A message from the Career Center Director
- Updated on March 1, 2016
At last it is time for students to start the search for employment. This is the second consecutive year that the career search schedule has been delayed: as I predicted, preparations were late, and consequently an increasing number of students are plunging into job applications without sufficient preparation. Meanwhile, companies are doing their best to secure the most talented students as fast as possible. This is reflected in the rise of over 70% on last year’s figures for the introduction of new internship programs. Companies must now announce their provisional employment offers within just two months. This means an unprecedentedly short and concentrated selection period, which will probably make it harder to submit multiple applications.
How can students best prepare themselves to find employment? I have three suggestions:
1)Take the opportunity to participate in multiple internships and use them to analyze yourself and potential companies.
2)Increase your mental stamina (stress tolerance) in preparation for the road to securing an employment offer
3)Start saving the necessary funds for job hunting (transport etc.)
Firstly, as regards (1), assess yourself based on the characteristics of your faculty (graduate school) and field of research. Re-examine yourself from the perspective of your field of specialty, then add what you have gained from participating in extracurricular activities such as volunteer groups or clubs. Use this method to identify your unique skills and traits. Internship experiences will help this self-assessment. By participating in an internship, you will discover what you can contribute to companies and businesses, clarify what companies need from you, and prevent a company-employer mismatch. This is an especially important opportunity for students from overseas to demonstrate their abilities. It is also good practice for writing job applications. I highly recommend internships for every student.
My second point regards the importance of developing a thick skin. In searching for employment you will enter a different world from that of studying. The selection results do not come with individual feedback, which can be very stressful. You will need to become mentally strong in the face of rejection in order to move onto the next application. Above all, it is important to keep a positive attitude, and remember that your search for employment is a chance to meet many different people, realize your potential, and grow as a person.
Finally, point (3). Nowadays, all candidates must attend multiple selection exams and interviews in a very short period of time. There is also a recent trend towards holding all stages of the job hunting process in Tokyo. These travel expenses will add up, and you will need more finances than you think in order to search for a job. There is a limit to the support parents and guardians can offer, so start to cut down on your living expenses and save up now.
I hope that you all experience a meaningful and fulfilling search for employment.
Monday – Friday 10:00-17:00 (including the lunch hour)
Weekends and public holidays, 15th May (University Anniversary Day), 13th – 20th August (summer vacation), 28th Dec – 4th Jan, 25th Feb (first round of university entrance examinations), and 12th March (second round of university entrance examinations). Between 8th Aug and 30th Sep the office hours are 13:00-17:00 (excluding weekends and public holidays).
Choosing your future path and searching for employment. For example: career plans, internships, how to look for employment, deciding where to apply, how to research different companies, visiting companies, interview preparation etc.
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http://www.career.kobe-u.ac.jp/index.html (Japanese language only)
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