by Adio Alexander (sophomore international business major)
This year’s TUJ-Sophia University joint career fair, held on Sophia’s Yotsuya Campus, on July 4 gave students the opportunity to connect with domestic and foreign companies here in Japan. I first attended the joint career fair last fall. I heard each company’s presentation before they moved to individual booths in the adjacent meeting room. The presentations allowed students to learn about this year’s participating companies.
Companies ranged from accounting firms to food service companies to the very popular IKEA furniture retailer. Each company’s representatives were friendly, engaging and ready to answer questions. I asked a few representatives what kind of people they want to hire. Keio Plaza Hotel said, “People who are willing to work in a multicultural environment and make people happy.” PABCO, an automotive company, said “Someone who wants to have an impact.” Mitsuboshi Belting, a manufacturing company, gave a more specific answer: “First and foremost, we want someone who will stay and work with us in Japan for five years. After that, we’d like them to consider working abroad. But the first five years in Japan are key.” I also took note of companies’ language expectations. IKEA and enworld, for example, made it clear that much of their business is conducted in English. Other companies such as PwC and SG Holdings stressed that those with a command of business level Japanese would have an advantage. “We’d feel more comfortable if you could speak Japanese. I personally feel more comfortable conducting business in Japanese,” said a representative from PwC.
I was particularly interested in Universal Aviation, a ground handling company for private jets. What initially got my attention was the idea of serving anyone from diplomats to sports stars. When the two representatives said they were TUJ alumni I felt a proud and confident knowing that people from my university had such interesting jobs.
Student participants seemed much more diverse and interactive than last year’s attendees. There were a lot of one-on-one conversations between students and representatives. Seeing new participating companies like Universal Aviation and IKEA was great, and seeing companies from last year’s event like Keio Plaza Hotel or enworld let me know these companies are seriously interested in diversity.
As I plan to work in Japan after graduating, I appreciate events like this career fair that provide me with a glimpse of the Japanese business world and help me imagine where I might fit in it. I would encourage all students, regardless of nationality, age, year or major to attend in the future. You never know what opportunities are out there.
<student writer> Adio Alexander
Adio is a sophomore international business major, interested in specializing in economics and world trade. She is trilingual — English, Japanese and Mandarin — and hopes to be able to speak five languages by 2020. In her free time, she enjoys dancing and watching old films.