News Letter

International Hopefuls #34

International Hopefuls
Issue 34
July, 2017


1. Memo from the Professor

My dear International Researchers,

Dale Carnegie seminar entitled “Step-up to Leadership” which was held on June 14 was attended by 36 people and they were all satisfied with what they have captured. The survey report indicated that the “Innerview” workshop was one of the most eye-opening sessions that they have enjoyed. The first step to understand your team members and gain confidence to motivate others is to be a good listener who encourages others to talk about themselves. Six keys to become a good listener begins with letters L.A.D.D.E.R. which means;

Look at the other person
Ask questions
Don’t interrupt
Don’t change the subject
Express emotion with control
Respond appropriately

Keeping the LADDER in your mind, you would start asking questions attentively and empathetically first with Factual Questions such as where did you grow up, then move into Causative Questions which begins with “why”, “what caused…” or “how did you…”. When you feel confident that the “rapport” (mutual trust) is established with the person, you may start to ask the “value-based questions” which would let the other person think deeper to recall the person’s value system. Examples of value-based questions are:

Tell me about a person that had a major impact on your life.
If you had it to do over again, what, if anything, would you do differently?
As you look back over your life, tell me about a turning point.

This method is effective and useful to deeply understand other person’s inner-view so I use often when conducting the one-to-one career counseling. Likewise, asking these “value-based questions” alone to yourself be a good practice for your self-assessment. The self-branding seminar (see section 3 below) which is scheduled on July 7 will provide you with ideas for naming and effectively communicating your inner-view as a brand of yourself in your resume, responses to your job interviews or self-introduction part of your presentations.

2. Short-Cut Akai Ito Kai (SCAIK) – Private Contact with Companies

Akai Ito Kai (Gathering for “Red String of Fate”) is a match-making event organized by S-cubic, a sister organization of I-HoP which is supporting career development of DC and PD researchers who are fluent in Japanese. The event is held three times a year, twice in Sapporo and once in Tokyo. Each event is attended by 15+ companies who are interested in hiring PhDs from Hokkaido University. Around 40 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 researchers promote themselves using specially prepared poster of their research objectives and personality)
Corporate booth session (each researchers will visit 5 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 case of Sapporo events (in September and December), a face-to-face meeting in English/Japanese may be arranged during lunch break if the company is interested in your documents. Here is the steps for Shot-Cut Akai Ito Kai:

1.Study the business of the companies coming to the next Akai Ito Kai by checking their homepage information, etc.
2.If you want to challenge to SCAIK, contact I-HoP (ihop@synfoster.hokudai.ac.jp) for appointment of career counseling (in English or in Japanese) by two months before the event (by July 28, this time).
3.Instruction will be given during the counseling how to prepare resume and SCAIK report (explaining why you are valuable for the target company).
4.Prepare and submit your documents to I-HoP (brush-up by email may be given).
5.I-HoP will submit your documents to the target company by email for their review (by two weeks before the event which is September 14 this time).
6.I-HoP will inform you one week before the event if a meeting in person be arranged during the lunch break.

List of the companies coming to the Akai Ito Kai on September 28 is as follows:
Asahi Kasei Corporation, Kao Corporation, Kaneka Corpporation, KUREHA CORPORATION, Kobe Steel, Ltd. (KOBELCO), Shiseido Company, Shimadzu Corporation, Nippon Steel & Sumitomo Metal Corporation, Daiichi Sankyo Co., Ltd., Chugai Pharmaceutical Co., Ltd., IBM, Japan Tobacco Inc. (JT), NEC Corporation, Panasonic Healthcare Holdings Co., Ltd., Yahoo Japan Corporation, Ricoh Company Ltd.
http://www2.synfoster.hokudai.ac.jp/cgi-bin/index.pl?page=contents&view_category_lang=2&view_category=1095

3. Upcoming I-HoP Seminars and Events

Registrations for the first three seminars/events are already open and seats are available.

July 7: 1500-1900 Transferable Skills Seminar - Self Branding
Want to be prepared for your first job interview? Not sure how to describe yourself in your resume? Branding is not only for the company or organization. Knowing the brand of yourself and learning how to maintain and improve it is crucially important for your career life. Like all the other brands, it takes time, efforts and endurance to establish your brand, and it is very fragile and easily damaged if you do not know the basics of keeping it intact. Come and join this seminar to find yourself.
https://www2.synfoster.hokudai.ac.jp/Hi-System/public/index.php?act=eve&id=241#top

July 19: 1200-1300 PhD Lunch Talk No.2 (Fabio Alves, Warehouse Manager, Costco)
Running a retail store may be the farthest thing that PhD can imagine. When it comes to a gigantic store with branches all over the world, science and math takes much bigger role in product development, logistics (purchase, transport, storage, etc.), customer interface and after-sales support. Find out how the products are reached out to the consumer and think if you can learn from it for the benefit of your own research. You will never know if the mechanism of product delivery would have any similarity to the drug delivery system for a tumor.
https://www2.synfoster.hokudai.ac.jp/Hi-System/public/index.php?act=eve&id=243#top

July 27-28: 1400-1800 (for 2 days) Seven Habits of Highly Effective People (Franklin Covey Japan)
https://www2.synfoster.hokudai.ac.jp/Hi-System/public/index.php?act=eve&id=246#top

August 10: 1600-1800 Transferable Skills Seminar – IPR (Intellectual Property Right Management by Panasonic IP Management)

September 8: (TBD) Transferable Skills Seminar - PhD Career in Japan (Active Connector, Euraxess, etc.)

4. Call for participants to JSST (Japanese Standard Speaking Test by Phone) starts on July 26
Please look for the email from Hi-System for details.

5. Career Plan Survey – we want to hear your voice (survey ends on 7/31)
We appreciate it so much if you could spare 3 minutes of your time for Career Plan Survey.
https://questant.jp/q/ihopsurvey2017

6. Seminar, Job Fair and Internship Programs for international students by CAREER BANK

① Seminar for foreign students"Wanna work in Japan in future!"
Date:July,8 Sat 1:30 pm - 3:30 pm
◆What kind of candidates do Japanese companies look for?
◆Successful examples of foreign students` employment
◆Job-hunting process in Japan
◆How to prepare for job-hunting
Venue: Career Bank Co., Ltd. (Sapporo City, Chuo-ku Kita 5-jo Nishi 5-chome, 7-banchi sapporo 55 bld., 5F)

②Job fair WORK in HOKKAIDO for international students and foreigners
Date:August,5 Sat 1:00 pm - 5:30 pm

③ Internship programs for foreign students
Internship period: 1-2 weeks during August-July, February-March

Web-site: http://www.ryugakusei-support.com/en/index.html
Apply here →http://www.career-bank.jp/form/international/form2.html

International Hopefuls #33

International Hopefuls
Issue 33
June, 2017


1. Memo from the Professor

My dear International Researchers,

On June 1, most of the large companies in Japan would start the official hiring interview with the candidates who have passed the screening process of the “Entry Sheet (ES)”. Although this is usually the process applicable only for bachelor and master course graduates, some companies do apply this hiring practice even for the doctor course graduates for the sake of convenience and efficiency. Because the company eager to hire the most aggressive and positive candidate, the applicant may get tied up for a whole day on June 1 in one company to avoid him/her getting interviewed at somewhere else. This means you will have to pull “only one link of the chain of destiny” if you have multiple companies to choose from. If you end up with being not selected by this company of your choice, you will have to find a “less popular” company who still has open positions after June 1. In case you are successfully selected on June 1, you will receive an unofficial job offer (which is called NAI-NAITEI). The unofficial job offer will become the official job offer (NAITEI) on October 1 if you show up at a time and place that the company specifies. Failure to do so will make your unofficial job offer expire on the spot, but if you have decided far before October 1 not to enter that company, it is ethically important to notify that effect to the company as soon as possible because the company will have to hire your replacement. Please note that you will have six months after you have received the NAITEI to start to work on April 1 of the following year. This is very unique Japanese hiring practice that every new hire commences to work on April 1. Doctor course students, however, do not have to follow this tight schedule if they are handled through the “mid-career” hiring process. It highly depends on each company or situation how PhDs are hired.

2. Career Guidance by the Career Center on June 20

A career seminar for bachelor and master course international students will be held on June 20. This may be helpful for doctor course students as well because the Japanese hiring practice that is explained in the previous section will eventually be the same for all the applicants.

Date/Time: Tuesday, June 20 16:30 ~ 17:30 in English
18:00 ~ 19:00 in Japanese
Venue: Room for International Cultural Activities (3rd Floor, the Clark Hall)
Target Audience: Students joined with Hokkaido University in April, 2017 who wish to work in Japan after graduation. It is open to all the international students who need information on career in Japan. (http://cc.academic.hokudai.ac.jp/_src/11641/ryugaku.pdf)

3. Upcoming I-HoP Seminars and Events

Pencil-mark your calendar and watch for the news from Hi-System for the invitation to enrollment of each event which would normally start one month before.

June 14: 1000-1800 Transferable Skills Seminar - Dale Carnegie Training
Registration for this seminar, step-up to leadership, is already in progress.
(https://www2.synfoster.hokudai.ac.jp/Hi-System/public/index.php?act=eve&id=235#top)

July 7: 1500-1900 Transferable Skills Seminar - Self Branding
Want to be prepared for your first job interview? Not sure how to describe yourself in your resume? Branding is not only for the company or organization. Knowing the brand of yourself and learning how to maintain and improve it is crucially important for your career life. Like all the other brands, it takes time, efforts and endurance to establish your brand, and it is very fragile and easily damaged if you do not know the basics of keeping it intact. Come and join this seminar to find yourself.

July 19: 1200-1300 PhD Lunch Talk No.2 (Fabio Alves, Warehouse Manager, Costco)
Running a retail store may be the farthest thing that PhD can imagine. When it comes to a gigantic store with branches all over the world, science and math takes much bigger role in product development, logistics (purchase, transport, storage, etc.), customer interface and after-sales support. Find out how the products are reached out to the consumer and think if you can learn from it for the benefit of your own research. You will never know if the mechanism of product delivery would have any similarity to the drug delivery system for a tumor.

July 27-28: 1400-1800 (for 2 days) Seven Habits of Highly Effective People
(Franklin Covey Japan)
Please see section 4 for the details of this seminar.

August 10: 1600-1800 Transferable Skills Seminar – IPR
(Intellectual Property Right Management by Panasonic IP Management)

September 8: (TBD) Transferable Skills Seminar - PhD Career in Japan
(Active Connector, Euraxess, etc.)

4. Seven Habits of Highly Effective People by Franklyn Covey Japan on July 27-28

PhD’s mission is the pursuit of truth that no one else has ever found in this world. To do this, you need to be independent and self-motivated. You would also understand that you have to work with others to achieve a big objective and influence many other people to give them bigger impact. That would require skills and attitude for interdependence. “Independence”, “Interdependence” and “Continuous Improvements” are the three major groups of habits that you will learn from this seminar. If you want to learn in advance, please visit their website at:
https://www.stephencovey.com/
All the presentation material will be directly shipped from Salt Lake City, Utah, just to inform you of the authenticity of this program.

5. Japanese e-learning

I-HoP supports students/researchers in improving Japanese language skills.
One of the top e-learning systems ALC NetAcademy2, developed by ALC Education Inc., is available for Hi-System users. You can study Japanese online anytime, anywhere.
If you don’t have an ALC NetAcademy2 e-learning account yet, but would like to try, please register from the link below.
https://www2.synfoster.hokudai.ac.jp/Hi-System/public/index.php?act=eve&id=239#top
This time, you will receive an account valid from July 1 to September 30 (three months). If you miss this time, next chance will be on September, which you will get an account valid from October.

International Hopefuls #32

International Hopefuls
Issue 32
May, 2017

1. Memo from the Professor

My dear International Researchers,

330 new international students have been joined with Hokkaido University in April. They are from 36 countries and are enrolled to 21 different faculties, schools and independent laboratories. I hope they will enjoy their life as a student and a resident in Hokkaido. What I have presented to them on April 10 in English and Japanese, respectively, in my short career seminar was the importance of having a career vision and preparation for achieving their goal at the graduation. If you want to work for private companies or research institutions in Japan, having a high skill of Japanese proficiency (such as JLPT N1, N2) will give you more opportunities. Language, however, is only a prerequisite for your successful careers in Japan. In order to fulfill the sufficient condition for your career pursuit, you may want to enhance your skills related to your emotional and ethical behavior. I-HoP will be hosting at least five Transferable Skills Seminars and two PhD Lunch Talk seminars by September this year which may help you get empowered. Please see Section 3, 4 and 5 of this newsletter for the schedule and some of its outline. Because all of the seminars in English are of the best-in-class quality, I assure that you will not be disappointed.

2. Hult Prize Wrap-up Meeting (May 18)

Considering your future career options, establishing your own company can be one of the possible courses. Founder of many Silicon-valley venture companies are PhD holders. They have talent, skills, knowledge, network, and strong will to achieve its own goal which coincidently are the essential part of the characteristics of PhD in general. Launching your company is filled with excitement and satisfaction. It can be more fulfilling if the objective of the company is to save the world and serve to the people in need… that is called the Social Enterprise. Hult Prize is known as “Nobel Peace Prize of the Students” which is a global competition among more than 300 universities in the world to pick and choose the best of the best social enterprise idea. Hokkaido University is uniquely positioned to host the university level competition for two consecutive years. The university level competition is planned, organized and operated all by a student committee, which is on a voluntary base. The Hult Prize Executive Committee of Hokkaido University is holding a wrap-up meeting on Thursday, May 18 in the evening, by inviting all three winning teams of university level competition, each of which attended three different regional competition in San Francisco, Boston and Shanghai, respectively. You have a chance to talk with each team members as well as student committee members to learn more about this competition and how you can participate in, either as a contestant or a member of the organization committee. For the details, please contact hultprizehokkaido@gmail.com

3. Upcoming I-HoP Seminars and Events

Pencil-mark your calendar and watch for the news from Hi-System for the invitation to enrollment of each event which would normally start one month before.
May 31: 1200-1300 PhD Lunch Talk No.1
(Speaker: Jerry Halvorsen, Sapporo International University)
June 14: 1000-1800 Transferable Skills Seminar - Dale Carnegie Training
(Step up to Leadership)
July 7: 1000-1800 Transferable Skills Seminar - Self Branding
July 19: 1200-1300 PhD Lunch Talk No.2 (Fabio Alves, Warehouse Manager, Costco)
July 27-28: 1400-1800 (for 2 days) Seven Habits of Successful People
(Franklin Covey Japan)
August 10: 1600-1800 Transferable Skills Seminar – IPR
(Intellectual Property Right Management by Panasonic IP Management)
September 8: (TBD) Transferable Skills Seminar - PhD Career in Japan
(Active Connector, Euraxess, etc.)

4. PhD Lunch Talk on May 31

PhD Lunch Talk is a very casual seminar which is held almost bimonthly during the lunch hour. A light lunch will be served to fully utilize your break time. The framework of this seminar is to learn from life story of an individual who has multiple cultural experience such as a foreigner living and working in Japan for a long time. By listening to the real-life experience that the speaker had survived especially during the turning point of their career, like when he/she had decided to come to Japan, you can learn what difficulties to overcome, and how to cope with the changes in many aspects.

The first speaker of this academic year is Mr. Jerry Halvorsen, Sapporo International University. He has lived in Japan for 35 years. He grew up in the Midwest of the United States in Minnesota and Wisconsin. He is a coauthor of Click for Better English (2007 Nan 'Un Do) and author of Homerun! Team History MLB (2011 Perceptia Press). He is also a past president of the Hokkaido chapter of the Japan Association for Language Teaching and a past chairperson of the Hokkaido International School Executive Board. His expertise is in English teaching and sports management. Please come and enjoy the talk and free lunch.

5. Transferable Skills Seminar – Dale Carnegie Training (June 14)

You may have read “ How to win friends & influence people ” or other bestseller books by Dale Carnegie which deals with self-motivation and better communication with others. Dale Carnegie Training is a professional training company with more than 100 years of history (50+ years in Japan, as well) and is a quite popular training institution among the Fortune 500 companies (the best companies in the world). I-HoP is bringing this premier training program to the Sapporo campus every year, and the topic of this year is “Step up to Leadership”.

Teamwork is an integral part of your research activity regardless the scale of your project. Postdoc and PhD course researchers are the senior members in your lab and that would put you in a leadership position one way or another. If you know the basics of "How to be a leader", you can practice and brush up your leadership skills while conducting your research activities in your team. Even if you are an independent contributor or stand-alone player, knowing the fundamentals of leadership will make you aware of how to be a good team-player.
This seminar will give you the basics to be a leader. You will learn the fundamentals like delegation, time management, and performance appraisal techniques. You'll also collaborate with others in similar roles, gaining insights into the more advanced aspects of leadership so you can better inspire and motivate your team.

