-Encounter with Japan through gaming and enrollment in the Japanese Language Department-
My interest in Japan was sparked by video games. I have been playing Japanese video games since I was a child. In addition, many members of my family are proficient in languages and have a keen interest in different cultures. My paternal grandfather and father are proficient in Chinese, and my maternal grandfather speaks Spanish. My family taught me that “learning languages of other countries expands your world” and recommended that I study Japanese if I was interested in Japan.
From there, I enrolled in the Japanese Language Department at university and focused on studying the Japanese language and culture. When I first started learning Japanese, the characters were complex and new, and it felt like an entirely different world. Kanji was also difficult. In my first year of university, I failed some tests.
However, the key to continuing to study Japanese until passing the JLPT N1 can be attributed to not relying solely on textbook studying. Of course, I used textbooks for regular classes and tests, but outside of that, I read novels and watched anime while enjoying the process. Additionally, I practiced conversation by having video calls with Japanese people using language learning apps. Therefore, I recommend studying according to one’s interests, as there are many things to learn beyond the surrounding environment and textbooks in language learning.
-1-year exchange student as a Ministry of Education Scholarship and an experience in a part-time job in Japan-
As a recipient of the Ministry of Education Scholarship, I had the opportunity to participate in a year-long exchange program and work experience in Japan.
During my third year in university, I embarked on a year-long exchange program at Saitama University, Faculty of Liberal Arts. I did not have any particular reason for choosing Saitama University, but rather was inspired by a senior at my university who had previously participated in the same exchange program and is currently serving as an ambassador for Saitama Prefecture tourism. Despite the serendipitous nature of my decision, I am truly grateful to have chosen Saitama University as my destination. Saitama Prefecture offers easy access to urban areas while being abundant in nature, and the people were kind and welcoming. The slower pace of life, compared to Tokyo, was well-suited to my personality.
In addition, I was able to receive a scholarship from the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology of Japan after passing the Japanese Language Proficiency Test and an interview. This allowed me to live comfortably in Japan without financial constraints.
During my exchange program, I studied Japanese language and culture. All classes were conducted in Japanese and included both international and Japanese students. In the Japanese language classes, I greatly benefited from a course called “Japanese Language Misuse Analysis,” which analyzed grammatical errors and helped me improve my language proficiency. In the cultural classes, I found a course that analyzed the role of art and beauty in Japan to be particularly interesting. As part of a project for this course, I attended my first piano concert. I also learned how to conduct research and write academic papers in Japanese, which was very useful for various final reports in different courses.
Furthermore, I have had experience working part-time for a Japanese moving company. In India, there is no concept of students doing part-time jobs, so I think it is wonderful that many students in Japan work part-time before becoming full-time employees. I wanted to gain experience that I could only get in Japan, so I decided to try working for a moving company as recommended by my friends.
Although the work at the moving company was tough, such as carrying heavy items, I felt a great sense of achievement when customers gave us treats. Additionally, because it was a daily pay job, I felt rewarded for my efforts at the end of each day.
Moreover, through this part-time job experience, I learned a lot about the Japanese way of working. First, I felt that the Japanese work as a team. Although they do not speak a lot during work, I thought that they communicated with each other through their actions. Additionally, each person had a strong sense of responsibility towards their own job. Although we were just student workers, no one was late for their shift.
Thanks to this part-time job experience, my desire to work in Japan has really strengthened.
-Employment at a Japanese-affiliated company in India after graduation-
However, after finishing my studies abroad, I first worked as a business support employee at a Japanese-affiliated company in India. This was because the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology had instructed me to work in my home country for at least one year after completing my studies in order to gain work experience, as I had received a scholarship from them.
There, I was responsible for mediating communication between the Japanese branch and the UK branch in terms of language. This was because the UK side was not proficient in Japanese, so the Indian team had to translate the work instructions from the Japanese branch and relay them to the UK branch. Therefore, I used Japanese every day at work. Although everyone in my team was Indian, everyone could speak Japanese. Among them, there were only two of us, including myself, who had passed JLPT (Japanese Language Proficiency Test) N1, so I think we were able to contribute to the translation and interpretation work.
Additionally, I think it was a good opportunity to learn about the workplace environment in Japan, such as morning meetings and regular meetings, as well as programming languages.
-Smooth Job Transition in Japan-
After working in India for about a year, I finally started my job search in Japan. I registered with FAST OFFER International in October 2022 and was able to receive a job offer in February 2023. My honest impression is that the job search process in Japan was not as difficult as I had imagined.
FAST OFFER International provided mentor support, and through the one-hour interview preparation sessions, I was able to learn interview techniques. I also communicated with ASIA to JAPAN employees through email and phone calls and felt completely at ease.
ASIA to JAPAN provided me with job offers from companies and handled all the preparation for document submission and interviews. Thanks to their support, I was able to conduct interviews smoothly, and they even provided consultation after the interviews. I feel like I didn’t do anything, and I’m truly grateful.
-Goals and Message for the Future-
The company that offered me a job is involved in fragrance. I chose this company because I have always enjoyed cooking, and I like combining and blending spices. In addition, the sense of smell is related to the brain, and it has been scientifically proven that specific scents can evoke memories from that time. Therefore, I am very excited to work for a company involved in fragrance in the future.
After joining the company, I want to work to expand my knowledge of fragrance through information system-related tasks. I also want to become someone who can create scents that become good memories for many people.
To those who are considering job searching in Japan, if you apply to FAST OFFER International, you can smoothly conduct your job search in Japan. Even if you have any problems, the staff at ASIA to JAPAN will support you, so please confidently start your job search! I am cheering you on.