2024-03-01

An Indian Working Student’s Journey to be an Engineer in Japan: From Ryokans to Robots

Summary

She is a science majoring in robotics at the graduate school of Ritsumeikan University. In her graduation research, she developed an in-pipe inspection robot and worked on creating a 3D model of a pipe using an on-board camera and IMU. Outside of school, she is improving her Japanese while working part-time as a receptionist at a Japanese inn. Familiar with life in Japan, she is highly motivated to find a job.

Interested in Working in japan?

Profile

Countries & Regions
India
University
Ritsumeikan University
Major
Robotics and Automation
Education
Master
Company
Japanese company engaged in the development, design, machining, assembly, and painting of hydraulic cylinders for forklifts and industrial vehicles, as well as welding and joining of forklift loads (lifting and lowering parts) and composite machining of undercarriage parts.

An Indian Working Student’s Journey to be an Engineer in Japan: From Ryokans to Robots

Drawing from her undergraduate electives in Japanese, our students’s passion for Japan deepened, leading her to pursue a Master’s in Robotics in Japan. Despite the initial language barrier and the challenge of balancing studies with two part-time jobs in Kyoto, she proactively enhanced her Japanese proficiency, reaching JLPT N3 level. Her journey was not just about academic achievements but also about cultural immersion, and feeling at home in Japan due to her introverted personality that resonated well with Japanese culture. The turning point came with FAST OFFER International’s support, simplifying her job-hunting process and refining her interview skills, culminating in a job offer for full-time work. Now poised to start her career in Japan, she aspires to integrate fully into the company and explore more of Japan, embracing both professional growth and personal exploration, fueled by a love for the country she now calls home.
35203  


From Undergraduate Electives to Life in Japan: My Master’s Journey in Robotics
 

I took Japanese classes for my electives as an undergraduate in India. Those lessons helped foster and grow my interest in Japan. I was itching to visit Japan by the time I graduated. It was an obvious choice where I would go when I decided where to advance my studies. This brings us to the present day. I am graduating in the spring from my two-year master’s degree in robotics at a Japanese university. After two years of life in Japan, despite all the challenges, I can say that I want to stay for much longer.  

    

Breaking Through the Japanese Language Barrier

Japanese proficiency was not required when I enrolled because my master’s course would be in English. So, when I first arrived in Japan, I still only relied on fundamental Japanese phrases like “Ohayou” even when I understood what people were saying. Some students found the culture challenging, but the language barrier was my biggest struggle. So, I faced this problem head-on and took proactive steps to improve my Japanese proficiency. I enrolled in Japanese classes at my university for a few weekly lessons and took on part-time jobs for practical language application. Job hunting was educational for me. I looked for jobs online and then had to pass interviews held in Japanese.    

I landed and balanced two part-time jobs at a Japanese ryokan (a traditional hot spring resort) and a restaurant. These jobs gave me valuable speaking and listening opportunities that improved my Japanese. Since I live in Kyoto, a tourist destination, these businesses also benefited from having English-speaking employees. 

After two years of immersion, my studies have gotten me to the JLPT N3 level. I still have difficulties writing in Japanese, especially with Kanji characters, but my speaking ability has improved so much thanks to all my interactions with the locals. As I learned more about the language, the more I learned about the people. Working at the Ryokan bettered my language skills and deepened my understanding of Japanese culture.      

 

Finding My Place: Embracing Japan’s Culture as an Indian Student 

I have had a challenging past two years balancing my studies with two part-time jobs, but still, I found myself getting more comfortable in Japan thanks to its unique culture. I am more at ease here than in my own country.  

I was initially drawn to Japan by the work opportunities, but I later discovered a more personal reason to love this country: I felt so culturally aligned. My introverted personality seamlessly blends with the Japanese way of life. While Japanese people may not outwardly express their feelings or show overt interest, their kindness, and niceness resonate well with my disposition. Although it can sometimes be challenging when people seem too focused on their affairs, I have come to appreciate and understand this aspect of Japanese culture. Despite the initial difficulty in adjusting to the less overt expressions, I have found a sense of belonging and comfort in the Japanese way of life.    

Getting to know Japan made one thing truly clear to me: I wanted more. I wanted to explore and experience more of what it meant to live in Japan. I decided that after my master’s degree, I would apply for a Japanese company.  

    

Navigating Job Hunting in Japan: How FAST OFFER International Made It Easier 

A friend and I were both looking for a job in Japan. We were both going through the typical application processes involving several steps. It was particularly confusing for us non-Japanese students. That is when my friend discovered the FAST OFFER International program and shared it with me. We quickly both signed up. Three to four months later, I got a job offer!  

The language barrier was a particular hurdle during the job interviews. This challenge got the better of me as I failed on my first attempt. Despite interviewers sometimes using simple Japanese or allowing the use of English, conveying my thoughts still posed difficulties. Learning from the experience and heeding my mentors’ advice, I succeeded at my second attempt.  

FAST OFFER International’s mentors played a crucial role in refining my interview skills. Through multiple mock interviews, they gave me helpful individualized tips on tone and response strategies. I was able to answer comparable questions during the actual interviews with ease. The interviewers’ positive reactions reaffirmed my success, as was their interest in my aim to secure a position at the company I wanted to work for.  

For students applying through ASIA to JAPAN, I want them to remember two things: 

  1. Pay attention to the instructions because minute details are important in interviews! 
  1. Follow the directions of your mentors! Practice their tips repetitively. Heeding your mentors’ guidance will improve your chances of securing that job offer 

  

Vision for the Future: Building My Life in Japan Post-Master’s 

Thanks to perseverance and help from FAST OFFER International, I can rest from the job search and now direct my attention to when I start my new job. When I start, I will focus on integrating into the company, learning as I go, and giving my best efforts so I can excel. As busy as those goals sound, I will not neglect my original purpose: to see more of Japan and indulge in more travel experiences. Balancing these aspirations will allow me to build a life where I can find joy in my professional growth and personal exploration.  

To live my best life, I plan to stay in Japan for as long as I can. I want to fulfill my dreams in this country I love so much.  

Read More Success stories!

Hong Kong
Foreign Language Department
The Chinese University of Hong Kong
Malaysia
Electronics and Telecommunication
Universiti Teknologi Malaysia
Taiwan
Faculty of Foreign Languages
Peking University