Open Innovation is a new trend in the industry that involves many team members and partners to accomplish the research objectives. Irrespective of the scale or objective of the team, or even if you are conducting the research by yourself, learning about leadership is beneficial because it deals with;

1. Vision setting as a common goal
2. Task breakdown and delegation
3. Time management of multiple tasks and individuals
4. Conflict management
5. PDCA (Plan-Do-Check-Action) cycle
6. Performance appraisal and moral building
7. Most importantly, your self-management as a leader

The seminar usually takes several days, but we are condensing it to one full day. It is worth investing your time to this life-changing seminar.

International Hopefuls #31

International Hopefuls
Issue 31
April, 2017

1. Memo from the Professor

My dear International Researchers,
Welcome to Hokkaido University, for those who has just joined with us. Thank you for accessing to this newsletter. My name is Yoshichika Iida, I am the program director and professor in charge of I-HoP, International Human Resource Development Program which is aiming for providing career development support services for doctor course students and post-doctoral researchers from abroad.

Before explaining our career development support, let me define the Career. A narrowly defined career may be your job with which you earn money to support your life. My definition contains much wider life-roles, such as “student”, “child”, “paid worker”, “volunteer”, “home-maker”, and “citizen”, which you would experience through your entire life. Being a PhD course student or a postdoctoral researcher, you may be determined to become an academic guru by achieving extraordinary scientific accomplishment. Others may want to practice your skills and talents in the field of industry or public administration. Some of you may have family and the members may be counting on your income. Each of you have different and unique career vision and career plans. Having no vision or no plan is also one kind of policies which must be honored.

If you want to talk with someone in English, or in Japanese, on any aspects of your career, I-HoP will help you with our individual private career counseling. Contact ihop@synfoster.hokudai.ac.jp for making an appointment with me. As a certified career counselor, I will strictly maintain your privacy and the confidentiality of the meeting.

I-HoP will also provide a variety of seminars and workshops which we believe to be helpful for developing your career for the future. We also conduct Career Plan Survey in July for all the graduate school students (MC, DC of every discipline) and postdoc researchers from abroad, and its questionnaire contains a section which will allow you to make a request to I-HoP for providing new career support services. This is a small step toward my future dream of the operation. As a matter of fact, a student-driven council plans and operates career development support programs at UC Berkeley in the United States.

VSPA (Visiting Scholars and Postdoc Affairs) is like I-HoP which is an operating organization of the university. Berkeley Postdoc Association, a volunteering organization of the postdoc researchers and graduate school students, plans and operates the events related to their career by receiving partial funding and mentorship from VSPA. Here is how they operate the program which I have received from the director of VSPA:

Each program for which the VSPA Program sponsors must have a member of their program committee present at the Berkeley Postdoctoral Association monthly meeting. For example, there is member present from the Postdoc Opportunity Teaching Program, the Berkeley Postdoc Entrepreneur Program, the Postdoc Industry Exploration Program, etc. Since we have 10 programs that I sponsor, there are ten members representing the 10 committees present at the Berkeley Postdoctoral Association monthly meeting. This allows everyone -- including the Berkeley Postdoctoral Association -- to hear what each committee is planning. Many times, suggestions are offered for each others’ program which allows for an interdisciplinary approach.

Someday in the future, I hope to see these student-driven autonomic committees being organized and work hand-in-hand with I-HoP to operate the career development support programs for Hokkaido University Graduate School students and visiting researchers.

2. Job Fair for Foreign Students in Sapporo (April 19)

26 companies in Hokkaido will come to the match-making events for hiring foreign students. Visit their website:

If you don’t understand all of these Japanese explanation, this program is not for you. The companies attending this program are primarily in the service sector (hotel, restaurant, nursing care, retail stores, etc.) and most of them may not need research skills of PhD. As some of them may be seriously considering to expand their business globally, you may find exciting opportunities to apply your “problem finding” skills as a researcher. Registration is required at
https://www.sapporo-cci.or.jp/web/events/details/post-158.html

3. Webinar (Web-based seminar) for Writing Paper on April 13

An entry level webinar in English for writing thesis and paper will be held from 19:00 to 19:30 on April 13. Registration is required and you need to access to the website at the time specified if you want to participate in live, i.e., asking questions on the spot. You can access to the archival data afterwards if you are registered. For the details, please visit:
https://cloud.gigacast.tv/Live/Site/S8yN38
Please note that this information site is in Japanese only. To register, please press the radio button with 「セミナーのお申込みはこちら」 in gray at the bottom.

4. Japanese e-Learning

We have started accepting registration for Japanese e-learning. This time, you will get an account valid for 12 month (May 2017 – April 2018).
E-learning (ALC NetAcademy2) Japanese Course:
Japanese course is intended to allow you to study Japanese from many different directions, Listening Comprehension, Reading Comprehension, Vocabulary and Characters. You will also be able to improve your overall ability through the use of Mini-Tests.
・Study Japanese Characters (Hiragana, Katakana, Kanji)
・Prepare for Japanese-Language Proficiency Test
・Chinese and English are available to assist you navigate through courses
・You can change size of letters
・You can travel all over Japan as you study and learn fun trivia along the way
・You will learn total of 5300 vocabularies

Please go to the link below to register for e-learning
https://www2.synfoster.hokudai.ac.jp/Hi-System/public/index.php?act=eve&id=225#top

International Hopefuls #30

International Hopefuls
Issue 30
March, 2017


1. Memo from the Professor

My dear International Researchers,

March 1 is official start of recruiting process for undergraduate and master-course students in Japan. PhD course students and postdocs will be hired separately from these students, by the “mid-career” hiring process which is occasional, or being held several times a year, depending on each company’s recruiting policy and business situation. Hokkaido University invites more than 740 companies from all over Japan to hold “Corporate Seminar” starting March 1 at the Clark Hall. (http://cc.academic.hokudai.ac.jp/seminar/index.html)If you are fluent in Japanese (JSST 7 or above), you are encouraged to join this event to study outline of the companies that you may be interested. Please keep in mind that some of the representatives of each participating companies are not familiar with the hiring practice for PhDs, and they may inform you that they cannot provide any information related to the job application. Don’t be disappointed. I-HoP will help you find out the recruiting policy for PhD of the company you are interested. About 120 of 740 participating companies will come to the “International Student Corner” which is settled adjacent to the office of Career Center on the first floor. Again, this is for undergraduate and master-course international students, but you can learn more specific information about the corporate vision or culture of the companies, as well as general Human Resources administration policy for foreign employees.

It is a good timing of the year to think about your future career, and if you need any assistance or just simply want someone who listens seriously about your questions or concerns related to your career, send an email to ihop@synfoster.hokudai.ac.jp to setup an appointment for career counseling with me. A private one-to-one session in English or Japanese for one hour will be reserved for you.

2. Planned events for the next academic year

On April 1, I-HoP will enter into the 4th year of its career management support service to you. On top of career counseling by appointment, we provide programs to support Japanese language learning by yourself which includes free e-learning (24 hour x 7 days, access from anywhere), free Japanese oral conversation test by using telephone (JSST) which is conducted four times a year, and a seminar in English for introducing how to learn Japanese language by yourself. I-HoP also provides Transferable Skills Seminars which cover essential skills that researchers need to earn outside of your research activities. Those skills include, but not limited to, leadership (by Dale Carnegie Training), self-motivation, Japanese business manner, English journal writing, self-branding, etc. A new addition to our Transferable Skills Seminar series for the new academic year is “Seven Hobbits of Effective people” by Franklin Covey Japan. Based on the bestselling book of the same title, the seminar will introduce seven hobbits that effective persons mostly possess, and will guide you through the workshop to let you earn the mindset.

I-HoP also wants to provide seminars related to enhancing your skills closely related to your research activities. Academic journal writing by FORTE was very popular last year, so a similar program will be provided. Grant application to obtain your research fund is another important research skills, and the preparation process for such a proposal is very similar to your CV and resume preparation for your job application. Lastly but never be the least of the new additions is a seminar on Patent and IPR (Intellectual Property Right) which will be provided by an active IPR manager of Panasonic in English. So stay tuned and keep on watching the notification from Hi-System.

3. Active Connector Career Fair and IFSA Job Fair

Despite a short notice, the Active Connector Career Fair was very actively participated by eleven researchers. Facing with active headhunters by Skype to go through a real career interview in English was very well accepted and recognized by the attendees as a good alternative to the real interview. Finding job opportunities for international PhD student or postdoc is not an easy task, and you need to fully utilize all the possible communication/negotiation channel. If you happen to be in Tokyo on March 15, there will be an interesting job matching event which is organized by IFSA, International Foreign Student Association.

◇◆ IFSA JOB FAIR for foreign students 2018 ◆◇
We hold Job fair for foreign students in Tokyo.
If you are interested in working in a Japanese company, please come and join !
Announcement: http://ifsa.jp/index.php?shushokuforum

Participating companies: http://ifsa.jp/index.php?Forum2018_t
3/15 Wed, 2017 12:00~17:00
Tokyo toritsu sangyo boueki center 7F North

<How to participate>
Please register in IFSA from the web page below.
http://www.ifsa.jp/index.php?ryugakusei

<Contact Us>
IFSA(International Foreign Students Association)
TEL:03-3239-0663 E-mail: kokusai@ifsa.jp http://www.ifsa.jp

4. Japanese e-Learning

We will start accepting registration for Japanese e-learning on April. This time, you will get an account valid for 12 month (May 2017 – April 2018). Please check your email for a notice.
E-learning (ALC NetAcademy2) Japanese Course:
Japanese course is intended to allow you to study Japanese from many different directions, Listening Comprehension, Reading Comprehension, Vocabulary and Characters. You will also be able to improve your overall ability through the use of Mini-Tests.
・Study Japanese Characters (Hiragana, Katakana, Kanji)
・Prepare for Japanese-Language Proficiency Test
・Chinese and English are available to assist you navigate through courses
・You can change size of letters
・You can travel all over Japan as you study and learn fun trivia along the way
・You will learn total of 5300 vocabularies
For details please see our website
http://www2.synfoster.hokudai.ac.jp/cgi-bin/index.pl?page=contents&view_category_lang=2&view_category=1211

5. Preview of upcoming I-HoP events

Presentation Zen on March 8
I-HoP is co-sponsoring this presentation seminar with URA station.
Garr Reynolds, the author of best-selling book “Presentation Zen” will come to Hokkaido University on March 8 to give a special seminar on his unique presentation technique which combines “Steve Jobs-style” with spirit of Zen, simple and convincing method. The seminar contains the following elements:
1) Problems with the conventional presentation style
2) Preparation and attitude
3) Slide Design
4) Methodology and points to remember
Please note that registration is required for attendees in Sapporo campus, and the registration site is NOT of the Hi-System. The seminar will be live-casted to Hakodate campus where registration is not required.

■Date
March 8th Wed. Doors open 17:30 Start 18:00

■Venue
Hokkaido University School of Medicine the Alumni Hall “Frate”
N15-W7, Kitaku, Sapporo 060-0812
http://www.med.hokudai.ac.jp/en/access/

■Details, Application
http://www.cris.hokudai.ac.jp/cris/ura/en/seminar/detail_event.html?id=239

*Registration required. Please register early! First come first served!
*You must bring a print out of your registration confirmation and your Hokkaido University ID.
*English seminar!

■Inquiry
The URA Station (Ms. Furuhata) 011-706-9574
ura-seminar@cris.hokudai.ac.jp


International Hopefuls #29

International Hopefuls
Issue 29
February, 2017


1. Memo from the Professor

My dear International Researchers,

I-HoP has been supporting the Hult Prize @ Hokkaido University (http://www.hultprizeat.com/hokkaido) since 2015. This is a student-driven global competition for creation of the social business, and top 3 winning teams of Hokkaido University will be challenging to the regional competition which will be held in San Francisco, Boston and Shanghai, respectively in early March. The campus level competition which was held on December 3 last year in Sapporo campus was attended by 56 students, forming 15 teams. In the regional competition, each winning team will be challenged by 62 teams in San Francisco, 69 teams in Boston and 46 teams in Shanghai. There are more than 220 globally-known universities and colleges participating in this “Nobel Peace Prize of Students”, and Hokkaido University is one of the only two universities in Japan (the other is The University of Tokyo) who are allowed to hold the campus level competition. Your passion, enthusiasm and strong desire to solve global social issues such as restoring the dignity of refuges (this year’s theme) with your research skills and unique social business idea can be materialized by participating in this event. The next call for challengers for The Hult Prize @ Hokkaido University will be announced in September/October this year.

I-HoP is determined to strive to provide an equivalent to, or better career development support programs of the top 20 universities in the world, which we benchmarked because all of international researchers at Hokkaido University deserves it. Giving an opportunity to challenge to the Hult Prize is one of the good examples of realization of our vision.

2. Why researchers may want to attend career event?

I-HoP is holding career events such as Short Cut Akai Ito Kai (SCAIK), Active Connector Career Fair (see section 3 for the details), etc., which provide opportunities to inter-connect the international researchers with the Japanese industry. Many doctor course students and postdoc researchers who are determined to advance their career to “academia” may consider that these events are not for them. I-HoP disagrees with such an idea. In preparation for the SCAIK report or your PR sheet on Hi-System, skills are required to co-relate your research subject or capabilities with the corporate objectives or visions, or more largely, how you can contribute to the wealth of the society. To do this, you need to explain the big picture of your study and its social impact in a plain expression without using special terminologies. It is easier said than done. Explaining your research and its value to non-academic people without special terminologies requires deep and fundamental understanding of your research and it will give you much confidence in your research objective or purpose of your academic pursuit when you have successfully done this. This practice is also valuable when you apply for public or private funding for your new research program such as KAKENHI (Grants-In-Aid for Scientific Research by JSPS, Japan Society for the Promotion of Science) because clear and precise explanation of the value of your research is one of the most important evaluation factors of such a proposal. Of course, in expressing you and your research in front of the industrial person may let you recognize the pleasure of pursuing an alternative career path than academia, and we can help you achieving your goal.

3. Active Connector Career Fair

Imaging how you would fit into the real open position which is slated for international talent like yourself? I-HoP has just started a trial program called Active Connector Career Fair. (https://www2.synfoster.hokudai.ac.jp/Hi-System/public/index.php?act=eve&id=216#top)

Although the due date for application for this program was February 1, I-HoP may be able to accommodate any urgent request for applying for these “active” open positions. Active Connector is a personnel placement agency which is specialized in matching international talent with Japanese industry. Once you pick the position out of the list, I-HoP will coordinate the virtual interview (by using Skype) which will take place between the I-HoP office and Active Connector’s office in Tokyo. The staffs of Active Connector will interview the candidate in English, representing the company which is providing the open position. Once you pass the screening by the Active Connector, you will be given an opportunity to directly deal with the target company.

Of course, the job matching is bi-lateral, so you have an option not to proceed to the next step.

4. Call for JSST in Progress

In writing your resume or RIREKISHO for job application, you would state that you have a driver’s license, instead of writing that you can drive a car. Likewise, it is much effective and convincing to use a third-party evaluation record such as JLPT (Japanese Language Proficiency Test) score in explaining your Japanese communication skills. JSST, Japanese Standard Speaking Test is not as popular as JLPT but is a unique evaluation standard of “Hearing and Speaking” skills which is not covered by JLPT. Unlike JLPT which is tested only twice a year (July and December) and your participation in person at the testing site is mandatory, this JSST can be challenged from your personal telephone during a five-day testing period. I-HoP bears the cost for you and organizes the testing every three months so that you can measure the progress of your Japanese learning. Call for JSST of this term is now in progress until February 8. Do not wait until you feel much confident in speaking Japanese to take this test. Measuring the status-quo is a good beginning of your journey of learning Japanese. PDCA (Plan, Do, Check and Action) cycle is commonly applicable for management of process, and good measurement of performance is one of the critical elements of this process. JSST gives a good “Check” record from which you would consider the next Action.

