Name: Dao ThuyDuong
Program: International MBA（2011-2013）
Current Job/Position： International market research team, Consumer lifestyle research division, House Foods Group Inc.
Getting a job in Japan was not as easy as I thought, but I was able to learn a lot about Japanese culture, the way Japanese people think…during my job hunting. I started my job hunting in December, and got my first offer in May and my second offer-the one that I took in June. However, I had been preparing for it much earlier, started with improving my Japanese, taking part in internships, and studying for tests.
Here are my pre-job hunting activities: 1. Improving Japanese: This is really important. It is true that some companies still hire foreigners with basic Japanese level, but most of those jobs are engineers and technology-related jobs, because such jobs do not require much face-to-face communication . But these are not the jobs that I want. So I took two Japanese classes in Waseda to improve my Japanese, and they are not just normal language class , they are presentation and debate class which teach me how Japanese people communicate in such situations.
2. Taking part in an internship This is not a requirement, but this definitely will give you some extra points in your CV. For me, I took part in a two-week Rakuten internship to learn about their selling process. Also, I worked part-time for a small venture to learn business skills.
3.Studying for tests I think this is the biggest hindrance for foreigners to get a job in Japan. Big Japanese firms usually use these tests to “filter” candidates. They are Maths, English, Vocabulary and questionnaires to test your personality, except for English tests, all are in Japanese. There are some “textbooks” to study these tests, and you need to study these “bibles” to survive from these tests. Usually, job-hunting in Japan starts with seminars where companies will introduce themselves to student. Next step, you will need to fill in application form which is called”entry sheet”, if you pass this first round, you will have to pass several interviews and tests before getting an offer.
These are the lessons I learnt during my job hunting: 1. Be confident and be yourself during interview. Making up good stories will not give you a right job, recruiters are interested in getting to know who you are rather than listening to good stories. Relax and show them who you are. 2. Visit your “senpai” You can go to Waseda ‘s Career Center (http://www.waseda.jp/career/eng/) or WBS ‘s CMC to ask for contacts of senpais who are currently working in companies which you are interested in, and contact them to ask for more information about those companies. 3.Always bring your business cards to seminars I took part in some seminars which were held by CMC. You should take advantages of these events by exchanging busines cards at the end of seminars. 4. Have you “entry sheet” checked before submitting You can ask staff in CMC or Waseda Career Center to check your application. They will help you correct grammatical errors or give you good advice. 5. Finally, if you get more than one offer, choose the one which gives you more motivation to work.
I am currenting working for a packaged food manufacturing firm. I chose it simply because I love cooking and researching about food. During my first year at the company, I was in charge of writing reports about food trend, and getting involved in product development. Cooking, trying new food, testing new products were parts of my jobs. Currently, I am in charge of market researches for foreign markets. In the future, I hope that I can make long-seller products which taste good to not only Japanese people but also foreign customers.