News Letter

International Hopefuls + #3

International Hopefuls +
Issue 3
July 5, 2019

1.I-HoP News (by Mariko Katagaki)

We are in July now, but it is still cool and comfortable in Sapporo.
I-HoP will be organizing useful Events as follows!

(1) Evening Japanese Language Course: Advanced
“How to explain your research in Japanese “(7/25)

(2) USA Site Visit in Research Triangle Park, North Carolina (10/13-20)
This is a trip for your carrer support to North Carolina, USA, and is a special event for Doctoral Course Students and PDs. Five applicants will have the opportunity of giving a presentation and discussion in English about your research to the various companies in the USA.
*There will be a document screening process for those who apply.

2. Japanese business etiquette for job hunting (Online Video)

Front Office for Human Resource Education and Development (Jinzai ikusei honbu) has distributed a useful video intended for the job interview in Japan. Although it is all in Japanese, it is worth seeing before attending a job interview. You can watch the video in the URL below.
Furthermore, if you would like to practice the interview in Japanese, please contact I-HoP.


3. Memo from the Visiting Professor(by Yoshichika Iida)

My dear International Students and Researchers,

June 1st was the official start of formal job interviews at major companies. The Japanese economy, in general, is stable and the job opportunities are bigger than the number of job seekers (this situation is called the “seller’s market”). Because of this situation, middle to small size companies is having a tough time securing talented new employees. For international students, it is not so easy to find and learn about these small companies. If there is a company in which your lab is constantly dealing with, and you are interested in working for that company, you may want to ask for an internship opportunity for that company. In case there are no such companies, using a job-matching agent (so-called “head-hunters”) is another option. Once you are registered with the agent, which is no cost to you, they will look for companies that may fit for your interest. A list of a job-matching agent is available at Useful Links
If you want to learn more, or have specific questions on your job hunting, feel free to make an appointment for career counseling at I-HoP by sending email to

4. Short-Cut Akai Ito Kai (SCAIK)
Akai Ito Kai (Gathering for “Red String of Fate”) is a matchmaking event organized by S-cubic, a sister organization of I-HoP which is supporting the career development of DC and PD researchers who are fluent in Japanese. The event is held four times a year, three times in Sapporo and once in Tokyo. Each event is attended by 15+ companies who are interested in hiring PhDs from Hokkaido University. Around 40~50 DC and PD researchers will spend a whole day by attending the following events all in Japanese:
10 minutes introduction from each company
Poster session (each researcher promote themselves using a specially prepared poster of their research objectives and personality)
Corporate booth session (each researcher will visit 6 different companies’ booth)
Dinner party (to mingle with corporate people)
I-HoP is providing opportunities for the international researchers (DC and PD) who do not have Japanese proficiency enough to personally attend this event to make contact with these participating companies by submitting documents (SCAIK report and resume) in English. In the case of Sapporo events (in September, October, and November), a face-to-face meeting in English/Japanese may be arranged during lunch break if the company is interested in your documents. Here are the steps for Shot-Cut Akai Ito Kai:
Study the business of the companies coming to the next Akai Ito Kai by checking their homepage information, etc.
If you want to challenge to SCAIK, contact I-HoP ( for the appointment of career counseling (in English or in Japanese) by two months before the event (by July 19, this time).
Instruction will be given during the counseling how to prepare a resume and SCAIK report (explaining why you are valuable for the target company).
Prepare and submit your documents to I-HoP (brush-up by email may be given).
HoP will submit your documents to the target company by email for their review (by two weeks before the event which is September 19 this time).
HoP will inform you one week before the event if a meeting in person is arranged during the lunch break.
List of the companies coming to the Akai Ito Kai on September 19 is as follows:

-Asahi KaseiCreating
-EisaiHuman Healthcare
-Cambridge ConsultantsWorld-Changing Innovation
-JSRMaterials Innovation
-Sumitomo ChemicalThe
-Sumitomo Dainippon Pharma
-Tecnos Data Science Engineering
-Nitto Denko
-IBM Japan
-Nippon Steel
-Yahoo Japan

5. Seven Steps of Career Management Process

Starting from last month, this section deals with the seven steps of Career Management Process that you need to follow through when you plan to start job hunting or change your career path. The process outlines the cases for non-academic career pursuit but it in general covers most of the academic career as well. The seven steps of Career Management are defined as follows:

Step-1 Make up your mind for the change
Step-2 Assess your value
Step-3 Identify Jobs and Tasks
Step-4 Gather Information on companies/institutions
Step-5 Initial Decision to narrow down to a few targets
Step-6 Recognize the gap and catch-up with training/education
Step-7 Apply for a Job

The topic of this month is Step-2, “Assess your value”.
Step-2 is the most important preparatory step whose depth of thoughtfulness will determine the quality of your document that you will prepare in the Step-7. In this step, you will look into yourself and describe in writing the following elements of your character. Note that the list is not complete and you can add/delete items to best describe yourself:
Assessment of the strength and weakness
Things you value most in your life
Certificates, Licenses
If you are not confident with what you can describe by yourself, you may want to rely on assessment tools such as MBTI, Enneagram, CPS-J, etc. These tools are based on certain psychological studies and theories so it may help you widen your recognition of your characteristics that you are not aware of. Please note, however, that tools are always basting on samples and statistical procedure which means “NOT EXACTLY A PERFECT FIT FOR YOU”. My recommendation is to use the method called “Johari Window” which you need at least one trusted partner, such as your close friend, family members or professional career counselor. This method will enable you to learn from the partner what others know about you which you are not aware of. The following website, which is dealing with team building, can be a good reference for this method:
If you do not have a partner for this method, make an appointment with I-HoP for career counseling. Prof. Iida and Assistant Prof. Katagaki are the certified career consultant who is obliged by the law for protecting your privacy.

When you finish listing up the characteristics of yourself, make sure to put them in writing and rationalize by example or episode especially for your strengths. A simple word like “Enthusiastic”, “Aggressive”, “Positive” and so on are so generic that the reader or the recipient of your document simply ignore when they see these words in your CV. We will discuss this topic of rationalization in the Step-7.