2024-02-29

Engineering a Dream: Navigating from Gundam-Inspired Fascination to a Mechanical Engineering Career in Japan 

Summary

Currently working for a Japanese manufacturing company in Malaysia. He has two years’ experience as a manufacturing, assembly, design and development manager and also worked as an interpreter with Japanese people. Has studied abroad at a Japanese university for two years during his third and fourth year of university.

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Profile

Countries & Regions
Malaysia
University
Saitama University
Major
Engineering and Design
Education
Bachelor
Company
Leading Japanese construction equipment manufacturer

Engineering a Dream: Navigating from Gundam-Inspired Fascination to a Mechanical Engineering Career in Japan 

A childhood fascination with Gundam anime and Japan’s high-speed trains led to a study abroad project in Malaysia and Saitama University, focusing on machine design and production engineering. Despite the COVID-19 pandemic, the experience inspired a mechanical engineering career in Japan. Working as a machine design engineer in Malaysia, the student resumed their job search in Japan, overcoming language barriers and cultural differences with mentorship and mock interviews. Concluding with securing a job with a Japanese company, emphasizing the importance of language proficiency and perseverance.
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Charting My Path in Japanese Technology

When I was a child, I loved an anime called Gundam, and I was captivated by the robots in it. In high school, during class, I watched videos of high-speed trains running in Japan and was fascinated by Japan’s advanced technology. These were the triggers that sparked my interest in Japanese technology, leading me to participate in a study abroad project in Japan during university. In this project, I spent the first three years studying mechanical engineering subjects such as Japanese language, thermodynamics, and materials mechanics at a university in Malaysia. For the remaining two years, I transferred to a Japanese university as a third-year student and studied abroad. I went to Saitama University, where I took classes in machine design and production engineering and engaged in various experiments and practical training, making the two years enjoyable. Since most of the classes at Saitama University were conducted in Japanese, I found it both challenging and interesting. Additionally, Japanese universities provide a different cultural experience compared to Malaysia. In Malaysia, everyone felt like siblings, learning and playing together. In Japan, it was more common for everyone to pursue their activities individually after class. 

I wanted to learn technology by utilizing the study abroad experience and aimed for employment in Japan. However, due to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, I couldn’t stay 

Instead, I started working as a machine design engineer at a company in Malaysia. In the first two years, I gained experience in assembly and startup operations of production lines in the manufacturing department. After that, I have been involved in tasks such as analyzing mechanical design specifications, creating 3D models of machines, and working on machine design and development, as well as interpretation, striving to improve my skills. Now that the COVID-19 pandemic is under control, I was determined to work in Japan, so I resumed my job search there. 

 

From Malaysia to Machine Design Engineering in Japan

In August, when I searched for information on job hunting in Japan online, I came across FAST OFFER International. I submitted my documents and participated in an online session. In November, I received an interview invitation from a company. Unfortunately, due to nervousness, I didn’t perform well and was not successful. As a foreigner, sometimes I can’t express what I want to say in simple words and the content falls apart. I know that if I had taken the interview in my native language, I would have been able to communicate more effectively. Additionally, I sometimes get too excited and end up saying unnecessary things emotionally instead of being logical. Once I realized these issues, my mentor provided me with various advice. At that time, I was still working at a company in Malaysia, so it was difficult to make time. However, my mentor always accommodated my schedule and conducted mock interviews with me. I am truly grateful for that. 

During the interviews, I noticed a significant difference between Japanese companies and those in Malaysia. In Malaysia, interviews often conclude in one session. Moreover, they prioritize what kind of work applicants can do and what skills they have, rather than their experiences or personal traits. On the other hand, in Japan, interviews are often conducted in two or three rounds. If you pass the first interview, you can approach the second one with confidence. Additionally, in Japanese interviews, they place great importance on the applicant’s traits, especially for new graduates. Therefore, they ask about strengths and weaknesses, the biggest challenges faced so far, areas of focus, efforts made, and significant personal growth experiences. Furthermore, upon joining a company in Japan, they provide various training programs to new employees and ensure an environment where individuals can grow. I find these aspects to be wonderful. By understanding the characteristics of interviews at Japanese companies and conducting multiple mock interviews with my mentor, I was able to pass the interview at a company I liked. 

 

My Journey to Working in Japan

I am scheduled to join the company this April. When I join the company, I will start my work on the development and start-up of advanced technologies in the production line. I am looking forward to it as there will be training, and I can leverage my work experience in a Malaysian company. 

I believe that more and more students will want to find employment in Japan in the future. From my own job-hunting experience, I can say that Japanese language proficiency is particularly important. Since I don’t have many opportunities to speak Japanese, I always listen to Japanese podcasts, imitate them, watch dramas, and strive to improve my Japanese skills. It was very helpful during the interviews. I recommend this method. Furthermore, life is long, and there is nothing that cannot be achieved. Therefore, instead of saying you can’t do something before trying, I encourage you to give it a try before anything else. 

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