“I must have done five internships in total before getting hired by my company now. I sent dozens of cover letters and resumes to lots of different hiring managers, telling them, ‘Hey, I’m a foreigner and I can only speak conversational Japanese. But I’m willing to work for free for up to six months.’ My strategy was to get my foot in the door, work really hard and make an impression until someone offers me a permanent position. Although if you can’t afford to do this in an expensive city like Tokyo, then I suggest doing part-time work at, say, a convenience store or in retail. At least your Japanese will improve and you can build your resume. But you’ll have a better chance of meeting the right people if you do an internship for a small company or startup. That’s what I did and it paid off. In the end, I got a job through emails, not a recruiting agency. They did help me prepare for the interview process though.”

Baptiste was an exchange student from France whose dream was to work in Japan. Now he works for a major German shoemaker and sporting goods company. Although language was (still is) a huge barrier for him, he would study Japanese every morning for 2-3 hours, especially when he was recovering from knee surgery (thanks to football). Read his personal journey here: https://www.baptistedelannoy.com/

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Finding diversity and inclusion. Breaking down barriers one post at a time. Stories and snapshots of foreigners making their way in Japan.

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