures in two online interviews. Instead of giving up, I persevered and continued seeking opportunities. As a result, I eventually secured offers from two companies. It’s important to remember that failure is a natural part of life, and it should not define you. Rather than dwelling on your shortcomings, focus on learning from them and using them as motivation to propel yourself towards success. 

So, to all those who may be facing challenges or setbacks, I urge you to stay resilient and keep pushing forward. Seek support when needed and never underestimate the power of perseverance. Your determination and hard work will eventually lead you to your desired goals. That’s the message I want to share with everyone who may need it. 

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