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Challenging herself at an innovative company that crosses industry lines to find solutions

Nippon Technology Solution Co., Ltd.
Liu Yang Yang
Hubei, China
Kobe International University / Economics Department

Why did you choose to work at a Japanese company?

When I was a student, I was able to interact a lot with my teachers at school, or the upperclassmen, but I knew that I was only experiencing a part of Japan, felt like I wanted to know more of Japan.

How did you go about your job search?

I participated in group information sessions aimed at international students. Every year, there’s a group information session with presentations from companies that are actively recruiting international students held at the Hyogo-Kobe Consortium of Universities, and that’s where I first met Nippon Technology Solution Co., Ltd.
It’s difficult for international students to get information about job-hunting, so I’m really glad I had the opportunity to go to an event like that one.
Something that was really hard for me during the job-hunting process was that I had a lot of trouble communicating with the hiring agents at first. I put way too much effort into making sure I got all my strengths across at first, and I kind of forgot about the importance of the exchange with the hiring agent.

Why did you choose to work in Kobe? Did you consider companies located outside of Kobe?

The first place I came to in Japan was Kobe, so for me, the city really feels like a second home.
Because of that, I did focus my job search mainly on Kobe companies, but I also put a lot of importance on the content of each company. By content, I mean the general feeling, their way of thinking, and I think I’ve been lucky enough to find a company that’s a good match for me on those points.

Did your student experiences or studies come in handy during your job search, or after starting work?

A lot of things come to mind. If I had to choose just one, I think it would be, “the experience of going out and trying something new.” The experience of putting aside my fear and going headlong into something, and seeing it through to the end has been really helpful for me.
I think coming to Japan to study abroad was the first time I learned that. I also put a lot of energy into working with international student groups while I was a student, too.
Kobe International University has a lot of international students, and every year a third of the student body are international students. I acted as a leader for the international students, to bridge the gap between them and the teachers.
I think Kobe International University is a school with a strong support system for international students. There was an attendance book exclusively for international students at the university’s International Exchange Center, and we would check it when we got to school. If you take a long break, the school will contact you. For international students, who are living in a culture that’s very different from their home countries’, I think a system in which someone is always looking out for you is really reassuring.
The graduate student community is a really nice thing, too. I still interact with a lot of students, even after graduating.

What made you choose to work at this company?

The Company CEO, Mr. Fukuda, and his employees all smiled as they talked with me at the Hyogo-Kobe Consortium of Universities’ group information session. That energy made an impression on me. It made me feel like I, too, wanted to work with these kinds of smiles and energy in the future.

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What kind of work are you doing now? What does a normal day look like for you?

After a year and a half in sales, I moved to the community support division.
In the community support division, I do accounting, HR support, and recruiting, but my main responsibility is accounting.
Nippon Technology Solution Co. used to manufacture cathode-ray tube inspection devices for TVs, but they’ve adapted with the times, and they’ve started to create product packaging machinery. They also started a PR service, which centers around the creation of video shows, including a business show based on their innovative experience, called “Monozukuri no Chojin® tachi (Manufacturing Adventurers).”
Now, there are three different divisions: the Product Packaging Machinery Field, the Broadcast Planning Field, and the New Business Field, but these aren’t divided up into different departments. They’re actually all in the same room where all the employees work together. There are lots of young employees, and there’s a café space in the office, too, so I really think we’re working in a unique environment.

What has changed about how you think about your work since you first started?

I was reminded that “work is not something you do alone: there is always someone on the other side of it.” The work I do everyday checking or analyzing numbers isn’t just something I do staring into my computer. I’ve come to feel that when the numbers are correct, I’m offering peace of mind to the other party.

Do you think that working in Japan has some unique qualities, compared to working in your home country?

There are things that I think are unique to Japan. I think there are differences in the way we think. In Japan, people like to put themselves in the other person’s shoes, which I think is a positive thing.

What is the most rewarding thing about your job?

There are a limited number of things I can do just on my own, but even with my limited power I can bring out a smile.

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What do you do after work, or on your days off?

I have fun everyday! I was studying accounting and working on getting my driver’s license until December of last year. At night I often go to see Kobe’s nighscapes, or to eat something delicious with my friends.
One of my favorite places is Meriken Park. In Meriken Park, there’s a place where a part of Meriken Wharf damaged by the Great Hanshin-Awaji Earthquake is left intact.
We’re living in Kobe as if nothing had happened now, but there was a time when things were very difficult. When I think of how Kobe rose up from that hardship, it makes me feel like this is a place where I can rise up and do something, too. It’s a place I always take my friends when they come to visit Kobe.

Please share a message for international students studying in Japan.

Studying abroad isn’t just about studying, it’s an opportunity to get to know a new side of yourself. I hope you get the chance to meet a new you.