Tuesday, December 23, 2014

就職活動のまとめ/Summary of my job hunt

お久しぶりです^_^

ボスキャリーが終わってから就職ができて暇になると思ったんですが私が希望したようになかなかできなくてボスキャリーの後からもっと忙しくなりました。ちょっと遅くなってすみませんが今から私の就活の経験と結果について説明してみます。色々なニュアンスが説明してほしいから英語で書くかもしれないんですが日本語で最初は日本語で頑張ります。

まず、結果から始めます。私は日本にある会社の面接を全部落ちてからアメリカで就職活動を再び始めるようになりました。そして、アメリカの会社で就職ができてすごく感謝しています。もちろん、日本で働きたい気持ちが大きかったですがこの会社に100%満足しています。今から私の経験についてもっと詳しく説明してみます。(英語でw)

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...

スー

Monday, November 3, 2014

BCF/ボスキャリー 2014 [Part 2]: Let's prepare together! 一緒に準備しよう!



お早うございます! 約四日後もうボスキャリーが来ますね。すると、皆さんどうやって準備していますか。もちろん、私もCFNからもらった情報をちゃんと読んで準備していますがその以外にも役に立っている情報をシェアしたいと思います。私の場合は日本文化を勉強しましたが日本人ではないし、日本について知らないことがたくさんありますので様々なウェブサイトから情報を読んでいます。その上、日本式の面接の受け方だけではなくどうすれは心理的に面接の準備がよくできるかということも調べてみました。だから、外国人にも日本人にもこの情報が役に立って欲しいです。同時に、これを書きながら私の準備し方の整理ができると思います。V(^_^)V

それでは、よろしくお願いします。

1)日本式の面接の受け方/How to take a Japanese-style interview
このビデオシリーズは九つのビデオがあり、自己紹介から終了まで大切なポイントを詳しく説明します。私はこれを2−3回見て面接を受ける人の姿勢を学んだり自分の答えと書いたりしました。このシリーズはかなり簡単ですが面接受ける時に緊張して頭が真っ白になる条件が結構あると思います。その前に簡単な質問に回答を準備したら確かに役に立つと思います。



***

2)自分のレジュメや履歴書/Your Resume and Rirekisho
言うまでもなく、レジュメや履歴書は自分が書いたし自分の経験だから説明しやすべきですがそう言うわけではないですね。私は自分のレジュメや履歴書がよく分かるように話のようなものを作ってみました。つまり、一つ一つの経験を反映しながら何をして何を学んだかと面白い話に作りました。そうすれば、自分の経験の詳しいディテールが覚えやすくなると思います。

***

3)ボディレンゲージと自分を応援すること/Body Language & Rooting for Yourself!
このビデオはちょっと長いと思いますが面接受ける時にいい習慣を教えていると思います。簡単に説明すれば自分のボディレンゲージによって面接の成功が決まっていますので鏡を見て大きく笑顔したり勝ったように腕を"V"の形にしたりしてみてください。
TEDというビデオシリーズに様々な素晴らしい方々がモチベーションやパッションと関係がある講演がたくさんあるのでインスピレーションがよくもらえる思います。そして、日本語で字幕もあります。(^^)V



***

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。



それでは、ここまで私の長いブログポストを読んでくれてありがとうございます。皆さん頑張ってください!私は応援していますよ!

スー



Monday, October 13, 2014

アイデンティティの魅力


この話は英語で書きたいです。英語で書けば私が言いたいのがはっきり伝えられるからです。でも、私が英語ではっきり書いても私が読んでくれてほしい人たちが読めないと意未がないでしょう。この理由でまず日本語で頑張ってみます。

私は新しい人と出会うことが大好きです。特に、私とは99%が違うけど一つの同点がある人達と出会うことが好きです。それは、アイデンティティの魅力だと思います。目で見えない物で仲が良くなってくれる物がアイデンティティではないでしょうか。言語と文化がそれが見えるようにしてくれます。一つの言葉か小さい行為でお互いに、何も知らなくても、近く感じるようにしてくれます。


買い物してから家に戻っていました。今学期に日本語の授業をとっていないから誰かと日本語で話せば良いなあと思っていました。その後、隣に日本語が聞けました。アメリカならどの言語を聞いてもそんなにびっくりされないがワシントンD.C.では日本人があまり見えません。お久しぶりに日本語を聞いて嬉しかったです。始めに、理由がないのに話しかけるのは失礼と思って何も言わなかったが、信号待ちながら目が合って笑顔しました。それから話が始まりました。その時に本当に短い話しか出来なかったが名刺をもらって後で一緒に食事するようになりました。食事しながら理解が出来なかった内容も結構あったし日本語がうまく出来なくて失望感もありました。しかし、楽しかったです。言葉で言えなかったのはお互いに理解が出来るように努力することで満足が出来ました。

それから、もう一つ。私の面接質問が浮かびます。私の面接者が、ワシントンD.C.を誰かに紹介する機会があればどこに案内したいですか、と聞きました。アメリカ人も良く知らないワシントンD.C.の外観が見せたいですと答えました。この機会が本当に来て喜びです。

私の友達になって下さってありがとうございます。日本に行く時ぜひ再び会いましょう。

スー






Monday, September 22, 2014

Boston Career Forum 2014 ・ ボストンキャリアフォーラム 2014



Hello everyone,

          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.

Application Process/Requirements

         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.


Interview Process

          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. 

What You Should Bring

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
3. Water
4. Money
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.

Offers

          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 soo@simpleandkitsch.com.

Best of luck to everyone! And I hope to see you at the Boston Career Forum in November!

スー

Sunday, September 7, 2014

兄とブランチ

子供の頃、私は兄と仲があまり良くなかったです。意見やライフスタイルが全然違って話題さえ出来ませんでした。ワシントンD.C.(家は車で14時間ぐらい)で一人暮らししているのはもう4年になりました。その4年の間に私は兄を四回しか合えなかったです。時々私は兄がいると言う事を忘れてしまった時も結構あると思いますが、本当に大変な時に兄が頭の中で浮かびます。それが家族と言う事でしょうか。喧嘩しても大変な事があれば話せる人。。。

それでも、時間が過ごせば過ごすほどお互いの考え方がどんどん分かるようになっているそうです。喧嘩なしわけではありませんが少なくとも兄弟の関係を守るために頑張っています。




スー




Saturday, September 6, 2014

My 5th Grade Teacher

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.

Me & Mrs. Easley (My 5th Grade Homeroom Teacher)
スー

Thursday, September 4, 2014

cooking therapy

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

숙주나물 (sukjunamul)

Baked Chicken Nuggets