From Myanmar to Japan: A Naval Architect’s Journey to Becoming a Machine Designer Amidst Adversity


She is from Mynamar and in STEM. In her graduation research, she designed an inland waterway container ship and used AUTOCAD to design a ship that can transport efficiently in narrow river widths. While majoring in shipbuilding engineering, she was also interested in design and construction management.

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Countries & Regions
Myanmar Maritime University
Naval Architecture
Manufacturer of sanitary product manufacturing equipment

From Myanmar to Japan: A Naval Architect’s Journey to Becoming a Machine Designer Amidst Adversity

Drawn to Japan by its team-focused work culture and equal benefits, from Myanmar she embarked on a journey to integrate into this vibrant society after earning a degree in naval architecture. The allure of professional growth and a safe environment fueled their dedication to mastering the Japanese language, from N5 to N2 levels even amidst the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic. Despite initial setbacks in job hunting with FAST OFFER International, their perseverance paid off, securing a machine designer position at a sanitary product manufacturing equipment company. With a mix of excitement and concerns about living alone overseas, and adapting to a new field, they are determined to overcome these hurdles through company training and personal growth. Their story is a testament to the belief that hard work and persistence lead to achieving one’s dreams, inspiring others to pursue their goals with the same fervor. 


The Lure of Japan: A Myanmar Naval Architect’s Dream

I’ve never set foot in Japan, yet the pull toward its culture and work ethic was undeniable. The teamwork-focused work culture and equal employee benefits captivated me, and I believe that by working in such an environment, the company and I could grow. It painted a picture of professional growth and a safe, welcoming country. 

My curiosity grew through countless YouTube videos and tales from friends in Japan. In my final year of university, I started studying Japanese a little, and after graduation, I began studying Japanese more seriously. 


Mastering Japanese: Overcoming Pandemic Challenges 

After graduating from university, I studied Japanese with a private tutor for about three years, focusing on levels N5 to N2 of the JLPT (Japanese Language Proficiency Test). When the new coronavirus spread, the language school shifted from in-person classes to online, so I studied with my teacher via Zoom from home. 

After passing the N2 level, I participated in classes organized by AJMMC (Association for Japan-Myanmar Exchange). There, I learned about Japanese etiquette, things to know when working in Japan, and what preparations to make before entering society. 


Navigating Job Hunting Setbacks with FAST OFFER International 

In June 2023, I registered with FAST OFFER International for job opportunities. Soon after, I received an interview opportunity. As it was my first interview experience, I was extremely nervous beforehand, unsure of what questions would be asked and feeling anxious. In reality, the interviewers were very kind, and we had a good conversation. However, unfortunately, I did not pass the interview. I believe there were areas where I needed improvement. Honestly, I was very disappointed because I had high hopes for a positive outcome. 

The second chance for an interview came in August. Taking into account my previous failure, I prepared meticulously and made sure to answer the questions carefully. My mentor also provided guidance on what kind of answers would be appropriate for certain questions. With the support of my mentor, I finally received a job offer. 

I felt a simultaneous sense of surprise and joy when I received the job offer because I had a big dream of working in Japan someday. 

The company that extended the job offer is a manufacturer of sanitary product manufacturing equipment. I am planning to work there as a machine designer. My major is naval architecture, and during my second and third years of university, I learned the basics of drawing and designing machinery for ships. Thanks to that background, I was able to secure the job offer. 


Securing a Dream Job: From Naval Architecture to Machine Design 

I am scheduled to start my job in Japan in April 2024. I am very excited about living in Japan, but at the same time, I have significant concerns because it will be my first time living alone, and it’s overseas. Lately, my worry has been about finding an apartment. As a single woman, I am being cautious about security while searching for a place. It’s quite challenging to find an apartment in a place I have never been to before. The rent prices are also high. I hope to find a good apartment soon. 

Additionally, I have some concerns about my lack of expertise in the field of machinery. Although I have basic knowledge in the field, it is not my specialization, so I worry about whether I will be able to keep up with my colleagues, who are experts in machinery. However, the company provides training, so I hope to overcome challenges by learning through training and the day-to-day work. 

Honestly, I also have concerns about my Japanese language skills. Recently, there was a gathering for the new hires, and other foreign individuals who grew up in Japan were extremely proficient in Japanese. Among the foreigners who passed the selection process from ASIA to JAPAN to join the same company, there are only two of us, besides myself. Currently, I am comfortable with listening, but I still have a long way to go in terms of speaking naturally and grammatically correct Japanese. I need to put in more effort in that aspect. 


Facing New Beginnings: The Excitement and Concerns of Living in Japan 

After joining the company, I want to study various things to apply my knowledge to my work and grow as an individual. As a member of the company, I also hope for the growth of the company along with my own personal development. 

Furthermore, in 5 to 10 years, I would like to become a project leader. Even if this position is not available, I aim to become a valuable asset in the workplace. 

If you don’t give up and continue to work hard, your goals and dreams will definitely come true someday. Even if time passes, as long as you persist and keep trying, everything will be alright. Please do your best! 

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