At G Talent, our bilingual career advisors who are well versed in the IT industry will assist IT engineers from around the globe with their career change. We have many interesting stories to tell from our past candidates who were successful with their job hunting through our support and today we interviewed Mr. H.W to share his experience.
―Could you briefly tell us about your background?
I majored in computer science at a university in China. After graduation, I came to Japan to study NLP (natural language processing) in the master’s program at Waseda University and received my master’s degree in March 2022. As for research on NLP, I worked on the theme of “how to turn difficult sentences such as academic papers into simple sentences at the level used in daily conversation” and developed a text generation model.
Wanting to acquire not only skills as an IT engineer but also business skills necessary for practical work, I accepted a job as a support engineer for a foreign telecommunications equipment manufacturer for a year while I was still in school. I was in charge of the entire process from inquiries from major telecommunications carriers about router malfunctions and other problems to analyzing and identifying the causes and reporting them to the client in cooperation with overseas IT engineers.
I was responsible for a number of projects that rivaled those of my seniors on the team, and I started my career move when my most challenging project was successfully completed. Consequently, I met with G Talent and was introduced to Japan’s leading AI company, and I have been working as an AI engineer at that firm since August 2022.
―What made you decide to work in Japan in the first place?
The first reason was language. When I was a second-year high school student, I became interested in the Japanese language and started studying on my own. I continued my studies and in my first year of college, I took the Japanese Language Proficiency Test (JLPT) and was able to pass the N1, the most difficult level. I then decided to come to Japan to study NLP at a Japanese university while making use of my language skills.
I have been living in Japan for four years now, and I was surprised at times in the beginning because the culture and business practices are different from those in China. For example, Japanese companies are paid after developing and providing products and services, but in my county, payment is generally made in advance. I sometimes imagined that if I were to run a company in Japan, it would be difficult to manage cash flow.
A job offer in just two weeks and efficient support
―Could you tell us why you chose G Talent?
I learned about G Talent while doing research on job transferring. I was very interested in G Talent because the company could introduce carefully selected vacancies at global and venture companies to people like myself who are seeking an opportunity in Japan. It all started when I contacted them, the job-transferring agency for high-class global engineers.
I sent an email and was surprised to receive an immediate reply from a career consultant. As we continued to communicate with each other, she always responded promptly, which was very reassuring. After paying close attention to my experience, skills, and desires, she introduced me to the most suitable company. Thanks to her efficient support, I was able to receive an official job offer within a short period of two weeks.
Encountering the optimal company where he can use all his acquired skills
―What factors made you decide to join the current company?
I strongly felt that the AI company was the best possible place for me because I could leverage my knowledge in NLP, programming skills, and the business skills I had cultivated in the field.
I was deeply moved by the company’s vision of realizing a future society where everyone can share values through universal design that combines natural language processing, speech recognition, and image analysis technologies with data structuring technology. I have been able to apply the various business skills I acquired in my previous job, such as how to work in a team, report writing skills, and customer relation skills, to practical use. I am happy to be working for a company that promotes the research and development of cutting-edge AI technologies.
―Tell us about your current job and work environment.
As an AI engineer, I am involved in the development of our company’s unique high-precision information search service. Let’s suppose that there is a natural question such as “What kind of services does G Talent offer?”. With this service, you can get an answer that collects and processes highly similar information from accumulated knowledge and information.
If the answer derived by the AI does not meet your expectations, you can also navigate the pull-down menu of the response rankings to find the next possible answer. It’s a completely new service, so there are a lot of things to do, such as learning new knowledge and applying it to practical work. However, it’s the only area I want to master further in the future, and besides, I enjoy the hard work as well.
In terms of working styles, except for meetings with clients, we basically work remotely. The location and hours of work are left to the discretion of each individual, so I am able to work in a very flexible manner. I am currently having a relationship with a Japanese woman, and she has a job that requires her to take weekdays off. In order to make time to spend together, I often take weekday afternoons off and work on weekends instead.
My immediate goal is to improve NLP skills
―Where do you see yourself in the future?
My main goal is simply to hone my NLP skills, and when I am able to grow further as an IT engineer, I would like to advance my career to the next stage.
On a personal note, I have not been back to China in the four years since I came to Japan, and I hope to return with my girlfriend soon for a trip. Just as I chose to study in Japan because of my interest in the Japanese language, she is studying Chinese and has a strong interest in Chinese culture. Depending on her wishes, we may move to China in the future. Having met someone I want to share my life with, I am even more motivated to work, and I am able to spend my days fulfilled both professionally and personally.
After the interview
What did you think? We hope that this article will be of help to those who are looking for a new career in Japan, and for those who are currently working in Japan, considering a career change.
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