Mar 16 2020 Quan(Cap), AI Engineer Intern for a MedTech StartUp
Mr. Quan Cap who is originally from Vietnam shares his job hunting story and his motivation behind choosing Japan to build his career. Read more to find out what made him trust Active Connector and find out tips when it comes to job hunting and choosing his first company for an internship.
When did you come to Japan?
I came to Japan in September 2016 after I graduated from my university in Vietnam.
What did you do before coming to Japan？
I was a 4th year university student before I came to Japan.
Why did you want to work in Japan?
Actually, before I came here, I thought I would finish the course and come back to Vietnam or go to another country for work. But I realized that Japan has a lot in common compared to Vietnam like the culture, people, and more. Japanese people work really hard and professional. Also, Japan is changing. More and more companies are switching to use English. That is the reason why I decided to stay here.
When did you start job hunting after you decided to come to Japan?
2 year after I came to Japan, I wanted to look for a company and try an intern position.
How was your job hunting?
I got a lot of help from Active Connector. Mr. Sacha, the consultant who contacted me, is really wonderful. Also, the internship interview went well, and I got an offer from my company.
How long did it take to get a job offer after you started to do your job hunting?
It took me one week to get my job (internship) offer.
What are the difficulties you experienced in an interview?
I didn’t have any difficulties since it was just an internship interview.
How did you find this position/Active Connector?
I was contacted by Sacha Dewilde on LinkedIn.
Why did you apply for this position?
Because I want to see how an actual Japanese company looks like and be familiar with its working environment.
Did you find any differences in Active Connector from other recruiting companies?
Yes, I did. Other recruiting companies don’t really care about their candidates like how Active Connector did. I have experienced job hunting with a few companies.
Unlike other companies just giving you the job description and receiving your CV, Active Connector also has an overview of the target companies that you are going to apply. Before the interview, they offer you a mock interview session to prepare you for the actual interview. That’s the difference between Active Connector and other recruiting companies.
WORKING IN JAPAN/STARTUPS
What is your current job?
My current job is a part-time AI Engineer at Aillis Inc – A start-up company in Tokyo developing a smart device to enable easy and quick diagnosis of influenza (flu).
How do you like your current job?
I really enjoy my current job. The company has a great environment for me to improve my skills and learn so much from each other.
Did you find any cultural gap from your background after you started to work in Japan?
I think the biggest cultural gap is my Japanese ability. Of course, I communicate using English at my company but since everyone else is Japanese, I sometimes find it a little difficult.
What are the challenges you encountered while working in Japan?
At the moment, there are no challenges for me. I feel comfortable while working at my company.
What do you think is the advantage of working in a start-up?
When working in a start-up, you will have a very deep understanding of how a company operates. You will see an overview of the growth of that company.
Every decision will be really fast because the size of company isn’t big. You will learn more knowledge and develop new skills because you almost have to do new things. And for me, that’s a good opportunity. Most importantly, you will grow as the company grows.
What are the difficulties you have experienced working in a startup? (In terms of Communication with boss, working within a team, salary constraints, overwhelming responsibilities, or other practices)
At the moment, there are no difficulties for me. I feel comfortable while working at my company.
How is the mentorship in a startup environment? Most of the companies at startups have flat organizational structures so I wonder what is it like, especially with someone who has a very technical job but also have to discuss about realistic solutions.
I’m not sure about other start-up companies but my mentor at Aillis is very wise. He knows a lot about technical stuff and is also knowledgeable in many other fields. I have a chance to learn new things every time I talk to him. For me, he is more like a friend rather than a mentor.
What is your career goal?
After finishing my Ph.D. course, I will find a Computer Vision researcher position in Japan. I will be doing my best and for the next 5 to 10 years, hopefully I will become a head of a branch of my company somewhere.
Do you see your career flourishing in Japan?
Yes, I do. I think Japan is changing and becoming more open-minded. More and more companies speak English and accept foreigners. Working everywhere is basically the same I believe, but since I’ve lived in Japan for a while and I like the environment here, I strongly hope that my career will be bright here. 😊
Please give a message/advice to foreigners who are having difficulties in looking for jobs in Japan?
I have several pieces of advice for people who are having difficulties looking for jobs in Japan.
First, try to polish your profile. You can add or update what you have achieved on LinkedIn, your personal blog, and your CV. Try to make them look more professional. No employer can refuse to consider a professional resume/CV.
Second, learn some basic Japanese communication. Even if your desired job does not require Japanese, knowing Japanese communication is an advantage and maybe this will impress employers.
Third, try to apply for internship positions at your target companies when you have free time. Doing internship is the best way to know your company and have better preparation in the future. Who knows, you might build more connections to the company and get your dream job easier.
Be positive, get out of your comfort zone, and do your best. All good things will come to you 😉
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