I apologize for switching to only English. My blog is very much for my audience, so most appropriately, I should be writing in both English and Japanese (as best as I can). However, in part, this blog is also for myself, and I want to accurately convey the feelings and thoughts associated with my journey.
I started my shūshoku katsudō (job hunt) in Japan mid-September, and it lasted through late November because I had interviews after the Boston Career Forum. I devoted a lot of time practicing Japanese and learning about different industries that were new to me because those were the opportunities I was limited to based on my preliminary interviews. And although I say that my job hunt started in mid-September, in part, I studied computer science to give me the mobility to go to Japan (maybe 20% of the reason, but I truly enjoy the study of computer science in it of itself for many other reasons). Therefore, I had been preparing for this moment for over a year. On top of that, I spent an incredible amount of money rebranding myself to be appropriate and appealing to the Japanese audience by dying my hair and buying clothes specifically for shūshoku katsudō. After all my efforts, unfortunately, it did not bear any concrete results. Yes, I feel that I developed very much as a person and learned a lot about myself. However, the reality of the situation was that I had produced no results.
And also, I felt so embarrassed that I had provided these "advices" for how to succeed at the Boston Career Forum, but I myself was unable to receive a single position. It was definitely very humbling.
Throughout this process, I had been talking to many mentors from a variety of backgrounds. Uniformly, they told me not to close any doors because I think they knew from personal experience, we rarely are met with the situation that we expect. Quite honestly, it was a difficult thing to internalize and act upon. However, the three days following the final interview with my final company in Japan, I cried, but I also started an intense process of applying to positions in the U.S.
I feel like this is turning into a diary entry, but oh well, just this once I will describe my thoughts in excruciating detail with no expectations of anyone reading this post...
It was a totally different experience. I didn't have to prepare nearly as much as I did for the Japanese firms. There was a flow and confidence that I hadn't felt previously. I just felt more myself at every moment. I connected more or less effortlessly, and it made me feel... isn't this how it ought to be?
I feel like I accidentally removed myself from American culture throughout my university years, and it was weird coming back into it through these interviews. I was almost apprehensive of not fitting in, despite the fact that I am, for a lack of a better or more correct way of describing myself, very American. The transition, however, was really quick and easy. I started to express that side of me again, but more importantly, feel happy being that side of me.
This blog post actually ended up being very vague and uninformative, but maybe my future children will get a feel for 22 year old me in the process of finding my first job.
I have a lot more to write about in regards to transitioning from school to work, thoughts on the meaning of life (haha), my ambitions, to what extent, etc.. but I will save that for another day...
Monday, November 3, 2014
１）日本式の面接の受け方/How to take a Japanese-style interview
２）自分のレジュメや履歴書/Your Resume and Rirekisho
３）ボディレンゲージと自分を応援すること/Body Language & Rooting for Yourself!
４）ストレスを解消する/Relieve Your Stress
面接について考えすぎると言うまでもなくストレスが重なる可能性があると思います（私の話ですね(＾＾;;))。ストレスを解消するために一番好きな音楽を聞きながら一人で踊ったり歌ったりしてみてください。私は最近Taylor SwiftのShake It Offという音楽を楽しんでいます。それだけではなくて運動したり外で走ったりしてみてください。ワシントンD.C.は綺麗景色がたくさんあるので歩いたり走ったりしながらストレスが解消できると思います。
Monday, October 13, 2014
Monday, September 22, 2014
I intended to make this post about the Boston Career Forum a while ago, but I got carried away with my course work and post-grad planning. So lets get right to it!
I attended Boston Career Forum last year (2013), and I would definitely have to say that it was an eye-opening experience, both culturally and professionally. I am Korean-American, and I have been learning Japanese for about 4 years (3 years at the time) so hopefully that gives you an idea of the barrier minimum language requirement necessary for the Forum.
I will not be mentioning the names of the companies that I interviewed for; however, I want to share a few tips that will help you make the most out of your experience in Boston. Please keep in mind, I am not a professional interview preparer. I simply want to share some information that I feel would be helpful so that you all can have an optimal experience. Personally, I wish I had resources that would have given me a better picture of the Forum prior to the event.
Apply as soon as possible. Deadlines vary; however, many of the deadlines fall between the end of September to early October. One key characteristic that many applicants may not know is that you want to interview at least once with your prospective companies before the Forum in November. If you are serious about finding a full-time or internship position, this is key.
Customize your application essays or additional written portions of the application. I know this may seem bothersome; however, a well-written application essay will convey to the recruiter that you invested your time into the application because you are serious about the position.
Revise your resume/CV and check for grammatical mistakes. I feel like this not only ties into your professionalism, but also into your level of respect for the person reviewing your application. If you expect a firm to consider you for a position, the least you can do is take a few extra minutes to look over your resume/CV.
Review for your web tests if the firm you are applying to requires them. I have photographed a few that my Japanese friend recommended to me (image below). Even taking a glance helped me a lot in simplifying difficult questions so that I can answer them quickly.
Do your research on you prospective employers/firms. It is to your advantage to know as much as you can about the firm you are interviewing with before your interview. This will give you more time to have an in depth conversation with your interviewer about more relevant topics. Also, it shows the interviewer that you cared enough to do your research.
