In this Byline ICS piece, we interviewed Viola, a current MBA student, who shared her job hunting journey in Japan.
Viola | MBA Class of 2020 2-year Student
Q. Tell us the biggest challenge you had during the job-hunting.
Interviewing in Japanese was definitely the biggest challenge for me. So, I asked one of my Japanese classmates to mentor me throughout the process. He kindly agreed; he proofread my drafted interview answers, corrected my pronunciation, and did mock interviews with me. Interviews in Japanese usually follow a standard set of questions. Starting with a short self-introduction, then asking about your career aspirations, your strengths & weaknesses, etc. Which made it relatively easier to prepare, and the key to success is one thing, practice, practice, and practice!
Q. What was your plan for your career before you entered ICS, and how did it change?
I planned to continue my career in the pharmaceutical industry to leverage my previous work experiences. Yet, I joined the financial sector in a position related to Pharma. Before starting my MBA, I didn't expect this to happen. However, my time at Hitotsubashi ICS enriched my knowledge, especially in Corporate Finance, Economics, and Strategy, allowing me to think bigger and aim higher. Hence, I decided to step into a new area and challenge myself.
Q. How is working in Japan? Any advice for the fellow ICSers regarding working in Japan?
I think it varies depending on the company. Like if you choose to work at a startup, you wouldn't have the same experience as those working in a big corporation. The same goes for a local Japanese firm vs. an international firm in Japan. I want to recommend fellow ICSers to start job hunting earlier, at least 6months before graduating. Also, to be adaptive to the local working culture, such as robust administration, lengthy training period, and conservative decision-making process. Of course, Japanese proficiency is a plus anywhere.
Viola also co-authored BylineICS How do ICS MBAs study Japanese? | Kin, Viola, and Yiwei's stories.