To register, please visit:
https://www2.synfoster.hokudai.ac.jp/Hi-System/public/index.php?act=eve&id=217#top

5. Preview of upcoming I-HoP events

 PhD Lunch Talk on Friday, February 10 at Main Conference Room (Room #214), Institute for International Collaboration (Office of International Affairs)
The guest speaker for this Lunch Talk is Ms Kim Olga from Russia who works for an HR agent, Career Bank in Sapporo. She is an alumni of Graduate School of Letters of Hokkaido University. Listening to a career story of young ex-international student who has experienced job hunting in Japan recently may be informative to many participants. On top of her career story, she will share with us the latest Japanese labor market from the viewpoint of international student and opportunities for internship programs specially designed for the international students which she is undertaking by the government contract.
https://www2.synfoster.hokudai.ac.jp/Hi-System/public/index.php?act=eve&id=213#top

 Self-Learning Japanese on Monday and Tuesday, February 13 and 14, 2017
This two day seminar/workshop has been designed specifically for the international PhD course students and international postdoc researchers of Hokkaido University who are interested in learning Japanese while conducting their daily research activities. The number of international students who studies only by using English is growing. Japanese language proficiency is not required as long as they do academic activities in Hokkaido University. The Career Survey which I-HoP conducts every summer indicates, however that quite a few people wish to stay in Japan after their graduation, to seek for career opportunities in academia or in the industrial sectors. It is imperative to have at least N-3 level of Japanese language proficiency to find a job in Japan, even for the academic opportunities. The most comprehensive national database for the academic career, JREC-IN (https://jrecin.jst.go.jp/seek/SeekTop) carries different contents for job opportunities, in Japanese and in English, and the former usually is ten times more than the latter.
The seminar is given by a lecturer who teaches professional foreigners like industrial expert or business executives who have been assigned to Japanese office for the first time. Like English-only PhD course students and researchers, they are busy with daily activities of their profession and will not have the luxury of allocating long hours for learning Japanese. If you wish to learn Japanese for the first time, or want to enhance your Japanese skills with minimum impact to your daily research activities, please come and join this two day seminar to find your own way to learn Japanese by yourself.
https://www2.synfoster.hokudai.ac.jp/Hi-System/public/index.php?act=eve&id=214#top


International Hopefuls #28

International Hopefuls
Issue 28
January, 2017


1. Memo from the Professor

My dear International Researchers,

Happy New Year! I hope you have enjoyed the holiday season. Our academic and fiscal year has entered into the 4th quarter and there are many more programs to help and enhance your career development in the coming months. To recall our programs of December, 2016, PhD Lunch Talk by Mr. Justin Tull, Consul of the United States Consulate General in Sapporo was one of the high-profile programs. “Box and 1” was the key message which needs some explanation to those who did not participate. While he was with the US Airforce, he used to practice the night landing of airplane. Runways in the war-zone do not allow high visibility thus, only four lights showing the landing spot (the Box) and one light indicating the direction of the runway from the landing spot (“1” light) were the only visible landmark. From this experience, he mentioned that it resembles the pursuit of your life career. In a complete darkness of your “career warzone”, finding a Box is equivalent to finding yourself, recognizing your strength, skills, advantage and shortcomings, etc., and clear identification of the “1” which is your career goal or vision is undoubtedly important to safely and accurately touching down your career to your desired direction. I hope this story may help you setting up your new year’s resolution if you have not found your box and 1.

2. “Active PR sheet” trial

For the doctor course students and postdoc researchers who are registered to the Hi-System, you can upload your PR-sheet (anonymous unless you link with your published paper or the “abstract” for Akai Ito Kai) which briefly describes yourself for possible viewing by the corporate members of the Hi-System. Although we have not been providing any proactive approaches to the companies to go and search for the PR sheets, I-HoP plans to compile a summary table of all the registered PR sheets which contains discipline, nationality, gender, expected graduation month/year, and a brief summary of research topic described from industrial viewpoint. This table, tentatively named APST (Active Pr sheet Summary Table) will be distributed to all the participating companies of Akai Ito Kai, as well as companies visiting our booth at SWBS regional conference which we reported last month. We will contact each individuals (30 researchers as of December 27, 2016) to verify in advance, if the posting to the APST is acceptable and the contents, which is described in English and Japanese are agreeable. We will keep the APST listing anonymous unless the researcher specifically asks for otherwise. If you wish to participate in this trial, please upload your PR sheet no later than Monday, January 16, 2017.

3. Japanese e-learning resumed

Application deadline for e-learning January-March (3month) has just passed. But, we will start accepting an application for e-learning Apr-March (12month) on or before April this year. Please check your email for a notice.
E-learning (ALC NetAcademy2) Japanese Course:
Japanese course is intended to allow you to study Japanese from many different directions, Listening Comprehension, Reading Comprehension, Vocabulary and Characters. You will also be able to improve your overall ability through the use of Mini-Tests.
・Study Japanese Characters (Hiragana, Katakana, Kanji)
・Prepare for Japanese-Language Proficiency Test
・Chinese and English are available to assist you navigate through courses
・You can change size of letters
・You can travel all over Japan as you study and learn fun trivia along the way
・You will learn total of 5300 vocabularies
For details please see our website

4. Preview of upcoming I-HoP events

 Career Seminar and Career Counseling in Hakodate Campus on January 17 and 18
I-HoP will visit Hakodate Campus to give career seminar to the international graduate course students (MC and DC) and postdoc researchers. Career seminar will be conducted in Japanese (from 14:45 to 16:15) and in English (from 16:30 to 18:00) at lecture room 2 on Tuesday, January 17. Face-to-face career counseling (both in Japanese and English) by appointment will be given in the following 5 time slots at lecture room 3 on Wednesday, January 18. To make an appointment, please send a message to ihop@synfoster.hokudai.ac.jp by noon on Monday, January 16:
Time slot 1: 9:00 – 9:55
Time slot 2:10:00 – 10:55
Time slot 3:11:00 – 12:00
Time slot 4:13:00 – 13:55
Time slot 5:14:00 – 14:55
http://www2.synfoster.hokudai.ac.jp/cgi-bin/index.pl?page=contents&view_category_lang=2&view_category=1085

 PhD Lunch Talk on Friday, February 10 at Main Conference Room (Room #214), Institute for International Collaboration (Office of International Affairs)
The guest speaker for this Lunch Talk is Ms Kim Olga from Russia who works for an HR agent, Career Bank in Sapporo. She is an alumni of Graduate School of Letters of Hokkaido University. Listening to a career story of young ex-international student who has experienced job hunting in Japan recently may be informative to many participants. On top of her career story, she will share with us the latest Japanese labor market from the viewpoint of international student and opportunities for internship programs specially designed for the international students which she is undertaking by the government contract.
https://www2.synfoster.hokudai.ac.jp/Hi-System/public/index.php?act=eve&id=213#top

 Self-Learning Japanese on Monday and Tuesday, February 13 and 14, 2017
This two day seminar/workshop has been designed specifically for the international PhD course students and international postdoc researchers of Hokkaido University who are interested in learning Japanese while conducting their daily research activities. The number of international students who studies only by using English is growing. Japanese language proficiency is not required as long as they do academic activities in Hokkaido University. The Career Survey which I-HoP conducts every summer indicates, however that quite a few people wish to stay in Japan after their graduation, to seek for career opportunities in academia or in the industrial sectors. It is imperative to have at least N-3 level of Japanese language proficiency to find a job in Japan, even for the academic opportunities. The most comprehensive national database for the academic career, JREC-IN (https://jrecin.jst.go.jp/seek/SeekTop) carries different contents for job opportunities, in Japanese and in English, and the former usually is ten times more than the latter.
The seminar is given by a lecturer who teaches professional foreigners like industrial expert or business executives who have been assigned to Japanese office for the first time. Like English-only PhD course students and researchers, they are busy with daily activities of their profession and will not have the luxury of allocating long hours for learning Japanese. If you wish to learn Japanese for the first time, or want to enhance your Japanese skills with minimum impact to your daily research activities, please come and join this two day seminar to find your own way to learn Japanese by yourself.

 Short-Cut Akai Ito Kai (SCAIK) for Akai Ito Kai of February 16
The next and the last Akai Ito Kai of this fiscal year will be held in Tokyo on February 16. Unlike the other Akai Ito Kai which are held in Sapporo, you will not be able to meet with the corporate attendees on the spot. We will, however, hand-deliver your SCAIK (Short Cut Akai Ito Kai) report which describes yourself and your value for the target company to the company representatives and will follow-up with seeking for opportunities for internship or interview. If you are interested in challenging to the SCAIK, please contact ihop@synfoster.hokudai.ac.jp by January 27 for individual guidance and consulting, and prepare your draft report by February 1 for possible review/enhancement before the formal submission by I-HoP to the target company on February 16. The list of the companies attending to the next Akai Ito Kai can be found below:
http://www2.synfoster.hokudai.ac.jp/cgi-bin/index.pl?page=contents&view_category_lang=2&view_category=1095

International Hopefuls #27

International Hopefuls
Issue 27
December, 2016


1. Memo from the Professor

My dear International Researchers,
Autumn is known for the best season for cultural activities, and some international researchers participating in the I-HoP programs have enjoyed an extraordinary Japanese cultural event of Tea Ceremony on November 4. The purpose of us holding this event is to have international researchers experience an extreme style of “high-context” communication which is one of the difficulties that many international individuals face with when they communicate with Japanese people. High context communication in which the talker and the listener share a common knowledge, cultural background, process, way of thinking, etc. usually conveys very little information verbally, but the talker expects the listener to understand much deeper and wider meaning above and beyond what is being said verbally. The attendees of the Ceremony have observed that every elements of the event such as name of the flower displayed on a bamboo vase, the words on a strip of paper written by writing brush, the design of Kimono that the host wore, and so on, all have specific meanings of entertaining the main guest.

Transferable Skills Seminar – Writing for Journal Submission on November 17 was one of the very well-attended events we have ever coordinated. Tightly packed 90 minutes seminar contained;
1. Scientific English
2. Useful terms/phrases
3. Plagiarism
4. Writing appealing sentences
5. Cover letters and tips for dealing with reviewers
If you have missed the seminar and want to receive the information package which contains useful information on preparing the appealing papers, please write to ihop@synfoster.hokudai.ac.jp

Are you interested in other Transferable Skills? Hokkaido University has entered into a trial agreement with Oxford University Press on their online contents. For the limited time up until December 15, you will be able to access to their online site (https://researchskills.epigeum.com/) free. If interested, please write to ihop@synfoster.hokudai.ac.jp for the access ID and PW.

2. Career Management Process for PhD

We have been explaining the seven steps of Career Management Process since June. This is the last of the seven steps. Before we start this month’s explanation, the seven steps are shown below again for your reference:

Step-1 Make up your mind for the change
Step-2 Recognize yourself and your value (Self-Assessment)
Step-3 Identify Jobs and Tasks (Occupations)
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

In this 7th step, very basic elements only uniquely available for PhDs of Hokkaido University will be described. There will be many exceptions and variations in each and all job applications, so it is highly recommended that you make appointment for career counseling at I-HoP by emailing to ihop@synfoster.hokudai.ac.jp before you proceed with actual job application.

There are two different hiring practices in Japan; new graduate hiring and mid-career hiring. New graduate hiring is very unique Japanese practice which is applicable for undergraduate and master course students. Most of Japanese companies hire the new graduates only once a year, and the new entrants will start to work on April 1 regardless of the industry or types of corporation. Doctor course students and Postdoc researchers will be hired by the mid-career hiring practice which is similar to the hiring process of companies outside Japan. Please note, however, some large corporations which hire many PhDs may apply a similar hiring practice like the new hire. For the simplicity of explanation, only the mid-career hiring practice will be explained in this section.

For PhD’s job application, formal document like CV (Curriculum Vitae), Rirekisho (use designated form or Hokkaido University’s standard form which is available at Co-Op store), List of publications or papers and the cover letter will be needed. When you go through the steps 1 through 6, you will be able to prepare these documents much easily than the case of otherwise. I-HoP career counseling will provide one-to-one personal advice and editing of your document either face to face or by email. Feel free to use the service.

You would need consistency in the contents of the document as well as the way you would respond to the interview or interactions with members of the target corporation. Job application is a self-promotion activity and you must establish your own branding before you start applying for a job. I-HoP provides the self-branding seminar around May or June each year.

Please keep in mind that the very reason for preparing the document is get a chance to meet with key person of the target corporation. The least successful option for submitting your document is to the HR (human resources) section of the company without reference because there will be thousands of similar applications and HR must process the document bureaucratically. The best option is to send your document directly to the president or the head of laboratory if you happen to know them. I-HoP provides this opportunity with 45 different companies a year through the SCAIK, Short-Cut Akai Ito Kai program. Please refer to July 2016 issue (issue 22) of the International Hopefuls for the details of the SCAIK.

I-HoP also provides mock interview (both in English and Japanese) practice as a part of career counseling service.

3. SWBS Membership – I-HoP’s new matching trial

Organization for Small & Medium Enterprises and Regional Innovation, JAPAN, an affiliated organization to the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry is hosting a program named SWBS, which strives to support Japanese Small & Medium Enterprises (SMEs) expand their business to the global market by providing human resources enhancement, global business development support, financial support, etc. I-HoP has been registered to SWBS as the first national university corporation to support SMEs with provision of international human resources who would be suitable for developing and implementing their global business initiatives. 99.7% (number-wise) of the Japanese corporations are SMEs and there are very many companies which has unique and excellent technology, products and services to which the skills and knowledges of young international researchers of Hokkaido University will be utilized. I-HoP will attend the next SWBS regional conference in Okayama on February 3, 2017. Stay tuned for further development of this new matching trial of I-HoP.

4. Preview of upcoming I-HoP events

 Transferable Skills Seminar - PhD Job as Corporate Researcher on December 2 in Sapporo. The lecturer from the company named Cambridge Consultants will introduce PhD’s job as corporate researchers. This company is UK-origin “research outsourcing” company which undertakes specific research projects from corporations or government as outsourcing contracts. They are trying to expand its business in Japan by adding some workforces (i.e. researchers) quickly. The venue is “The Conference Hall” where the “Akai-Ito-Kai” is being held simultaneously. You may be able to observe how Japanese PhDs and international PhDs fluent in Japanese are meeting with corporate members for possible job matching. Attending this corporate introduction seminar does not assure nor force you to join this company, and you may learn a lot of working for a research-oriented company. Registration is already open at Hi-System and a few seats are still available.
https://www2.synfoster.hokudai.ac.jp/Hi-System/public/index.php?act=eve&id=201#top

 PhD Lunch Talk on Friday, December 9 at Room #214 second floor main conference room of the Office of International Affairs from noon to 1pm. I-HoP is honored to invite Mr. Justin W.Tull, Consul of the United States Consulate General in Sapporo as the speaker of the PhD Lunch Talk. Mr. Tull holds BS and MS degree in Public Policy from Brigham Young University and is currently a PhD candidate at Virginia Tech's Center for Public Administration and Policy. Mr. Tull was a pilot in the U.S. Air Force and worked in both the private sector and city government before he joined the Foreign Service of the United States. He previously served as the Consul in Suva, Fiji, a Staff Assistant to the Assistant Secretary for African Affairs, and the Special Assistant to the Assistant secretary for Conflict and Stabilization Operation at the U.S. Department of State. He will talk about his career, the importance of goal-setting and reflection on the turning points in his life.
https://www2.synfoster.hokudai.ac.jp/Hi-System/public/index.php?act=eve&id=203#top

International Hopefuls #26

International Hopefuls
Issue 26
November, 2016


1. Memo from the Professor

My dear International Researchers,
I have a lot to tell you this month, so the introductory part will be short. The Transferable Skills Seminar – Do It Yourself Artificial Intelligence on October 14 was attended by 30 audiences and was very well received. In the world of IT, Information Technology, speed of change is so rapid that one year of IT change is equivalent to 7 years’ worth in the other world. We may have to hold the next DIY-Artificial Intelligence seminar in 6 months to catch up on the changes to happen in the coming “three and a half years”.

The first thing I must apologize is abrupt suspension of Japanese e-learning service. The in-house server we use for the service is antiquated and is determined no longer suitable for continuing the quality service. You will be given an instruction for accessing to your new account within the month of December so that you will resume to use your free e-learning from January. In the month of November, we will start the registration for your next JSST, Japanese communication skills test by using your telephone. If you are thinking about starting to learn Japanese by yourself, it is very good idea to take the test now to measure your current communication level. This will be your base-point from which you can develop your skills by taking private lessons, e-learning, or any other programs and practices which do not give conflict with your research activities. We plan to hold a seminar in February how to learn Japanese by yourself. The seminar will be given in English, and is slated for the PhD students trying to learn Japanese for the first time. Because the seminar discusses fundamental differences of Japanese with other languages, it may be informative for those who are interested in improving your Japanese skills.