Be yourself. I know this sounds cliche, but the interview process goes both ways. In other words, companies are looking for the best fit for the vacant role in their firm; however, you must also consider whether or not the firm is fit for you and provides an environment that you will thrive in. Think of the interview process as you and the interviewer having a give-and-take conversation where you are getting to know each other rather than an interrogation session with questions only coming from the interviewer.
Practice general to specific interview questions. You can easily find these online by searching on Google (or your search engine of choice). Also try looking for interview questions from your specific firms. Bigger firms tend to have webpages on advice they have for their interviewees.
Rest sufficiently before your interview. This seems obvious, but something to consider is the interview times that you may be facing due to the time difference between the U.S. (or other country) and Japan. I have had interviews that started at 9:00 pm on a Sunday night as well as 3-hour case study interviews that ended close to midnight.
Remember that you are not limited to the list I have created, but you should definitely bring the following items:
1. Several copies of your resume/CV/履歴書 in both English and Japanese (there are copy machines at the forum)
2. A folder to keep your documents clean and presentable
5. Snacks (To be honest... the food sold at the Convention Center is not only pricey, but also not that delicious or nutritious. You don't want to feel sick for your interview...)
6. Computer/book/etc to keep you occupied because you will have a lot of down time.
At the Boston Career Forum
The gates will open exactly at 9:00 am in the morning on November 7, 2014. If you want to be the first one at a certain booth, I suggest that you arrive a bit early to take care of the pre-forum tasks, which include: registration confirmation, name tags, and bag check. (*side note: If you are flying in on the morning of the Forum, don't worry about your bags because you can check your bags for only a few dollars at the Convention Center. I actually flew in on the morning of because I live relatively close by)
You will proceed to picking up your information bag, which will include a map that indicates where each firm is located, a catalogue that introduces each firm, and a newsletter about the Forum. If you arrive at the gate before 9:00 am, you will be surrounded by hundreds, maybe thousands, of other applicants. It was an interesting experience to be surrounded by so many students wearing similar job hunting uniforms. (*another side note: Look up the appropriate attire for a Japanese interview. You will find that it is pretty different from the job hunting attire in the States. A quick description would be that the formal wear is usually black and white. As a westerner, you may feel that individualism through a unique attire would be better; however, I personally feel that it would be best to follow the Japanese style for this event. I feel that it shows a certain level of respect and professionalism.)
The main area of the Convention Center will have all the booths for the various companies as well as a few rows of tables that have pamphlets and information packets of all the different companies. Some companies accept walk-in interviews while others do not. There are separate interview rooms or areas both in the main area of the Convention Center and on the upper floor. I suggest that you figure out exactly where they are located so that you are not late to your appointment.
I felt that most of the activities are on Friday and Saturday. Many of the companies start folding up their booths early around Sunday noon.
I don't have too much to say about this. However, from my personal and friends' experiences, you can be offered a position any time between the day of your interview to as late as January of the next year.
Well, I hope this was helpful. I definitely have more information that I would like to share with you, but my thoughts are not quite organized at this time. Please let me know if you would like me to share more information (I'm pretty sure I have information packets, etc from last year) about anything regarding the Boston Career Forum. It could even be some hotel/hostel website recommendations to dining spots. I'd be more than happy to do some research and share that information with everyone. Otherwise, please feel free to ask me any questions via a comment below or just e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Best of luck to everyone! And I hope to see you at the Boston Career Forum in November!
Sunday, September 7, 2014
Saturday, September 6, 2014
I won't be deconstructing and analyzing my childhood in this post, but I would like to share with you a person who changed my life, my 5th grade teacher.
I still remember her voice when she read to us "Where the Red Fern Grows." She was so calm and collected, but just as firm and diligent with her students.
I remember the first book she recommended to me. It was called "The Enormous Egg," and it was about a dinosaur. It was a level 4.2 book. The book was almost a square shape, and it was yellow.
She is a cultured, current, active, and beautiful woman. I definitely aspire to become someone like her.
Thank you so much for everything.
Thursday, September 4, 2014
I have a strong sense of self-awareness that causes me to remind myself of how old I am and what I should be doing at this point in my life. Right now, I am 22 years old, and my biological clock is telling me that it is time to cook.
As I may have mentioned before, I love making things. More specifically, I love the process of building something visual, physical, and tangible. The process of building something with the motivation that I or someone else will be able to interact with it in a positive way is therapeutic in many ways.
This is my form of aroma therapy. This is my outlet for creative expression. It gives me the opportunity to share a taste, a smell, a feeling of home with my close ones. It give me the opportunity to become an organized planner and a logical thinker, as I map out the most efficient way to cook and clean simultaneously. (I can't enjoy a delicious meal if my kitchen looks like a tornado went through it).
|김치 만두 (kimchi dumplings)|
|불고기 만두 (bulgogi dumplings)|
|제육볶음 (spicy pork bokkeum)|
|kimchi pancake & katsu curry|
|Veggie Fried Rice|
|Baked Chicken Nuggets|