2024-04-01

From Anime Inspiration to Data Science Career in Japan: A Resilient Journey

Summary

In the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, our hero found solace and inspiration in anime, leading to a deep-seated desire to explore Japanese culture and work in Japan. This led them to actively pursue Japanese language studies, engaging in real conversations with natives to improve their proficiency. Despite an initial setback in a job interview with a major Japanese startup due to a lack of technical knowledge, they remained undeterred, refining their skills and adjusting their projects to align more closely with the expectations of Japanese companies. Their persistence paid off when they secured a position in the image inspection system department of a company, leveraging their data science expertise. This tale not only highlights the challenges and triumphs of adapting to a new culture but also showcases the importance of resilience and enjoying the journey towards achieving one’s career aspirations in a foreign land. 27946

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Profile

Countries & Regions
India
University
Savitribai Phule Pune University
Major
Computer Science
Education
Bachelor
Company
Japanese company engaged in the development, design, machining, assembly, and painting of hydraulic cylinders for forklifts and industrial vehicles

How Anime Fueled My Dream of Working in Japan Amidst the Pandemic 

During the lockdown of Covid-19, I had a lot of time because of quarantine. When 2020 rolled out, I was watching everything I could on Netflix, so I wound up watching ONE PIECE and other anime available there. This started my interest in Japanese culture, and I began looking for opportunities to go to Japan. It soon dawned on me that if I could learn Japanese, more than just a quick visit, I could work in Japan. I earnestly started studying Japanese with the goal in mind to work in Japan someday.   

I started to join the N5 Japanese class at my university around 2021. When I started the N4 level, I found out about ASIA to JAPAN’s Hirameki Class on Instagram. I applied and got into the Hirameki Class.  

In my opinion, Japanese is easy except for kanji. It’s because Japanese grammar and my native language’s grammar are nearly identical. Also, I use Hello Talk! to have real conversations with native Japanese people. There was a time when I had calls with a different Japanese person every day just to talk about our lives. More than a language exchange session, that experience also let me get to know the character of Japanese people. From this, I found most of them are shy. Some people don’t like calls, and some are very reserved. Most of them knew little English, so we mainly talked in Japanese. That was great practice for me though.  

  

Turning Initial Job Interview Setbacks into Stepping Stones in Japan 

I applied with FAST OFFER International in April last year. I got a chance to have an interview with a big Japanese startup company. I took a test and then was interviewed, but sadly I failed due to my lack of technical knowledge. The company wanted IT engineers, and it required coding skills, and I didn’t have enough time to complete all of the questions. There were some questions regarding web development, which I didn’t expect at all because my major is data science. So, for the next time, I was determined to study more.   

As the teacher said there will be fewer companies that will hire 2024 graduates, I waited for a long time to get another interview. I thought one of the reasons was that my project didn’t match with Japanese companies, so I changed my project in November and translated it into Japanese for my resume. It was hard, but my efforts paid off and I got an interview appointment with another company.   

  

Navigating Quick-Fire Interviews to Secure a Data Science Job in Japan 

I had two interviews that both took less than 15 minutes. They asked me straightforward questions, I gave straightforward answers, and then they just said “OK.” They didn’t go into deeper questioning as I expected, so I was a bit worried. I wondered, “Did I do anything wrong?” After that, I took a web exam, and I was notified that I had passed the first step. Soon after, I took the final interview. I found out quickly that I passed! It all happened so fast! 

From October of this year, I will start working in the image inspection system department, where I can use my specialization in data science. I would like to grow and learn more about the image inspection system in the company because there’s still so much for me to learn about it. I’m also looking forward to working with my fellow Indians there! I was told that 3-4 of my officemates are also Indians.  

 

Embracing the Job Hunt in Japan: A Guide to Enjoying the Process 

If you’re reading this, there’s a chance you might be experiencing some challenges. You might have failed at a company interview just like I did. Don’t let those stepping stones discourage you! I hope you find joy in the process. Translate your project with your friends, have fun while you accomplish the requirements and study for the next steps. Learning to enjoy the process can help you get better results! 

 

4 tips to remember as you embark on your journey to Japan 

  1. Stay motivated by enjoying the process 
  2. Engage in conversations with Japanese people. You can use Hello Talk! 
  3. Start Japanese Classes as soon as you can! 
  4. Sign up with a trustworthy partner to help you navigate the Japanese Job Market 

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