For the second year in a row, I-HoP will support the Hult Prize@Hokkaido University, a student-driven international competition of creating an innovative “social business” that would change the world. There are many ways to utilize the research skills in your career, such as continuing your research in academia or at the independent laboratories and/or corporate laboratories, etc. Creating a new venture company, either regular business or social business, is definitely one possible career option, and the Hult Prize competition provides a support platform, experience and publicity. If you are interested, visit the following facebook website:
https://www.facebook.com/Lets-Engage-in-HULT-1713724258859501/

2. Career Management Process for PhD

We have been explaining the seven steps of Career Management Process since June. Before we start this month’s explanation, the seven steps are shown below again for your reference:

Step-1 Make up your mind for the change
Step-2 Recognize yourself and your value (Self-Assessment)
Step-3 Identify Jobs and Tasks (Occupations)
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

We will explain the Step-6 “Recognize the gap and catch-up with training/education” this month. By the time you reach to this step, you must understand yourself, your skills and strength, as well as your weak points in comparison to the qualification requirements of your selected few target companies. The Transferable Skills Seminar by I-HoP deals with a wide variety of non-research related skills such as Communication, Leadership, Negotiation, Career Management, etc. Taking these seminars will make you aware of the shortcomings, if any, in your skills portfolio. Once the gap is clearly defined, set the goal and implement the mitigation plan. Let’s pick Japanese language skill as an example. If your current JSST score is 3 and want to reach to 7 in two years, imagine how you would be communicating with others in Japanese 24 months from now. This will set a clear goal of your “to be” image, and you will look back to your current status from this goal point to recognize the gap in between. Then breakdown the gap into 8 segments to recognize your quarterly target. I-HoP conducts JSST every three months so you can measure your progress in comparison to your study plan.
The I-HoP Career Consulting which covers both “provision of career-related information” and “career counseling to jointly find your career objective through one-to-one intensive communication”. If you want some to listen to your concern, fear, dream, plan or anything related to your career, contact ihop@synfoster.hokudai.ac.jp for an appointment.

3. Third option to stay in touch with Japanese industry

For many of you who wish to work for a Japanese company, the first option is to find a job in Japan, and the second is to seek for a job opportunity of Japanese company’s branch office in your home country. There may be a third option which is being developed by using the “crowd-sourcing” technology. Even if you could not find a suitable post in Japan within your staying permission period, you may be able to leverage the Japanese communication skills, knowledge and other experiences in Japan after you return to your home country. Workshift Solutions Co., Ltd. is a web-based crowd-sourcing agent which goes in between the client companies in Japan which needs quick and professional service (report, comments, analysis, etc.) based on the deep knowledge of a foreign country, and an international talent, like you, in the destination country who both has good understanding of Japan as well as specific knowledge of the subject matter which the client company looks for. If you are interested in learning more about this company, please contact prof. Iida at ihop@synfoster.hokudai.ac.jp

4. Preview of upcoming I-HoP events

 Registration to the Transferable Skills Seminar - Writing for Journal Submission (Manuscript and Cover Letter Preparation) is open now. The venue has been changed to the Frontier Research in Applied Sciences Building 2nd Floor, Seminar Room#2. Come and join this seminar on Thursday, November 17 at 4:30pm. You may bring your abstract or executive summary of your recent paper. The lecturer may pick one or two in the seminar to lively show how it can be improved.

 Transferable Skills Seminar - Japanese business manner will be held on Monday, November 28 at the Centennial Hall. This lecture/workshop will give you an explanation for cultural background of Japanese business manner and you will have a chance to learn and practice exchanging business cards or some basic table manners. The skills you will earn from this seminar is “Smooth Communication” with Japanese people, and understanding of cultural background which is essential for practicing the “high-context” communication with Japanese.

 Corporate Introduction Seminar by Cambridge Consultants (http://www.cambridgeconsultants.com/) on December 2 in Sapporo. This company is UK-origin “research outsourcing” company which undertakes specific research projects from corporations or government as outsourcing contracts. They are trying to expand its business in Japan by adding some workforces (i.e. researchers) quickly. The venue is “The Conference Hall” where the “Akai-Ito-Kai” is being held simultaneously. You may be able to observe how Japanese PhDs and international PhDs fluent in Japanese are meeting with corporate members for possible job matching. Attending this corporate introduction seminar does not assure nor force you to join this company, and you may learn a lot of working for a research-oriented company. Registration to this event will open soon.

International Hopefuls #25

International Hopefuls
Issue 25
October, 2016


1. Memo from the Professor

My dear International Researchers,

I always feel refreshed in October, as well as in April because we welcome the newcomers to our beautiful campus. I will be introducing I-HoP’s function and programs at the orientation meetings organized by Office of International Affairs (both in English and Japanese), Graduate School of Veterinary Medicine, Graduate School of Science and e3 program of Graduate School of Engineering.

In the month of September, I-HoP has held two primary events and one auxiliary program complementary to the S-cubic’s event. The first major I-HoP event was the PhD Lunch Talk by Dr. Stuart Walker. 20 people from nine different disciplines and 11 nationalities enjoyed a life story of lawyer who has experienced a variety of occupation such as history teacher, professor in law, legal staff of corporation in Tokyo, etc. From the feedback comments, I have learned that many audiences were impressed with his very aggressive job hunting letter proposal which he submitted to Nepal while he was working as a lawyer in San Francisco. The way to maximize your brand value, effective communication process and use of media… these were a few of valuable takeaways from his talk.

The second major event was Transferable Skills Seminar – PhD Career in Japan on Friday, September 16. The seminar was attended by 20 people of 14 different nationalities. Many attendees commented in the feedback form that the testimonials from other foreigners who experienced job-hunting process in Japan was informative and useful.

The last but not of the least event was SCAIK, Short-Cut Akai Ito Kai, a letter proposal to companies who were attending the match-making event organized by S-cubic. Three SCAIK reports were submitted prior to the Akai Ito Kai on September 14, and one company did interview with one of our challengers. I was attending the interview to assist any needs for translation or to fill the gap between industry and academia. The interview went very well and the challenger will be given an opportunity for long-term internship which will be arranged later.

There are more exciting and informative events coming up in the second half of this academic year. I want many of you to take part in these events to enhance your transferable research skills and widen the opportunities in your career pursuit.

2. Career Management Process for PhD

We have been explaining the seven steps of Career Management Process since June. Before we start this month’s explanation, the seven steps are shown below again for your reference:

Step-1 Make up your mind for the change
Step-2 Recognize yourself and your value (Self-Assessment)
Step-3 Identify Jobs and Tasks (Occupations)
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

We will explain the Step-5 “Initial Decision to narrow down to a few targets” this month. Before you narrow down the target, you must maximize the opportunities and options. Because you do job hunting while you do your research activities, which is your first priority, you must use your time effectively. A combination of reactive and proactive approaches may be a solution. The reactive approach is to let someone else search opportunities for you. There are many match-making sites to which you may register your personal data. Based on the information you have disclosed and registered, the agent or client companies may search the database to see if there is any matching. There is no cost for job-seekers because the agent will receive contingency fee from the client company. Some of them have English homepages and are capable of consulting in English, such as;
Active Connector (http://www.active-connector.com/home/)
Glassdoor (https://www.glassdoor.com/index.htm)
CareerCross (https://www.careercross.com/en/)
If you want to keep your option open for academic jobs in Japan, it is always recommendable to register yourself to JREC-IN (https://jrecin.jst.go.jp/seek/SeekTop?ln=1). This is a career support portal site managed and operated by JST, Japan Science and Technology Agency. All of the open academic posts and research staff positions in Japan can be found in here. If you can read Japanese, try to log-in to Japanese page. You will find 10 times more open positions than in English. A similar database with much global coverage is Euraxess (http://ec.europa.eu/euraxess/index.cfm/jobs/index).

While you are reactively waiting for any input from these third-party services, you may proactively search for the companies as explained in Step-4. Challenging to SCAIK, Short Cut Akai Ito Kai, which is described in detail in Section 3 of Issue 22 (July, 2016) of this newsletter, is one proactive way of opening more opportunities. Regardless of reactive or proactive pursuit, you will expose yourself to the open labor market to some extent. Once you are exposed, you will have better opportunities to get connected. That will give you, hopefully, a handful options for your potential target companies.

Based on the conditions and career vision that you established in Step-1, you will be narrowing-down the number of target companies to 3 or 4 at most. You will have to put some serious efforts to prepare yourself for seeking positions, so it is better to concentrate to the selected few. Please keep in mind, however, that always leave your door open for any incoming opportunities that the third party (matching agent, your professor, I-HoP, etc.) may bring to you.

3. Upcoming events of s-cubic (Career Program in Japanese)

The second Akai Ito Kai of this academic year has been announced. That means, I-HoP will host the SCAIK, Short Cut Akai Ito Kai again. The companies coming to the next event can be found below. We will accept your SCAIK report until November 25.
http://www2.synfoster.hokudai.ac.jp/cgi-bin/index.pl?page=contents&view_category_lang=2&view_category=1095

4. Preview of upcoming I-HoP events

 Are you up to speed on the latest and greatest of Artificial Intelligence? Come and join the Transferable Skills Seminar – "Do it Yourself Artificial Intelligence - The latest technology all the PhDs should know" on Friday, October 14. The lecturer is Dr. Rafal Rzepka, Assistant Professor of Graduate School of Information Science and Technology, Hokkaido University.
https://www2.synfoster.hokudai.ac.jp/Hi-System/public/index.php?act=eve&id=188#top
 Authentic Japanese Tea ceremony, a special edition of PhD Lunch Talk on Friday, November 4. You will experience a real tea ceremony by the patriarch of Urasenke, the best traditional Tea Cult School and special lunch box which is sponsored by an alumni member (a Nitobe Fellow) of Hokkaido University. Don’t worry, you won’t be forced to sit on a Tatami-mat for an hour, but we will use regular conference room at OIA with tables and chairs.
 Writing for Journal Submission – Manuscript and Cover Letter Preparation will be held on Wednesday, November 17 from 4:30pm to 6pm at room 214 of OIA. A native instructor from FORTE, which is specialized in providing personalized high-quality rewriting and translation services to Japanese doctors, researchers, scientists and engineers in the academic and corporate sectors will give you high level guidance in preparing your manuscript and cover letter to the scientific journals.

International Hopefuls #24

International Hopefuls
Issue 24
September, 2016


1. Memo from the Professor

My dear International Researchers,

Career Plan Survey 2016 was successfully completed and we have received 263 valuable responses (88 MC, 145 DC, 30 Postdoc and others). Thank you for your participation and contribution. Your voices have been reached to us. Some of you who responded with positive interest in career counseling are receiving email message from I-HoP office to coordinate the appointment. Career counseling is not only for job hunting but is also giving you an opportunity to think about your life plan related to your career. Even if you are not yet ready to describe what career you want to pursue, you may come to have a chat with me to start thinking about your career. If you are D3 and are about to graduate in September, there is very little that we can help if you come to us for the first time. Of course we will provide as much information as possible on what you can do in a few weeks but the options are limited. If you are D1 or D2 and want to work for Japanese companies or laboratories after graduation, I can explain the job hunting process, some ways to catch up on Japanese language, and may introduce you to the opportunities to access to the Japanese companies if you come to the consultation sooner. This is your privilege as PhD student or Postdoc researchers of Hokkaido University to access to our career counseling which can be repeated as much as you want.

Transferable Skills Seminar – “Negotiations” was held on August 15 as scheduled. 18 attendees from 16 different nationalities enjoyed a full day seminar/workshop to learn and practice negotiation skills based on Dale Carnegie’s principle of understanding and honoring the opponent’s inwardness. We will be organizing more seminars and workshops in the coming months. See Section 4, Preview of upcoming I-HoP events of this newsletter for the details.

2. Career Management Process for PhD

We have been explaining the seven steps of Career Management Process since June. In parallel with this monthly release of information, we are planning to create a video contents which can be accessed through ELMS and other networks. We hope to release it within the month of September. Before we start this month’s explanation, the seven steps are shown below again for your reference:

Step-1 Make up your mind for the change
Step-2 Recognize yourself and your value (Self-Assessment)
Step-3 Identify Jobs and Tasks (Occupations)
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

We will explain the Step-4, Gather Information on companies/institutions this month. There are around 4,210,000 private companies in Japan. Number of large companies by definition of having more than 300 employees (in case of manufacturer) or capital fund of \300 million or above makes up only 0.3% (12,000 companies) of it. 99.7% (number-wise) of companies are SMEs (Small to Medium business Entities). SMEs have its own unique technologies or services that many of the large companies heavily rely on for their final product. SMEs used to deal only with its controlling company (financially or supply-chain-wise). But the latest global competition forced the controlling companies to open-up their supply chain to non-affiliated or non-related companies which caused SMEs to find alternative business sources other than the controlling companies to survive. Some SMEs are eager to expand their business globally and are willing to hire international talents.
In case of Japanese students or those who are able to read Japanese, Kaisha Shikihou (会社四季報) is the most comprehensive database of major corporations. There is no English version of it to our regret. Second-best database in English of some company listing can be found at:
https://www.chukiken.or.jp/english/index.html
This is a listing of the winners of “Good Company Award” of the SMEs. They are listed by industrial category in alphabetical order. The list only leads you to the company’s English homepage but this may be a good entry point.
To find companies closer to your research topic, check the authors of research papers of your academic discipline. If you find authors from companies or research institutions, check the company profile. It is too optimistic to assume that there would be any research position at such company for you, but this may be the closest company where your research skills and specific knowledge can be utilized.
Most of the English homepage of the company is prepared for its customers. There is a special link for “Recruiting” or “Job Opportunities” but most of them are connected to Japanese page. To find information on the company’s future plans or strategic objectives, which defines their resource needs for highly skilled talent such as PhD, can be found at “IR” or Investors Relationship links. Most companies disclose their strategic objectives (such as mid-range plans) to their potential or existing investors to secure their long-term funding.

3. Upcoming events of s-cubic (Career Program in Japanese)

If you are comfortable with your Japanese listening skill, you are encouraged to register to attend the Advanced COSA (Course of Science Administration) by s-cubic. The next Advanced COSA will be held on November 21 and 22 at the conference hall. It is recommendable to attend the entire event of two full days, but partial participation to the companies of your interest may be allowed. In case you want to try your Japanese conversation skills with “real” corporate people with no fear of making mistakes, DO come and join the casual party after the first day of November 21. I-HoP staff can help you just in case you find it difficult to continue your Japanese conversation.
The speakers are all active researchers of major corporations and some of them are Hokudai alumni members. They will talk about their career as corporate researchers or PhD in corporations. The companies they represent are as follows:

November 21:
Sapporo Breweries Ltd. – A beer and beverage company
JSR Corporation – A Petro-chemical and Fine-chemical company
November 22:
Otsuka Pharmaceutical Co., Ltd. – Pharmaceutical and Nutraceutical
Panasonic Eco Solutions – Electronic appliances for home and building

To register to the Advanced COSA, please visit:
https://www2.synfoster.hokudai.ac.jp/Hi-System/public/index.php?act=eve&id=181#top

4. Preview of upcoming I-HoP events

PhD Lunch Talk will be held on Friday, September 9 at noon. Seats are available and you can register at: https://www2.synfoster.hokudai.ac.jp/Hi-System/public/index.php?act=eve&id=180#top

Transferable Skills Seminar – PhD Career in Japan will be held on Friday, September 16 at 4:30pm. The lecturer is Mr. Sebastian Heradia, Career Consultant at Active Connector Inc. which is job-matching agency specialized in international talents. He will share with us a few testimonials from international talents who have successfully gained a position in Japanese corporation, on top of explaining the job hunting process, unique hiring practice of Japanese corporations, etc. To register, please visit https://www2.synfoster.hokudai.ac.jp/Hi-System/public/index.php?act=eve&id=183#top

Are you up to speed on the latest and greatest of Artificial Intelligence? Come and join the Transferable Skills Seminar – "Do it Yourself Artificial Intelligence - The latest technology all the PhDs should know" on Friday, October 14. The lecturer is Dr. Rafal Rzepka, Assistant Professor of Graduate School of Information Science and Technology, Hokkaido University.

Authentic Japanese Tea ceremony, a special edition of PhD Lunch Talk on Friday, November 4. You will experience a real tea ceremony by the patriarch of Urasenke, the best traditional Tea Cult School and special lunch box which is sponsored by an alumni member (a Nitobe Fellow) of Hokkaido University. Don’t worry, you won’t be forced to sit on a Tatami-mat for an hour, but we will use regular conference room at OIA with tables and chairs.

