2024-05-16

Breaking into the Japanese IT Industry: Insights from a Wuhan University Alumni

Summary

Graduate from Wuhan University of Science and Technology pursued her ambition to work in Japan, fueled initially by an interest in Japanese anime and music. Her journey involved intensive self-study of the Japanese language and adapting to cultural differences, with an emphasis on maintaining professional boundaries more typical in Japan compared to China. With assistance from FAST OFFER International, she navigated the complex job-hunting landscape, gaining valuable support that facilitated their entry into the Japanese IT industry. This support included preparation for job interviews and securing job opportunities, allowing her to realize her dream of working in Japan. This narrative showcases the graduate’s determination and adaptability, reflecting their commitment to integrating into a new cultural and professional environment.

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Profile

Countries & Regions
China
University
Wuhan University Of Science And Technology
Major
Information Management
Education
Bachelor
Company
Developing and delivering a SaaS platform for enterprise mobile management to help various organizations manage and utilize mobile devices more effectively

Choosing a Career Path in Japan: Insights from a Chinese Graduate 

At first, I was interested in Japanese anime and music, so I started studying Japanese lightly. I only considered working in Japan once I entered Wuhan University of Science and Technology.  

At the university, I heard success stories from people who worked in Japan that made me want to work there, too. Entering the Japanese IT Industry began to look within my reach. I did some more research and discovered that the Japanese lifestyle and workstyle would suit me well. From a cultural perspective, I feel that the distance between people in Japan is more suited to me. In China, the distance between people is much closer, whereas in Japan, there is less discussion of private matters at work and an overall tendency not to interfere—a level of distance that I find much more to my liking.  

Everything I learned about Japan made me want to pursue job opportunities there, so I started studying Japanese seriously. However, even though I wanted to go to Japan and was studying the language, I had no idea what to do next to make it happen.  

 

Mastering Japanese as a Steppingstone to Working in Japan 

I have been studying Japanese on my own for almost three years now. Although my study routine was not consistent due to university classes and other commitments, I made it a habit to engage with the language regularly. I have recognized the difference between preparing for a written test like the JLPT and training to improve one’s conversational skills. Since I started studying Japanese, I have been conscious of my desire to speak fluently.  

Initially, I listened to recordings of textbooks to grasp basic grammar and vocabulary, often shadowing them many times. Additionally, I practiced shadowing using videos and podcasts that caught my interest. However, practicing conversation on my own was not easy. While I could read and comprehend written material, the absence of real-life conversation opportunities was challenging. Therefore, I found an online Nagoya-based Japanese teacher to upgrade my conversational skills. Thanks to this, I experienced significant improvement. Apart from learning the language, our conversations also helped me have a better understanding of life in Japan.  

Today, I understand some parts of my favorite anime and manga. I still turn on Chinese subtitles, but it is something that I never would have imagined before starting my Japanese language journey.  

 

Securing an IT Career in Japan with FAST OFFER International’s Support 

Looking for ways to work in Japan, I came across a service called the FAST OFFER International program. Upon comparing various services, I found FAST OFFER International offered the most convenient and complete choice. Despite exploring other options, they distinguished themselves by offering the most attentive support out of them all.  

My job search was focused on opportunities in Japan. After registering with FAST OFFER International at the end of November, I immediately had an interview with their staff and uploaded the necessary documents. With about a month until the next steps, I took this time to register with other job-hunting websites. I also attended company information sessions to gain a better understanding of IT companies in Japan. All interviews were conducted in Japanese, which was challenging due to the numerous words and expressions to remember. Amidst the many tasks at hand, I made three preparations in advance:  

Preparing for My Japanese Job Interviews  

  • Self-analysis. I organized episodes from my life since elementary school up until now to create a personal history. This helped me gain a deeper understanding of myself, my personality, strengths, weaknesses, and what I want to do.  
  • Industry research. I studied the Japanese IT industry to explore various job types and find a suitable position for myself.  
  • Project-related tasks. I translated all the websites I created into Japanese and created detailed introduction texts.  


By the end of December, I received a contact from FAST OFFER International regarding companies selected for January.
I had interviews with two other companies that did not require entry sheets. After the interviews, I reflected on my areas for improvement.  

I also had interview preparation sessions with mentors, who provided incredibly detailed guidance. Although I had already prepared answers for the anticipated questions from FAST OFFER’s Interview Page before directly consulting with my mentor, their advice differed significantly. They taught me very politely about the intent behind the questions, how to answer them, and how to structure my responses. I found this practice helpful. The other staff at FAST OFFER International also provided very attentive support.  

Interestingly, the position I applied for at my first-choice company did not match my skills. The company expressed concerns about how I would catch up after joining, so I underwent additional interviews after the final interview. In the additional interview, I highlighted my self-learning ability based on my past experiences that helped me receive a job offer in the end.  

In Japanese interviews, you receive many questions beyond technical and knowledge-related ones. There are many questions about why you want to join that company and what you want to do after joining. It is important to not just talk about knowledge and experience but also effectively convey your thoughts and intentions. Therefore, I spent enough time preparing for the interviews. Because the interviews went well, I will be joining the company next April.  

  

Preparing for a Professional Future in Japan’s IT Landscape 

As the interviews were conducted online, I have not been to Japan yet. However, I plan to visit Japan with my friends as a graduation trip before joining the company. I will graduate from my university in June. Japan can be hot in summer and cold in winter, but the temperature in June is just right, so I am looking forward to it. I am thinking of visiting the Kansai region, including Osaka and Kyoto.  

The company I will work for is in Fukuoka, famous for its food and seems like a comfortable place to live. Surprisingly, I do not have many worries about coming to Japan. Even though I expect some challenges upon arrival, I am mentally prepared for them, so I am not overly concerned. Even if problems arise, I am determined to resolve them. I do not know anyone around me who is aiming to work in Japan like me. Despite this, I have a strong determination to come to Japan and do my best, so I believe I can overcome any obstacles. My main goal is to work in Japan for as long as possible.  

 

Essential Interview Preparation Tips for Aspiring Students 

  • Practice thoroughly before the actual interview with your first-choice company. In my case, there was quite a gap between choosing my preferred company and the actual interview. I think it is risky to go into an interview with your first-choice company with little experience. It can be nerve-wracking, and success may not be guaranteed. Repeated practice and becoming familiar with the format of Japanese company interviews will increase your chances of performing well during the actual interview.  
  • Prioritize learning how to converse in Japanese. The ultimate goal is to work in Japan. Which means living there and attending interviews conducted in Japanese. The JLPT and other tests are important, but if you focus on conversation and not too much on reading and writing, your goal will become more achievable.  
  • You need to have the right attitude. My university is not famous. Reading “Success Stories” of other students, there were many excellent students from famous universities. This made me a little hesitant when I first enrolled with FAST OFFER International. I had doubts about whether I could succeed. That is why I decided to give it my all. I took my time to carefully prepare the documents requested, ensuring thoroughness and completeness not to leave something undone. This contributed to a positive outcome. While there may be uncertainties, putting in the effort to strive for perfection will lead to success. 

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