Dec 17 2019 Active Connector heads the DESIGN YOUR CAREER SEMINAR at one of the top universities in Japan

Hokkaido University Campus (Photo from Wikimedia)


On November 27 2019, Active Connector was invited to conduct a Career Design seminar in Hokkaido University.
Hokkaido University, which is located in the cosmopolitan city of Sapporo, is recognized as one of Japan’s leading research and teaching institutions.  In 2018, it was ranked as 122nd in the world, while placing 7th within Japan, in terms of QS World University Rankings. They are known as one of the most difficult universities to get into with the acceptance rate of 35.9%,  record last updated in 2015.

In photo is Nichole Syjueco, Active Connector’s Marketing Officer, leading the career design seminar


The career guidance seminar for international graduate students is usually held once a year and spearheaded by the International Affairs Office of Engineering of Hokkaido University and their Career Development Department. The participants are composed of international engineering students currently enrolled at the university. This year there were around 25-30 students who were registered event participants.

The seminar’s aim is to encourage, guide and simply provide vital informations to these global talents who wish to pursue their careers in Japan. Most of the foreign students studying in Japan are eager to find jobs within their respective industries, however, Japan has a very unique job hiring culture especially for students. This is called the shūshoku katsudō or shūkatsu for short. This is actually a job hunting activity for students in their 3rd year of undergraduate program. These candidates attend a lot of job interviews and depending on the result some of them get accepted as interns, which usually leads to a job promise after graduation. This is a very traditional take on job hunting and usually big companies participate in this. The problem is most foreigners are not aware of this practice and not only that, promising startups and small to medium enterprises might not always participate in this traditional way of hiring.

As part of the seminar’s initiative to disseminate information, the session is divided into 3 main categories


Introduction to Career Development in Japan

The first part of the seminar is an introduction to career development in Japan, which was led by Professor Yoshichika Iida who oversees the career support for the Doctoral students of Hokkaido University. In this part, Professor Iida explains the unique characteristics of work and job assignments in Japanese companies as well as the reasons why Japanese companies are interested to hire foreign talents.

Job Hunting Guide in Japan

The second part of the seminar was lead by Active Connector’s Nichole Syjueco. This includes crucial topics including visa sponsorship and visa classifications, Japanese level requirement, English and Japanese resume, job interviews in Japan and Japanese business etiquettes that are beneficial for international students who aim to establish their professional career successfully in Japan.

Career Support for Engineering Students

The last but not the least was handled by Professor Seiji Miura of the Career Planning office of Faculty of Engineering. He talked about the assistance and support available for the students.

Overall the main purpose of the seminar is to provide assistance to these foreign students and make sure that they get exposed to as much opportunity possible. Every year, there is a large influx of foreign students coming in Japan to pursue their studies, which means that this is a really good opportunity to bridge the gap between jobs in demand in Japan and the talents they seek to fill in these roles.

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