International Hopefuls #23

International Hopefuls
Issue 23
August, 2016


1. Memo from the Professor

My dear International Researchers,

Allow me to send you the August issue of International Hopefuls before August because we are still waiting for more responses to the Career Plan Survey which will be closed at the end of July. As of July 28, we have received 256 responses which is very close to the last year’s record of 261. Although this is a very good turnover, it is still 20% of the parameter (MC, DC, and PD). Listening to the unheard voices is essential for our better services for you, and we need your help by encouraging all your friends who have not yet responded to, or started but not yet completed the survey (579 individuals have been logged-in), to give their voices to us.

https://questant.jp/q/ihopsurvey2016

PhD Lunch Talk with Transferable Skills Seminar on July 20 was filled with excitement. 22 international researchers have attended, three DC1, twelve DC2, four DC3 and three others from 14 different nations and from 11 disciplines. In the Lunch Talk session, professor Karthaus briefly touched on Japanese modern history and a unique comparison of Japan vs other world by using OECD data. The perspective of recent events in Japan from a foreigner living in Japan for a long time was quite interesting to the audiences as well as to me. In summary, his key message to the attendees was the following:

How to succeed in Japan
 Be as much Japanese as possible, but be honest to yourself
 Do as the Japanese, but keep your identity
 Be reliable, keep your promise, cooperate

As a proof of “being honest to yourself”, he shared with us his story of challenging to “JAPANESE ONLY” restrictions at some Onsen facilities in Otaru in 1999. He finally brought it to the Sapporo high court to win, and he believes that many Onsen facility owners must be benefiting from this court case because they have been prepared to accept floods of international tourists visiting Hokkaido recently.

2. Career Management Process for PhD

We have started to explain the seven steps of Career Management Process since June. In parallel with this monthly release of information, we are planning to create a video contents which can be accessed through ELMS and other networks. We hope to release it within the month of September. Before we start, the seven steps are shown below again for your help:

Step-1 Make up your mind for the change
Step-2 Recognize yourself and your value (Self Assessment)
Step-3 Identify Jobs and Tasks (Occupations)
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

As we reiterated the importance of Step-2 last month, let us share with you one web-based tool for self-assessment which Dr. Olaf Karthaus has mentioned in his Lunch Talk:
https://www.16personalities.com/free-personality-test
Like many other self-assessment tools, there is no perfect analysis and description of you, because every tool is basting on the statistical data. If you do not agree with the result, or feel differently from what is being determined, do not believe the test.
In the Step-3, Identify Jobs and Tasks, you will have to understand what kind of jobs and tasks (occupations) that you want to be engaged in. Many of you may want to become “Researcher”, “Scientist”, “Analyst”, “Scholar” or other scholastic profession. If you want to enlarge your area of search for occupation to the limit, visit http://www.bls.gov/ooh/ . This database contains all the occupations available in the United States. In reality, you will have to narrow down your search options. What PhD students may want to recognize is the versatility of your “transferable skills”. From the human resource management viewpoint, PhD’s transferable skills can be defined as follows:

1.Can identify and find a problem. (not waiting for a problem to be given or identified)
2.Can create solutions for the problem.(logical thinking and methodology for validation)
3.Can validate the solutions relentlessly with many trials and errors until it reaches to a conclusion.
4.Can explain the conclusion logically (by publishing paper which can withstand peer review)
5.Can disperse the conclusion effectively and widely (by paper presentation in a conference, etc.)

This is a major difference from undergraduate or master course students. The afore-mentioned skills are essential for corporate staff such as Marketing, Business Planning, Intellectual Property Right management, Quality control, etc. in the world of business. The best way to understand what the jobs and tasks are in the real business, is to ask seniors who are actively engaged in the occupation. The next practical method is to attend any internship programs by yourself. If you are not sure what occupations are suitable for you, use Career Counseling by I-HoP (English and Japanese), by Career Center (basically for Master Course students in Japanese), or register to job-matching agencies for PhDs such as the following:

1.アカリク就活サポート (https://acaric.jp/modules/static/?content_id=42) if you are fluent in Japanese
2.Active Connector ( http://www.active-connector.com/home/ )

3. Akai Ito Kai in September – Best opportunity for Hokudai PhDs

Number of registered Japanese PhD students and international students fluent in Japanese has already reached to the capacity. Because this is unique and excellent program of Hokkaido University, we would like to repeat here once again what we have posted last month. I-HoP provides SCAIK, Short Cut Akai Ito Kai for you. SCAIK is a process that you prepare your personal proposal (which we call SCAIK Report) in English to your target company.

If you are interested in participating in the SCAIK, make an appointment with I-HoP for Career Counseling first to learn about the process. If you can prepare your SCAIK Report by August 29, I-HoP will submit it to your target company in advance and ask them if they would see you in person at the time of Akai Ito Kai. In case such special interview is arranged, Prof. Iida will join the meeting to help your language needs.

The list of companies attending in September is below:
(http://www2.synfoster.hokudai.ac.jp/cgi-bin/index.pl?page=contents&view_category_lang=2&view_category=1095 )
--------------------------------
IHI Corporation https://www.ihi.co.jp/en/
Asahi Kasei Corporation http://www.asahi-kasei.co.jp/asahi/en/
Astellas Pharma Inc. https://www.astellas.com/en/
Amino Up Chemical Co.,Ltd. http://www.aminoup.co.jp/e/
Kaneka Corpporation http://www.kaneka.co.jp/kaneka-e/
Kobe Steel, Ltd. http://www.kobelco.co.jp/english/
Suntory Holdings Limited. http://www.suntory.com/index.html
Nippon Steel & Sumitomo Metal Corporation http://www.nssmc.com/en/index.html
Daicel Corporation http://www.daicel.com/en/
Teijin Ltd. http://www.teijin.com/
IBM http://www.ibm.com/us/en/
Nippon Suisan Kaisha, Ltd. http://www.nissui.co.jp/english/index.html
Japan Tobacco Inc. http://www.jt.com/
Nippon Telegraph and Telephone Corporation http://www.ntt.co.jp/index_e.html
Bosch http://www.bosch.com/
YANMAR Co.,Ltd. http://global.yanmar.com/
--------------------------------

4. Preview of upcoming I-HoP events

Registration to the Transferable Skills Seminar – Negotiations by Dale Carnegie (August 15) is open and a few seats are still available. Please join if your time permits. We won’t disappoint you. The outline of the seminar is as show below:

At the completion of this module, participants will be able to:
・Examine opportunities for positively impacting professional relationships
・Define principles for changing their own behavior to enhance relationships
・Commit to timetables for personal change and relationship improvements
・Identify personal hot buttons and their role in disagreements
・Give others the benefit of the doubt and cushion opinions for greater acceptance
・Apply a formula for contributing ideas and disagreeing in an agreeable way
・Assess their negotiation skills
・Identify qualities of successful negotiators
・Generate all-win outcomes through planning and preparation
・Apply negotiation approaches to achieve mutually beneficial results

Register here

The next PhD Lunch Talk will be held on Friday, September 9. We will resume to hold it at the Office of International Affairs. The speaker is a graduate of Stanford Law School, Mr. Stuart Walker.

One week after the PhD Lunch Talk, we will hold Transferable Skills Seminar – PhD Career in Japan on Friday, September 16. The speaker is active career consultant of Active Connector which is specialized in the job matching of international researchers. We are working with the speaker and the president of Active Connector to address specific topics that you are interested in knowing, reflecting the comments and results of the Career Plan Survey.

International Hopefuls #22

International Hopefuls
Issue 22
July, 2016


1. Memo from the Professor

My dear International Researchers,

I-HoP Career Plan Survey 2016 is now in progress. This survey is a tool for us to understand the interest and plan of your future career, especially after you have graduated from or completed your contract with Hokkaido University. The result of the survey has been analyzed and utilized by I-HoP to plan, create and enhance our Career Development Support programs such as;
-One-to-One Career Consultation in English (by appointment)
-Japanese e-learning and phone-based communication skills test (JSST)
-Transferable Skills Seminars (in English)
-Short-Cut Akai Ito Kai (Career Matching with major Japanese companies)
-PhD Lunch Talk
-and, this Career Plan Survey
The survey is very simple and quick. Look for a green poster on the bulletin boards in the Office of International Affairs or at the main entrance gate for QR code (for your smartphone) or access from your PC to:

https://questant.jp/q/ihopsurvey2016

We carefully read all the comments that you may enter at the space toward the end of the survey so take your time to express your specific request if you care. Help us making our career development support service better for you by actively participating in the Career Plan Survey 2016.

The next PhD Lunch Talk on Wednesday, July 20 is a bit different from our standard format. The venue is Centennial Hall which is closer to the main gate, so we will start at 12:15 to give you a time for travel. The speaker is Dr. Olaf Karthaus who is a professor at Chitose Institute of Science and Technology. Lunch Talk topic is on his 30+ years of academic life in Japan. Following his lunch talk, he will give us a seminar on “Tips for Academic Presentation” as Transferable Skills Seminar. Based on his long experience in academia, he will give us effective and practical tips for making your next academic presentation or any other self-promoting event a facile princeps one.

Register now before it’s too late!
https://www2.synfoster.hokudai.ac.jp/Hi-System/public/index.php?act=eve&id=172#top

2. Career Management Process for PhD

Following the explanation of Step-1 last month, let us explain the Step-2 of the seven steps of the Career Management Process which is “Recognize yourself and your value” this month. Before we start, the seven steps are shown below again for your help:

Step-1 Make up your mind for the change
Step-2 Recognize yourself and 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

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
・ Philosophy or values of your life
・ Abilities
・ Skills
・ Knowledge
・ Attitudes
・ 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, Eniagram, 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:

https://www.mindtools.com/CommSkll/JohariWindow.htm

If you do not have a partner for this method, make an appointment with I-HoP for career counseling. Prof. Iida is a 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 ignores when they see these words in your CV. We will discuss about this topic of rationalization in the Step-7.

3. Akai Ito Kai in September – now open for registration

If you are fluent in Japanese (i.e. having N1 or better in proficiency test, and more than level 9 on JSST), you are eligible of joining the Akai Ito Kai by S-cubic. Register through Hi-System. This is one full day event in Sapporo where around 30 DC and PD scholars as well as around 15 distinguished companies who are interested in hiring PhDs will get together in a hall. You need to prepare the abstract of your research activity and a poster showing your study and your characteristics that must be easily understood by non-academic business person, all in Japanese. If your Japanese skill is not that good enough, but you are still interested in the companies participating, do not worry. I-HoP provides SCAIK, Short Cut Akai Ito Kai for you. SCAIK is a process that you prepare your personal proposal (which we call SCAIK Report) in English to your target company.

If you are interested in participating in the SCAIK, make an appointment with I-HoP for Career Counseling first to learn about the process. If you can prepare your SCAIK Report by August 29, I-HoP will submit it to your target company in advance and ask them if they would see you in person at the time of Akai Ito Kai. In case such special interview is arranged, Prof. Iida will join the meeting to help your language needs.

The list of companies attending in September is below:

--------------------------------
IHI Corporation https://www.ihi.co.jp/en/
Asahi Kasei Corporation http://www.asahi-kasei.co.jp/asahi/en/
Astellas Pharma Inc. https://www.astellas.com/en/
Amino Up Chemical Co.,Ltd. http://www.aminoup.co.jp/e/
Kaneka Corpporation http://www.kaneka.co.jp/kaneka-e/
Kobe Steel, Ltd. http://www.kobelco.co.jp/english/
Suntory Holdings Limited. http://www.suntory.com/index.html
Nippon Steel & Sumitomo Metal Corporation http://www.nssmc.com/en/index.html
Daicel Corporation http://www.daicel.com/en/
Teijin Ltd. http://www.teijin.com/
IBM  http://www.ibm.com/us/en/
Nippon Suisan Kaisha, Ltd. http://www.nissui.co.jp/english/index.html
Japan Tobacco Inc. http://www.jt.com/
Nippon Telegraph and Telephone Corporation http://www.ntt.co.jp/index_e.html
Bosch http://www.bosch.com/
YANMAR Co.,Ltd.  http://global.yanmar.com/
--------------------------------

4. Preview of upcoming I-HoP events

The Transferable Skills Seminar in August will be held on Monday, August 15. This will be a full day seminar on Negotiations which is lectured by a trainer from Dale Carnegie Training Japan. The outline of the seminar is as show below:

At the completion of this module, participants will be able to:
・Examine opportunities for positively impacting professional relationships
・Define principles for changing their own behavior to enhance relationships
・Commit to timetables for personal change and relationship improvements
・Identify personal hot buttons and their role in disagreements
・Give others the benefit of the doubt and cushion opinions for greater acceptance
・Apply a formula for contributing ideas and disagreeing in an agreeable way
・Assess their negotiation skills
・Identify qualities of successful negotiators
・Generate all-win outcomes through planning and preparation
・Apply negotiation approaches to achieve mutually beneficial results

We will start registration for this premier seminar soon.

International Hopefuls #21

International Hopefuls
Issue 21
June, 2016


1. Memo from the Professor

My dear International Researchers,

The first PhD Lunch Talk which was held on May 13 was a great success. Total 34 International Researchers attended and enjoyed powerful and inspirational talk of Mr. Ken Hartmann. Attendees are from 10 different faculties and schools, with 19 different nationalities. It indeed was an international multi-disciplinal event. Mr. Hartmann is providing valuable information for the foreigners in Sapporo with his magazine-by-email called “Hokkaido Insider”, and is willing to provide one-to-one support to the extent as possible. If you want to receive the Hokkaido Insider or communicate with him directly, please send him a message to the address of info@hokkaidoinsider.com with a notation that you have given this from Professor Iida.

The next PhD Lunch Talk will be held on Thursday, June 9th. So far 19 people have registered to join. We will be hearing from Mr. Juha Tuisku from Finland on the innovation platform which interconnects your creative ideas with industries in Europe.

June 1 is the official start date of job interviews at major Japanese corporations for undergraduate and master-course students. As I have been communicating to you in this newsletter and other occasions, PhD course students and Postdoc researchers are not bound by this restrictive schedule guideline, and thus are able to conduct your job hunting throughout a year. Companies, on the other hand, have limited resources for recruiting and thus may not be able to spare time to support PhD hiring from now to August (time to notify “pre-informal decision” to the undergraduate/Master course candidates). November to next February, in general, is a good job-matching season for PhD students and Postdoc researchers.

2. Career Management Process for PhD

In the coming seven months, this section will explain the seven steps of Career Management Process that you need to follow through when you are or will be facing with the turning point of your career. 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 Recognize yourself and 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
(diagram)

The topic of this month is Step-1, “make up your mind”. Career Management is dealing with yourself and your life. You own the process in principle but if you have a family and dependents, you may have to take the requirements and expectations of those dependents into your consideration as well. Because of the afore-mentioned nature, it requires high level of your dedication and endurance once you have started the process. In order to achieve a satisfactory outcome at the end, you will have to proactively decide with your strong will to start the Career Management Process. In making up your mind, you may want to explicitly state your Career Vision in writing. Career Vision is an image of your long-time goal in your life. Even though your current or upcoming job may force you to divert from your Career Vision, it will encourage you to think about positive co-relations to your vision if it is put in writing. In this Step-1, you need to define, at least, the following conditions:

a. Schedule (important if you have time limitations such as visa validity, graduation, end of your current job, etc. which defines the critical decision date)
b. Minimum income
c. Plan-B (if continuing what you are currently doing after the critical decision date is not feasible, and you do not find any tangible opportunity, you must be prepared for Plan-B in which you can survive)

Because life is relentless continuation of unexpected or unplanned happenings which may give either positive or negative impacts to your career pursuit especially at the turning points, career management may not proceed as planned. If you have a clear career vision and are better equipped with skills, mind-sets, and versatility, you may be able to turn even “critical unwanted events” into “once-in-life opportunity”. This is called “Planned Happenstance Theory” If interested, please read article such as the following:
http://plannedhappenstance.com/aboutus.html

3. Falling Walls Lab Sendai – Your chance to win a trip to Berlin

Like the “Hult Prize” competition which I-HoP supported last year to dispatch a winning Hokudai team to Boston, a competition of scholars’ idea for changing the world will be held in Tohoku University this September. Application is open now until June 30, 2016 and the readers of this newsletter (MC, DC and PD) are eligible for registration. If you pass the paper screening, you will be able to participate in the campus level competition in Sendai on September 9 where they will choose three winners. (You have to bear your own travel cost to Sendai, though). Once you become a winner in this competition in Sendai, you will be sponsored by Tohoku University to attend the Lab Finale in Berlin on November 8. You will be given an opportunity to mingle with 100 international and interdisciplinary participants from all over the world as well as wide variety of political and industrial figures in EU including the Prime Minister Angela Dorothea Merkel of Germany.
For the details, please refer to the following link:
http://www.falling-walls.com/lab/
For application, please visit:
http://falling-walls.com/lab/applyold?location=17

4. News from Transferable Skills Seminar on May 31

Transferable Skills Seminar on “Self-branding for Successful Interviews” was held on May 31 as scheduled. This seminar contains good exercise for “Step-2 Recognizing your Value” as mentioned in Section 2 of this newsletter, as well as experiencing a mock interview which is useful for your “Step-7 Apply for a job”. It is very helpful for improving your interview skills by doing the mock interview, but is somewhat difficult to have this kind of practice among your friends or colleagues without having proper supervision or guidance. If you have missed this seminar and do not want to wait until next year for the next occasion, please indicate your request when we conduct the Career Survey this July. If we receive many requests for such an event, we will organize a special seminar this fall.

International Hopefuls #20

International Hopefuls
Issue 20
May, 2016


1. Memo from the Professor

My dear International Researchers,

According to Investopedia®, “Free Lunch” is defined as “an investment slang term referring to unlimited riskless profits”. In the world of investors, there is practically no “unlimited riskless profits” so they say “There is no such thing as a Free Lunch”. In the campus of Hokkaido University, however, we really mean that free lunch will bring you unlimited riskless profits. As briefly introduced in my message in April, we have launched the new program “PhD Lunch Talk”, and the first session will take place on Friday, May 13 (see this link (https://www2.synfoster.hokudai.ac.jp/Hi-System/public/index.php?act=eve&id=163#top ) for the details). I was pleasantly surprised to see that more than 20 international researchers have enrolled in the first 72 hours, which forced us to expand the capacity. PhD Lunch Talk has two objectives; first to listen to the guest speaker’s story and the second to make friends among international researchers from different schools and laboratories. Career design and development is tough thing to do alone, but a network of your friends and colleagues will bring more information and will enable collaboration which are essentially required in the environment where language and culture are foreign to you.
The second PhD Lunch Talk will be a special session that will take place on Thursday, June 9 at the same time. The speaker is Mr. Juha Tuisku, who will talk about DEMOLA, an innovation platform from Finland. The DEMOLA platform will enable international researchers directly connect with the participating companies of DEMOLA who will bring up challenging issues that need “innovative resolutions”.
The third PhD Lunch Talk will invite a guest from academia. Dr. Olaf Karthaus of Chitose Institute of Science and Technology will come to our campus in July. We are defining the details so please watch for the notification/posters from us.

2. Planning Ahead

We will be conducting the Transferable Skills Seminar this academic year as well. Please note these dates on your calendar and wait for further instructions from us:
Tuesday, May 31 in the afternoon: Successful Job Interviews – Self Branding & Communication Strategy (same lecturer and contents as last year on 7/30/2015)
Monday, August 15 whole day: Negotiations by Dale Carnegie
Friday, September 16: PhD Career in Japan
(for the international researchers in Hakodate campus, Career Seminar and individual Career Counseling will be held on June 16 and 17.)
We are planning on adding a few other topics like Careers in International Organization, self-analysis, Japanese learning and Japanese business manner. As soon as we firm-up the details, we will share with you.

3. Topics from S-cubic (the DC and PD career support program for fluent Japanese communicators)

Career Path Diversification Seminar – I, Intellectual Properly Right will be held on Tuesday, June 21 from 1pm to 5:30pm at the Open Hall of faculty of engineering. (https://www2.synfoster.hokudai.ac.jp/Hi-System/public/index.php?act=eve&id=159#top)This is all in Japanese language but is not interactive. If you are comfortable with your Japanese listening skill, why not register yourself to this event through Hi-System. The seminar is followed by a small party with the lecturers from 5:30pm at the cafeteria of faculty of engineering. If you are not shy enough to have a casual talk (possibly in English) with the following lecturers, it is highly recommendable to attend this event. This is very low risk (you lose nothing even if you fail to communicate with these corporate people) and high return (you will have a contact at these companies) opportunity that is worth challenging to.
Lecturers:
1.NEC Corporation (Ms. Yuriko Hiyama, SI/Service Technology Group)
2.Sekisui Chemical Co., Ltd. (Mr. Kazuyuki Shohara, High Performance Plastics Company)
3.Noevir (Mr. Yutaka Ohara, Executive Director, IPR and Quality Assurance), a cosmetics and pharmaceutical company

4. JICA’s career matching site “PARTNER”

JICA, Japan International Cooperation Agency, is an “Incorporated Administrative Agency” which is specialized in promotion of international cooperation by administrating and managing ODA of Japanese government. They have a special career matching site PARTNER which stands for PARTicipatory Network for Expert Recruitment where you can receive notification of new job openings of many Japanese organizations and institutions specialized in the international cooperation and collaboration, if you enter your personal information. You need to register to the PARTNER which is only accessible in Japanese, but the system will accept English message. The data entry form of the PARTNER is only in Japanese so you need to understand what is written in there, but you don’t have to use HIRAGANA or KATAKANA to enter your information. If interested, please try to access:
http://partner.jica.go.jp/ContentViewer?prm=AboutRegistrantUser1
In case you need help in data entry, feel free to make an appointment with I-HoP for career counseling.

International Hopefuls #19

International Hopefuls
Issue 19
April, 2016


1. Memo from the Professor

My dear International Researchers,

Welcome onboard! A new academic year has started, and freshmen from abroad are joining the campus. I will give a career presentation at the orientation meeting for newly entered international students at the conference hall on Monday, April 11 in the late morning. Beginning of a new semester is good time for thinking about your career plan regardless of your years of school or degrees. There are three fundamental elements of career development support system that we provide;

1.Stimulate the individual’s Awareness for wide variety of career options
2.Provide enforcement programs of transferable skills
3.Match-making events to practice the skills and advance the career
・This newsletter “International Hopefuls” is one of the tools for stimulating your awareness. We will start a new program this academic year to improve this “Awareness” enhancement.
・I-HoP provides Japanese eLearning and JSST speech test as well as many Transferable Skills Seminar which correspond to the item 2 above.
・Short-Cut-Akai-Ito (SCAIK) and internship program are part of the item 3.
If you are interested in staying in Japan after graduation, regardless of pursuing academic career or not, it is highly recommended that you learn Japanese even if you are enrolled to the English-only research programs. You have decided to come to Japan to continue your research or study. Therefore, familiarity to Japan and Japanese culture including language is definitely one discriminating factor of your credentials when it comes to job hunting. I-HoP provides free Japanese eLearning and quarterly JSST (Japanese speaking test by phone) so that you can learn Japanese and measure your progress without causing schedule conflict with your laboratory work.

2. Learn from US Universities

I-HoP had a chance to visit and discuss with a few of our counterpart in the US, i.e., professors and specialists engaged in the development and provision of career support programs for doctorate students and postdocs. Major universities such as Columbia, Harvard Medical School, State of Maryland or Illinois have dedicated team of specialists who are providing similar but different scale of programs like what I-HoP is serving you. We are digesting what we have learned from the trip and will start some new programs this academic year. First attempt is opening of our Facebook account.

We will be posting future seminars and other events for better sharing and notifying to the public. US Universities utilize dedicated LinkedIn account for alumni connections with current students. We will further evaluate how best we can formulate such account at LinkedIn which is not so popular in Japan but is the standard tool for job hunting in the US and other part of the world.
Another new program that we will be initiating is “PhD Lunch Talk (tentative name)”. We will be inviting guest speaker(s) from outside and hold luncheon meetings every other month starting May. The guest would be from industry or academia. Venue will be at the OIA (Office of International Affairs) for the convenience of access by many international students and researchers. Stay tuned for further instructions and invitation.

3. Topics from S-cubic (the DC and PD career support program for fluent Japanese communicators)

If you are confident with your Japanese skill, you are encouraged to register to and attend the following events which will be provided by S-cubic. Event description is intentionally remain in Japanese because you need to read and understand in order to enjoy the seminar.

6月21日:キャリアパス多様化支援セミナーⅠ「知的財産権」
7月06日~07日:Advanced COSA Ⅰ(Course of Science Administration)
7月13日:キャリアパス多様化支援セミナーⅡ「交渉学」
9月14日:第29回赤い糸会&緑の会(札幌)

Seminars marked require listening, reading, writing and speaking skills. Seminar with no remark is listening only (of course you can ask questions in Japanese but is not mandatory). All the above programs, except for 「交渉学」(Negotiation skills) will be lectured or attended by active industrial experts from major corporations.
Most of the event will be coupled with casual talk time after the event. While a real job interview is a big hurdle even for fluent Japanese speakers, attending these casual events with industrial experts will give you experience and confidence in communicating with corporate people because you do not have to worry about making mistakes or feeling embarrassment.

4. Career Counseling in English (J-window)

Here is what we explain about Career Counseling in English (J-window) at the newcomers’ orientation. I-HoP has conducted 70 career counseling sessions last academic year. This is your privilege to use this service. Not many graduate schools in Japan provide career support to PhD candidates, and only a few have career counseling in English. If you need any support for your career planning or job hunting, feel free to contact us.

-----------------------------------------------
□ Outline of Career Counseling □ 

■ How?
•By appointment –email to ihop@synfoster.hokudai.ac.jp
•One hour face-to-face meeting in English at I-HoP office
•Strict confidentiality (not even to your supervisor)

■ When?
•Sooner the better (D1 or D2)
•Can be repeated as required
•When you need to know what you want to do in your career
•When you need information on Job hunting in Japan

■ What?
•Information on the process
•Information on alternatives
•Closely listen to your experience to deepen your understanding of career plan

International Hopefuls #18

International Hopefuls
Issue 18
March, 2016


1. Memo from the Professor

My dear International Researchers,

“How can I know SMEs (Small and Medium business Entities) in Japan?” One of the questions asked during “Transferable Skills Seminar – PhD Career in Japan” on February 29. There are around 4,210,000 companies in Japan and SMEs are 4,198,000 (99.7%). Large companies which may be familiar with you by TV commercials or news articles are only 0.3% (12,000). SMEs are consisting with Manufacturing Sectors (less than \300m in capital or 300 or less employees), Wholesale (less than \100m in cap. or 100 or less employees), Retail or Service Sectors. There is no simple answer to this question because not many of them are afford to spend money for hiring by attending job-matching event or career seminars. Manufacturing Sectors of SMEs usually have strong appetite for new technologies or market opportunities, so there is potential employment opportunity for International Researchers to fit in. Chamber of Commerce in each city is good source of information for SMEs and some of them are actively organizing matching events for International Students. Sapporo Chamber of Commerce is compiling bi-monthly a list of companies recruiting international students/researchers. The list, regretfully written all in Japanese is available at I-HoP and I am always reviewing if there is any matching possibilities for my clients.

More than 720 companies, most of them belong to the “0.3%”, will come to Hokudai at Clark Hall from March 1 through 29. 126 companies will come to “International Students Corner” between 13:10 and 14:20. Most of the explanation will be in Japanese, but some company staff will be able to communicate in English. List of the companies coming to the international corner is shown here (all in Japanese):
Kigyo Kenkyu Seminar details here

2. Successful Public Speaking (February 12, 2016)

Transferable Skills Seminar – Successful Public Speaking by Dale Carnegie was held from 9:30am to 5:30pm at Centennial Hall on Friday, February 12. Seventeen international researchers have attended and enjoyed the seminar. Distribution by the grade of the attendees is shown below:
D1: 29%, D2: 41%, D3: 6%, D4: 6%, Others: 18%

All the participants rated “Excellent” so we would like to make this a regular seminar as long as our budget permits.

3. Topics from S-cubic (the DC and PD career support program for fluent Japanese communicators)

There was one challenger for SCAIK (Short Cut Akai Ito Kai) report during the last event on February 18. One week from the event, I-HoP has received a call from the company which received the SCAIK report that they are interested in interviewing the candidate. Of course, this is only a small step, and there is no guarantee that this would proceed to any promising next step, but at least, SCAIK has provided a new pathway for International Researchers to access to corporations without going through the official recruiting and screening process.
If you are interested, do prepare your SCAIK report addressing to any of the companies who attended the Akai Ito Kai this fiscal year. Although we cannot hand-deliver it, we will try to send it to the most appropriate individual whom we met.

4. JSST challenge (Check your Japanese skill by phone)

Highest ever number of attendees (22 in total) has been registered for the coming JSST challenge which will take place in the first week of March. Don’t hesitate. Measure your current score, evaluate, set a target, and recognize the progress in every 3 months. Look forward to your active participation to this program.

International Hopefuls #17

International Hopefuls
Issue 17
February, 2016


1. Memo from the Professor

My dear International Researchers,

Largest ever number of participants to the Transferable Skills Seminar was recorded on Thursday, January 28. Total number of attendee was 63 which included 28 faculty members and university staff. Dr. Greg Story of Dale Carnegie Training Japan gave two hour workshop on leadership in English. Participants may start to clearly distinguish leaders from managers. “Leadership is creating environments that influence others to achieve group goals. Management is the creation, implementation, and monitoring of process”. This is a quick note from the handout.

The seminar was followed by “Synfoster 2016” symposium in which we discussed Hokkaido University’s plan to expand the existing career support platform for DC and PD (mainly for Japanese and those who are fluent in Japanese) to integrate support functions for international DC and PD researchers, as well as creating mechanism to dispatch more Japanese researchers to companies abroad. Importance of learning Japanese for international researchers who wish to work in Japan was reiterated by all the panelist of the symposium. As shown in Section 5 of this newsletter, we are calling for participants to the next JSST, Japanese conversation test. Measurement is the first step of the management. Let your Japanese conversation skills be measured by JSST, and set up a plan by yourself to manage your time for learning Japanese by e-learning or other methods.

If you want to improve your presentation skills and public speaking, come and join a full day workshop on Friday, February 12. See section 2 of this newsletter for the details.

Last but not of the least, we are inviting Ms. Asami Matsumoto of Active Connector as the lecturer of Transferable Skills Seminar on Monday, February 29 in the afternoon. She will give you very practical information on job hunting in Japan for international researchers. Pencil mark your calendar now. We will inform you of the details soon.

2. Successful Public Speaking (February 12, 2016)


Transferable Skills Seminar – Successful Public Speaking by Dale Carnegie will be held from 9:30am to 5:30pm at Centennial Hall on Friday, February 12. Registration is still open now, so please book your seat at: https://www2.synfoster.hokudai.ac.jp/Hi-System/public/index.php?act=eve&id=153#top.
Only a few seats are remaining. Because this is a very valuable workshop, we want to make sure that all who have registered to attend. If you have booked and suddenly become unavailable to attend, be sure to inform ihop@synfoster.hokudai.ac.jp in advance.

3. Topics from S-cubic (the DC and PD career support program for fluent Japanese communicators)

Akai-Ito-Kai in Tokyo will be held on Thursday, February 18. If you want to let any of the following participating companies know that you want to work for them and can describe in English how your skills can contribute to that company, prepare your SCAIK (Short Cut Akai Ito Kai) report and send it to ihop@synfoster.hokudai.ac.jp before February 12. For the details of SCAIK, please refer to this page.

<Companies to attend at Akai Ito Kai on February 18>

KUREHA CORPORATION
KOSE Corporation
Sapporo Breweries Ltd.
JNC Corporation
Shionogi & Co., Ltd.
Sumitomo Chemical Company, Ltd.
Sumitomo Metal Mining Co., Ltd.
Daiichi Sankyo Co., Ltd.
Daiwa House Industry Co., Ltd.
Data4C's
Mizuho-DL Financial Technology Co., Ltd.
NEC Corporation
Novartis International AG
Hitachi, Ltd.
Fuji Xerox Co., Ltd.
Mitsubishi Rayon Co., Ltd.



4. Japanese Business Manner in Hakodate campus

For graduate students and postdocs in Hakodate area, we have made a special arrangement by inviting Ms Kanako Ito from ANA Business Solutions to host two sessions of “Japanese Business Manner” in series. The first session on March 3 (2 to 6pm) will be in Japanese for non-Japanese students who prefer to learn the manner in Japanese, and the second session on March 4 (1 to 5pm) in English. Ms Ito has given a very successful workshop here in Sapporo on November 13 in English on the same topic.
We will start accepting registration soon. Wait for the e-mail!

5. JSST challenge (Check your Japanese skill by phone)

Registration for the next JSST is open now. We will close the application on February 15. Please see below for the details:

■ Exam dates
Anytime during 3/2-3/6

■ How to take the JSST Examination
You can take the exam whenever, from wherever by telephone.
There will be ten questions. Recorded voice will read questions. The time allotted for responding is 45-60 seconds.
Whole examination will take about 12 minutes.
You will receive score report (Japanese) after the examination. You will be assessed from Level 1 to 10.
You can write your JSST level on your resume.

About JSST

How to take the Exam (Japanese)

How to take the Exam (English)


How to take the Exam (Chinese)

How to take the Exam (Korean)

Exam Sample (level4)

Exam Sample (level9)


■ Eligible
Hokkaido University Doctor Course students and Postdocs whose native language is NOT Japanese

■ Price
Free (regular price is 5500 yen)
※ Minimum number of participants required
More than 5 participants have to apply.
If number of participants does not reach 5, this examination will not be conducted with the support of I-HoP.

■ Application
1/29-2/15/2016

■ Min / Max participants
Min 5 / Max 20

Register for JSST here

International Hopefuls #16

International Hopefuls
Issue 16
January, 2016


1. Memo from the Professor

My dear International Researchers,

Happy New Year and I wish you all the best!
Exciting New Year of 2016 will begin with introduction of new series of Transferable Skills Seminar by Dale Carnegie Training Japan. Dale Carnegie is a professional training/human resource development institution with remarkable history of more than 100 years. They have been providing sophisticated training programs for world major corporations such as Fortune 500 companies in 91 countries including Japan. Young business professionals and candidates for corporate executive are receiving this comprehensive training hosted by each companies to earn experience and skillset in order to enhance their business skills. I was attending their 12 weeks course in early 1980’s when I was with NEC Corporation. The program I attended was related to communication and motivating people. The skills I have earned at this program helped me a great deal in my business career especially when I was dealing with companies and customers in US, Canada, Europe, Australia and Southeast Asian countries.
I-HoP will host two Dale Carnegie programs in January and February. The seminar in January which deals with the Leadership will be held on Thursday, January 28 at 9:30am. The seminar will be conducted by Dr. Greg Story, the president of Dale Carnegie Training Japan. The next seminar in February will be a full day workshop on Friday, February 12 on “Successful Public Speaking” which might be helpful for presentations and sessions for your conference or seminars.
I hope you will be able to manage your schedule to join both or any one of the programs.
To register each event, please visit:

January 28 session:
https://www2.synfoster.hokudai.ac.jp/Hi-System/public/index.php?act=eve&id=152#top

February 12 session:
---will be announced soon. Please check our homepage until then.
http://www2.synfoster.hokudai.ac.jp

2. Hult Prize @ Hokkaido University – a follow-up

Intra-campus competition for Hult Prize @ Hokkaido University has successfully been held on Saturday, December 13 as scheduled. 17 teams have made excellent four-minutes presentation each of which was followed by encouraging but productively critical comments and Q&A by the judges. Two of the judges from Social Entrepreneur community who have been participating as a judge of similar student-driven events have commented that this event by Hokkaido University is unique because of the following reasons:
1.Many students of sci-tech major have attended which gave each team unique technological differentiation or advantage so the proposal became more convincing
2.Grades of participating students range from undergraduate to PhD course which made each teams’ logic structure more robust
The competition was covered by HTB’s TV news on Saturday, December 13 at noon, and the article on Hokkaido Shinbun will be released very soon because the press has interviewed the winning teams on December 24.

3. Topics from S-cubic (the DC and PD career support program for fluent Japanese communicators)

Application is still open until January 8. If you are comfortable with listening to Japanese session and want to hear directly from young entrepreneurs, please come and join the Career Path Diversification Seminar (in Japanese) on Friday, January 22 from 1pm to 5pm at the Conference Hall. We are inviting two young CEOs of venture companies and you can learn the story of inauguration of their business. For the details, please visit:
https://www2.synfoster.hokudai.ac.jp/Hi-System/public/index.php?act=eve&id=148#top
(sorry that this is a Japanese page)

4. PR Sheet Information on the Hi-System

To find job opportunities in Japan, when you do not speak Japanese, you will face with two major obstacles, i.e., (1) Inform potential employers about yourself and (2) Find who are looking for your talent. One useful way only available for Hokkaido University student and researcher is to register to the Hi-System and upload your “PR Sheet” information in English. Currently 22 out of 170 registered researchers (DC, PD) have posted its PR sheet information on the Hi-System. If you have specific target company or companies that you want to seek for contact, feel free to set up an appointment for career counseling (in English) at I-HoP by mailing to: ihop@synfoster.hokudai.ac.jp
We can discuss how to improve your PR sheet information and the strategy how to make contact with the target companies.

5. Recruiting Agent for International Researchers

International PhD job seekers in Japan will have to deal with three hurdles:
(1)To find companies interested in hiring PhDs. (Not many Japanese companies prefer to hire PhDs, thus the opportunity itself is rather limited)
(2)To find companies prepared for working with international individuals, especially for having clearly written job description and performance evaluation criteria. (Many Japanese companies do not have written job description and they train the employee by practice and on-the-job-training)
(3)Proficiency in Japanese (universal problem for all the foreign job seekers who are not fluent in Japanese)

To lessen the above-mentioned barriers, I-HoP is providing the following programs:
For (1): Short-Cut Akai-Ito Kai (SCAIK) – The companies attending the Akai-Ito-Kai are already clearing the hurdle of “hiring PhDs”. So you will have higher possibility for finding a matching opportunity at this event.
Another method to deal with hurdle (1) is to use recruiting agent specialized in PhDs. One unique agent allowing international researchers register in English is “Active Connector”. They not only welcome English-speaking PhD job seekers but also educate Japanese companies for having proper written job description and review process as mentioned above as hurdle (2). For the details of Active Connector, visit:
http://www.active-connector.com/home/

For (2): I-HoP has been giving speeches at various seminar events where management of small, medium and large corporation are gathering. Although not having a written job description would give organization more flexibility in job assignment and job tasks for each individual, Japanese companies and organizations must introduce at least written description of the fundamental job so that each members of the organization would recognize in writing the tasks they are assigned to.

For (3), it is still very true that Japanese language proficiency is much preferred in Japanese companies and organizations especially when individual is assigned to customer-related tasks. I-HoP is providing free Japanese e-learning and also sponsoring 4 times a year the JSST, oral Japanese conversation skills test.

International Hopefuls #15

International Hopefuls
Issue 15
December, 2015


1. Memo from the Professor

My dear International Researchers,

Transferable Skills Seminar (TSS) – Japanese Business Manner was held on Friday, November 13. This seminar was arranged in response to the requests from participants of previous TSSs. Total 15 international researchers from 10 faculties and schools, 10 different countries have enjoyed 4-hour long seminar provided by a professional trainer from ANA Business Solutions. The seminar started with lecture of Japanese business culture especially on the importance of HOU-REN-SO. HOU, an abbreviation of HOUKOKU which is reporting, REN stands for RENRAKU, contacting and SO that is SODAN which means consultation. HOU-REN-SO is important not only in the Japanese business community but also in your research activities in your labs if you are working as a team, because this is an essential communication practice to maintain the cohesiveness of a team whose members exchange messages in a “High-context” way. In a high-context community, members do not explain the details, background or reasons when they convey a message within a team because these things can be treated as “common sense” among the team members. Japan, as a big “team” do share a wide variety of common senses which is not usually explained to the foreigners. In a multi-cultural community, low-context communication is required because each members do not share the common sense. The seminar must have been eye-opening to some participants who might be struggling with understanding their Japanese fellows or teachers.

2. Hult Prize @ Hokkaido University – a follow-up

Thanks to the extraordinary effort by the students organizing the event, 17 teams, each having 3 to 4 members will compete at the Hult Prize @ Hokkaido University event which will be held at FMI, Food & Medical Innovation conference hall on Saturday, December 12. Nearly half of the contestants are international students. They are inviting close to 20 observers from financial business community in Sapporo so that each team will have an opportunity to present their new business idea to the potential investors and mentors.

3.Topics from S-cubic (the DC and PD career support program for fluent Japanese communicators)

If you can listen and understand Japanese, but are shy on talking, you are qualified to attend the Career Path Diversification Seminar (in Japanese) on Friday, January 22 from 1pm to 5pm at the Conference Hall. We are inviting two young CEOs of venture companies and you can learn the story of inauguration of their business. For the details, please visit:
http://www.sci.hokudai.ac.jp/s-cubic/program/career/notice.html
(sorry that this is a Japanese page)

4. Special Seminar for Global Standard Leadership

A special Transferable Skills Seminar (TSS) is being planned on Thursday, January 28 in the morning from 9:30 to 11:30 at the Conference Hall. Guest speaker of this event is Dr. Greg Story, president of Dale Carnegie Training Japan. Dale Carnegie is a professional training institution with history of 100 years (50 years in Japan), providing skills development of business executives of major corporations throughout the world. You will experience how global leaders of business and industry are earning skills for leadership and communication at this seminar. Mark your schedule now. We will open the application form soon.

5. Other career related seminars

“Women in Academic Research” by Support Office for Female Researchers in Hokkaido University (FResHU) will be held on Thursday, December 10 from 14:45 to 16:15 at OIA big conference room on 2nd floor. Application is due on December 9. Please visit:
http://goo.gl/forms/uuDbEIku0B

International Hopefuls #14

International Hopefuls
Issue 14
November, 2015


1. Memo from the Professor

My dear International Researchers,

I-HoP is supporting a student-driven activity of “Hult Prize@Hokkaido University 2016”. You will find details of this event in the section 2 of this newsletter. One good way of strengthening your transferable research skill is practicing your earned skill in the real or quasi-real environment. Hult Prize is a global competition of innovative business idea of “social business”. By challenging to this competition, you will enhance your skills of; communication, presentation, leadership, team-building and above all, how your research and skills could solve the global problems.

Another workshop, in response to recommendations we have received in our previous seminars, is calling for participants. Transferable Skills Seminar – Japanese Business Manner (OMOTENASHI) will be held on Friday, November 13 in the afternoon. You will learn in English business manners and its cultural background, and will have a short workshop that may be helpful for job interviews. For registration please access the link below:
https://www2.synfoster.hokudai.ac.jp/Hi-System/public/index.php?act=eve&id=143#top

In the month of October, I have attended two exciting occasions which were related to the international researchers. One is Transferable Skills Seminar – Career Talk on October 23 in which Dr. Justin Shrestha who has just graduated from the doctor course of Engineering gave a speech. What made me most impressed was his notion that this English newsletter and other career support programs such as Career Counseling in English of I-HoP made him aware of possibility for working in Japan and recognizing his value in the industry as a Ph.D. of Hokkaido University. I wholeheartedly hope Justin’s much success in his forthcoming career. Another exciting occasion was the Frontrunner Seminar organized by FResHU, Support Office for Female Researchers in Hokkaido University. The seminar held on Monday, October 19 was featuring Dr. Sachiko Kuno who was selected by Forbes magazine as one of America's Richest Self-Made Women. Her exciting life story was shared by more than 50 international and Japanese students. Dr. Kuno’s talk and intensive Q&A session with the participants revealed that people with strong will for success draws much luck and opportunities. To make your various life events to your favor, Curiosity, Persistence, Flexibility, Optimism, and Risk-Taking attitude are quite important.

2. Hult Prize @ Hokkaido University

If you have strong will for success, and are very optimistic about winning one million dollar to launch your own social business, opportunity is here now. Hokkaido University has been chosen as one of 140 universities in the world (only two from Japan) to select and send its representative team to the regional competition which will be held at Boston, San Francisco, Shanghai, Dubai and London. Each regional competition will pick one team from each contest, and the selected five teams will meet at the final competition to be held in New York in September, 2016. Prior to this final competition, the selected five team members will spend a week in Boston to shaping up its business plans, brushing up its presentation skills and materials, and mingle with mentors from major US corporations such as Coca Cola, General Electric, etc. This once-in-lifetime opportunity has been brought to Hokkaido University by one doctor course student from abroad. Mr. Dicko Saydo, who serves as Campus Director at Hokkaido University (see http://hultprizeat.com/hokkaido) was convincing enough to the Hult Prize organization committee that Hokkaido University deserves to be one of the universities that can assemble more than 10 teams (each having 3 to 4 members) to compete. He and his team of organization committee which I-HoP is supporting will hold several student meetings to promote this exciting event. Contact Mr. Dicko ( said_manga@yahoo.fr ) if you are interested.

3.Topics from S-cubic (the DC and PD career support program for fluent Japanese communicators)

The next Akai-ito-kai, a highly reputed novel career matching event of s-cubic is going to be held on December 8 in Sapporo. Approximately 40 DC and PD researchers will be attending this event. Each participants are required to prepare, in advance, a summary of their research topics and CV and one A0-sized poster describing themselves (focusing on how their research is contributing to the society and industries). A whole day event on December 8 will be conducted in Japanese so language proficiency and consideration for Japanese business manner are required.
I-HoP, however is providing SCAIK (Shot Cut Akai Ito Kai), a shortcut for the international researchers. If you are interested in getting access to any of the following participating companies, prepare in English a brief summary report (SCAIK report) of your research activities (focusing on industrial and business value) and introduction of yourself. SCAIK report in a Microsoft Word format must be less than 2 pages long, and shall contain the following information:
1. Your name, date of birth, contact information (your picture may be included)
2. What you want to accomplish in the company
3. Education Record and Research History
4. Outline of your current research activities and major achievements
5. Reference (JLPT/JSST record, list of papers and conference record, etc.)
In order to help you understand the company better, a linkage to the English homepages of the companies attending is provided below.
----------------------------------------------------------------
Otsuka Pharmaceutical Co., Ltd.
Mitsubishi Tanabe Pharma Corporation
Astellas Pharma Inc.
IBM
Tome R&D Inc.
Nippon Telegraph and Telephone Corporation
Fujitsu Laboratories
Tokyu Construction
Sumitomo Forestry Co., Ltd.
Kobe Steel, Ltd.
Bridgestone Corporation
Bosch
JSR Corporation
Toray Industries, Inc.
Lion Corporation
Kewpie Corporation
----------------------------------------------------------------

If you want to challenge SCAIK, feel free to contact us at I-HoP by email so that we can provide you with detailed instructions.

4. News from Japanese eLearning

Application for your next JSST Japanese language speech test by phone is open now until November 8. The actual test period is from November 24 through 29. We are encouraging your active participation to this program. Managing your research/experiment time during a day and time to learn Japanese is not an easy task. The best way to learn and keep a language is to “use it every day”. 10 minutes a day before you go to sleep, or first thing in the morning to access to the e-learning system will give you a better effect than studying for an hour in the weekend. Of course if you study Japanese in the weekend on top of your daily e-learning, that will be more effective.
https://www2.synfoster.hokudai.ac.jp/Hi-System/public/index.php?act=eve&id=145#top

5. Other career related seminars

Academic Writing Skills Seminar【HU Library・URA station】
http://www.lib.hokudai.ac.jp/2015/10/16/34924/

International Hopefuls #13

International Hopefuls
Issue 13
October, 2015

1.Memo from the Professor

My dear International Researchers,

Career Plan Survey 2015 has been successfully completed and 261 international researchers have responded to the questionnaire. Thank you very much for your participation. Our record shows that more than 500 researchers have accessed to the web-based survey system. If some of them have given up responding to the survey, we would like to know how we could do better to make the survey easier to respond. Please write your comments/suggestions to ihop@synfoster.hokudai.ac.jp

For many of the international researchers, October is beginning of your new term. Welcome onboard to those who have newly joined Hokkaido University. Starting from this year, the Office of International Affairs provide “Preparatory Programme for Graduate International Students” to the incoming international students for graduate courses of Hokkaido University and affiliated universities such as Otaru University of Commerce, Obihiro University of Agriculture and Veterinary Medicine, etc. I was given an opportunity to talk about the career at this program because it is very important to think about your future career plan “before” you start a new page of your life. Once you start studying/researching at your laboratory or class, you will soon be overwhelmed by daily activities and assignments. I would certainly recommend that you compile a vision of your future career, write it down on a sheet of paper for your future review, and look backwards from the viewpoint of your future to the current situation to identify the gap. This will give you a roadmap of your necessary actions to reach to your goal, i.e., the vision. There may be many roadblocks or unexpected obstacles in pursuing your action plans, and you must prepare “Plan-B” to cope with such unexpected situations. Once you have practiced and accustomed to this process, you will be able to apply the same to your daily research activities. Career development and career management is no difference from your academic pursuit. Only the difference is that the subject is “YOU” in case of the career.

2.Topics from Japanese e-learning system

If you may want to work in Japan or find academic posts in Japan after you finish MC, DC or postdoc term, having Japanese communication skill gives you bigger opportunities. The career survey result shows that more than half of International Researchers prefer to work in Japan after graduation. I-HoP is providing two programs that will enable you to learn Japanese in consistent with your busy research activities. Most of the International Researchers, especially for those who study only by using English, have no time to attend Japanese language classes that will occupy major part of your daytime hours. I-HoP provides Japanese e-learning that can be accessed 24X7 from in and out of the campus network. If you wish to obtain Japanese language skill, spare 15 minutes a day, or 1 hour on every weekend to get access to the e-learning. Consistency gives you a big difference at the end. Another I-HoP supported program is the JSST. This is an audio-lingual test by using telephone. Unlike JLPT which requires your physical participation to the examination place, JSST can be challenged any time during one week of testing window from your own telephone. I-HoP sponsors this JSST every 3 months so that you can visualize your progress. We will invite next JSST challengers in November.

3.Topics from S-cubic (the DC and PD career support program for fluent Japanese communicators)

Plant visits to local Hokkaido companies, Amino-Up (http://www.aminoup.co.jp/e/) and Japan Blood Products Organization (http://jbpo.or.jp/english/) is going to be held on Wednesday, October 14. Day trip by using a bus from Hokkaido University campus is fully supported by S-cubic and I-HoP staff members. This DC and PD researcher only program will give you opportunities to visit companies in business and learn research activities in the industry directly from these companies. If you are comfortable with your Japanese“LISTENING”skill, and are shy on talking, you are eligible to attend. Unlike the other S-cubic programs, you do not need to speak in Japanese unless you want to. If interested, write to ihop@synfoster.hokudai.ac.jp immediately because the registration will be closed on Friday, October 2. We still have a few seats available.

4.Upcoming Seminars

Learning from the people who have experienced wide variety of challenges and turning points in their life will give you power to understand, accept and overcome the same when these situations are happening to you. You will have two occasions in October to do so.

The first seminar is coordinated by the Support Office for Female Researchers in Hokkaido University. ( https://freshu.ist.hokudai.ac.jp/en/archives/3768/ )
The speaker is Dr. Sachiko Kuno, who was selected by Forbes magazine in May this year as one of 50 Foreign Born Self-Made Woman
http://www.forbes.com/sites/luisakroll/2015/06/09/american-dreamers-foreign-born-women-making-fortunes-in-u-s/

You are encouraged to attend this seminar on Monday, October 19 from 10am to 12:30pm at En-yu Gakusha Community Hall because you will have changes to directly ask questions to her during Q&A session. Prof. Iida will be the facilitator for the Q&A session. Naturally, all the session will be in English. As the seats are limited, make sure to register yourself in advance.
(https://docs.google.com/forms/d/1iyc7BkW0IH-YzVLjbnxmosnbxc-WI20s9gMZU0ehFgs/viewform?c=0&w=1)

The second occasion is on Friday, October 23 from 4:30pm to 6pm at Room B11, School of Engineering which is “Career Talk” of the I-HoP’s Transferable Skills Seminar. (https://www2.synfoster.hokudai.ac.jp/Hi-System/public/index.php?act=eve&id=142#top)

If you feel Dr. Kuno’s achievement is far beyond your imagination and expectation, this Career Talk is much closer to your reality. We will have two speakers for this seminar;
1. Dr. Justin Shrestha (Dr. Engineering, Hokkaido University)
2. Dr. Yingzi Jin (Dr. Information Science and Technology, the University of Tokyo)
Dr. Shrestha has just been graduated from Hokkaido University last month and is starting his business career in Japan soon. Dr. Jin (miss) is experiencing both academic and business careers in China, US and Japan so that her story can be stimulus to DC and PD researchers.

5. Other career related seminars

Please find the following URLs of other upcoming events.
10/10-11 Service Design Workshop with University Lapland “Designing Olympic 2020, From Here “ (English)

・10/15 Job Hunting Start-Up Guidance for International Students (Japanese)

10/24-12/5 Global Business/Hokkaido Tourism Workshop (Japanese)

International Hopefuls #12

International Hopefuls
Issue 12
September, 2015

1.Memo from the Professor

My dear International Researchers,

Career Plan Survey 2015 is in progress and will be closed on Tuesday, September 2. If you have not yet responded to, or know someone near you who has not yet accessed to the web-based survey form ( https://questant.jp/q/ihopsurvey2015 ), please hurry and complete it by Noon, September 2. Your response to the survey is essential for designing and updating the career support programs that I-HoP is providing. Thank you for your cooperation for those who have already responded to it.

Some DC-3 researchers will be graduating this September. Congratulations to those who have successfully accomplished the hard work of activities during your time at Hokkaido University. If you are interested in bouncing your thoughts of your career with someone who listens closely and carefully, feel free to make an appointment at ihop@hokudai.ac.jp. Even though you do not need any suggestions or advice for your career, talking to someone who reflects your story like a mirror will help you deepen your understanding of yourself. Career counseling in English at I-HoP is free for all DC and PD researchers at Hokkaido University, and we ask you to make an appointment with us to ensure that one quality hour is designated for you.

2.Topics from Japanese e-learning system

The last JSST was ended Sunday, August 30. The test this time was challenged by 10 people. The test will help you visualize your progress of Japanese learning, especially for your listening, vocabulary, grammar, composition and speaking skills which are essential for your daily oral communication around you or with someone over the phone. Don’t be shy on taking your first test because measurement of status quo is the first step of the management of your skill. The next call for JSST participants will be announced in October.

3.Topics from S-cubic (the DC and PD career support program for fluent Japanese communicators)

The next Akai-ito-kai, a highly reputed novel career matching event of s-cubic is going to be held on December 8 in Sapporo. Approximately 30 DC and PD researchers will be attending this event. Each participants are required to prepare, in advance, a summary of their research topics and CV and one A0-sized poster describing themselves (focusing on how their research is contributing to the society and industries). A whole day event on December 8 will be conducted in Japanese so language proficiency and consideration for Japanese business manner are required.
I-HoP, however is providing SCAIK (Shot Cut Akai Ito Kai), a shortcut for the international researchers. If you are interested in getting access to any of the following participating companies, prepare in English a brief summary report (SCAIK report) of your research activities (focusing on industrial and business value) and introduction of yourself. SCAIK report in a Microsoft Word format must be less than 2 pages long, and shall contain the following information:
1. Your name, date of birth, contact information (your picture may be included)
2. What you want to accomplish in the company
3. Education Record and Research History
4. Outline of your current research activities and major achievements
5. Reference (JLPT/JSST record, list of papers and conference record, etc.)
In order to help you understand the company better, a linkage to the English homepages of the companies attending is provided below.
-------------------------------------------
大塚製薬
田辺三菱製薬
アステラス製薬
日本IBM
とめ研究所
日本電信電話(NTT)
富士通研究所
東急建設
住友林業
神戸製鋼所(KOBELCO)
ブリヂストン
BOSCH
JSR
東レ
ライオン
キューピー
-------------------------------------------
If you want to challenge SCAIK, feel free to contact us at I-HoP by email so that we can provide you with detailed instructions.

4.Upcoming Transferable Skills Seminars

I-HoP is planning to conduct three Transferable Skills Seminars in the coming five months. Please pencil-mark your calendar and watch for the details which we will be informed through the Hi-System soon.

Friday, October 23 (from 4:30pm to 6pm) – Alumni Talk
Friday, November 13 or Tuesday, November 17 – Japanese Business Manner
Thursday, January 28, 2016 – Leadership and Motivation (by Dale-Carnegie Japan)

5. Recruitment of permanent research scientists by National Agriculture and Food Research Organization (NARO)

Good news for women and international students!
"In cases where applicants' publications and qualifications are evaluated as being equivalent, NARO will give precedence to the employment of women and foreign nationals for these posts."
There is one open position in NARO’s Sapporo office (N14, Agro-environmental Research Division.

■ Qualifications for application
1) Applicants must possess, or be scheduled to obtain, a doctoral degree prior to the date of employment.
2) Applicants should possess the knowledge, ability, and/or techniques necessary for employment as a member of the research scientist group responsible for the research theme of the intended post.
3) Applicants may be of any nationality, but must have strong skills of verbal and writing communication in both Japanese and English.
4) In cases where applicants' publications and qualifications are evaluated as being equivalent, NARO will give precedence to the employment of women and foreign nationals for these posts.

■ Deadline
The documents must arrive by 12:00 on Monday, September 28th, 2015 (Japan standard time).

■ Commencement of employment
April 1st, 2016

■ Please go to URLs below for details
http://www.naro.affrc.go.jp/english/Information/laboratory/naro/059223.html
List of job posts
http://www.naro.affrc.go.jp/english/Information/files/20160401_permanent_separate_table.pdf

International Hopefuls #11

International Hopefuls
Issue 11
August, 2015

1.Memo from the Professor

My dear International Researchers,

The TSS, Transferable Skills Seminar which was held on Thursday, July 30 was a big success. 15 international DC and PD researchers and two observers have attended the event, and enjoyed a new learning experience of self-branding. I-HoP is lining up a series of TSS this year, and the details will be announced as they are being defined. Japanese manner (OMOTENASHI) and the theory behind to better understand inter-cultural communication and Japanese society will be presented in autumn. Another premier seminar is slated for January on the leadership and inter-personal communication by The Dale Carnegie Course. We will be presenting at the TSS an essence of major Transferrable Skills such as communication, self-branding, leadership, project management and so forth that will normally be provided to the candidate of future executives of major corporations.

Career Survey for this year will be announced shortly and you may be hearing from your research supervisors or office administrator about the web-based survey soon. I-HoP really appreciates your active participation by filling-in your response to the questionnaire which will be posted on the web-based survey system. The system is accessible from your PC or smartphone, and the survey will not take more than 5 minutes to complete.

2.Topics from Japanese e-learning system

Call for participants to the next JSST has been announced. Testing period for this season is from August 25 through 30. We encourage your active and continuous participation to this test so that you can measure the progress of your Japanese communication skills by yourself. Of course, Japanese e-learning is provided free to all the Hi-System users 24 hours a day, 7 days a week in and out of the campus network. Apply to the next JSST by August 9 through the Hi-System.

If you are not familiar with JSST, check the following URL for details:
https://www2.synfoster.hokudai.ac.jp/Hi-System/public/index.php?act=eve&id=135#top

Unlike JLPT or other language test, you do not have to go to the testing facility in person. Instead, you will be given a telephone number to call when you are registered. You only have to call-in from your mobile or any phones during the testing period to receive the test.

3.Topics from S-cubic (the program for fluent Japanese communicators)

Advanced COSA (Course Of Science Administration)-1 will be held at the conference hall on August 10 and 11. This two full-day program is for MC, DC and PD who are fluent in Japanese. If you are confident with your LISTENING and READING skill, it is worth trying to. You will be hearing from four PhDs who advanced the career to the industry and are utilizing their wide variety of doctoral skills (core and transferable skills) in pursuing their respective career. If you are interested in knowing the real life of PhDs in Japanese industry, the program is for you.

4.Sci-Tech PhD for Banking Industry?

Banking industry usually hires undergraduate students of liberal arts such as economics, laws, public policy studies, business administration, etc. as a new hire and train them to fit to their corporate culture from the scratch. The case may not be true for the Indonesian branch of one of Japan’s “Mega” banks, and they are looking for international students and researchers from Indonesia who are studying in Japan. Due to a strict ruling of Indonesian government to localize the management of banks in Indonesia, this bank is forced to hire and train talented Indonesian staff in order to manage the operation of the branch, namely, management of loans to corporations. PhD researchers may well fit for this kind of function because of their technological competence and capability of discriminating the fundamental issues out of complex systems. Money and technology is like two sides of a coin that means, we need both of them to create a functioning company. Being a researcher to undertake the technology side of a company is one good way of realizing your skill of PhD, but a career as a banker is another way of growing the industry with much wider perspective because bankers deal with multiple companies and industries. If you are interested in a career as a banker, feel free to make an appointment with I-HoP for career counseling.

5. New PhD Hiring Program from Fujitsu

Fujitsu, one of Japan’s leading ICT (Information and Communication Technologies) companies is trialing a new hiring program for PhDs this year. Unlike conventional Japanese companies, Fujitsu will clearly describe the objective of a job in writing with nominal duration (ranges from 2 to 5 years) for its completion. It is similar to a postdoctoral researchers posits and they are not assuring a permanent employment position once the project is finished. As I-HoP has a list of project (all in Japanese so far but can be translated into English), fell free to contact us if you want to see the details.


International Hopefuls #10

International Hopefuls
Issue 10
July, 2015

1.Memo from the Professor

My dear International Researchers,

I am so excited about the upcoming TSS, Transferable Skills Seminar which will be held on Thursday, July 30. The instructor, Ms. Takaoka will give you lectures and workshop to develop and enhance your SELF-BRAND which is essential for your successful career interviews and any other promotional events of yourself. Unlike the corporate brand which takes time to disperse and spread to the market, you have only a few opportunities to present yourself to a company when you are seeking for a career. They are; CV or Resume, Job Interviews and Internship. The job interview is most critical because 90% of your image is decided by your first impression. You need to prepare, maintain and improve your self-brand so that you present a cohesive brand image of yourself among all the occasions and opportunities, including the first impression. I am very confident that this 4 hour seminar starting 3pm on July 30 is an indispensable investment of your time for your future.

2.Topics from Japanese e-learning system

Ten people have applied to the last JSST in June and six of them were the repeaters. Thank you for your participation and please tell your friends if they are not yet enjoying this I-HoP sponsored program. We encourage your repeated challenge to the test and if your time permits, please make it a custom to access to the Japanese eLearning even ten minutes a day every day. Persistence will surely lead to a success in learning Japanese.

3.Topics from Akai Ito Kai (June 19, 2015)

The first Akai Ito Kai of this fiscal year was held on June 19. One postdoc researcher was coordinated by I-HoP to have an unofficial interview with one of the attending companies during the event. If you are interested in any of the companies and want to establish a connection, feel free to contact I-HoP even after the event. Among the 16 companies attended, the following companies expressed strong interest in hiring international doctors. Some even indicated that N-1 level Japanese proficiency was not a mandatory requirement at the time of entry. They are;

-Chugai Pharmaceutical Co., Ltd. (Tokyo)
-Daicel Corporation (Osaka)
-Taiyo Holdings Co., Ltd. (Tokyo)

4.Science Communicator Contest (Euraxess)

If You are:
- A researcher,
- A student (Master or PhD level with ongoing research activities),
- From any nationality,
- In any discipline (humanities, social sciences included!),
- Based in Japan?
THIS IS FOR YOU!

Euraxess, a web-based meeting place for global researchers which is funded and operated by EU, is hosting a contest for science communicator. If you are interested, please refer to:
https://scienceslamjapan2015.splashthat.com/

5.Topics from Immigration Bureau of Japan – Points-based Preferential Immigration Treatment for Highly Skilled Foreign Professionals

The Points-Based System for Highly Skilled Foreign Professionals is a points-based system that provides highly skilled foreign professionals with preferential immigration treatment. In other words, it is a system that uses the mechanism of “points” to promote the entry of foreign nationals recognized as “highly skilled foreign professionals” by giving them preferential treatment in matters of immigration control.

This system is for foreign nationals who intend to enter and work in Japan, foreign nationals who work in Japan or foreign students. If you want to know more, please visit the site below.
http://www.immi-moj.go.jp/newimmiact_3/en/index.html









International Hopefuls #9

International Hopefuls
Issue 9
June, 2015

1.Memo from the Professor

My dear International Researchers,

Moving Day! Our office has been temporarily relocated to the #2 Mid-Campus Open Laboratory building which is located near the Gingko Avenue, next to the Faculty of Pharmaceutical Sciences building. The move was caused by a series of temporary relocation of many offices including office of the president to reinforce earthquake resistance of the Administration Bureau building. We are told to return to the original place by the end of fiscal year 2018. To get access to our office for career counseling or other purpose, follow the instruction on the bulletin board (English/Japanese) which is placed inside the glass entry door.

Access Map

We have held the second TSS, Transferrable Skills Seminar on May 13 whose report can be found in the section 3 of this newsletter. The next TSS on English Interview Technique for Japanese companies will be held on Thursday, July 30 in the afternoon. The details will be informed soon. Please pencil-mark on your calendar if you are interested.

2.Topics from Japanese e-learning system

Application for the next JSST Japanese language speech test by phone has been closed. The testing period is from June 9 through 14. My wholehearted congratulations to the repeaters and new challengers for your continued interest in learning Japanese. Even if the result is not as good as you want to, consistency will lead to a success someday. Trust your skill and yourself.

3.Transferable Skills Seminar – May 13

The second TSS, Transferable Skills Seminar was successfully conducted on May 13. Despite the short notice, ten international researchers have attended the event. The slide of my presentation entitled “Career Management Process” can be found here.

The following chart shows quick summary of the evaluation form:
Based on this survey result, we have decided to schedule the next TSS on Thursday, July 30 to introduce “Interview Techniques” in English. The seminar will be a mixture of lecture and workshop so that you can practice your interview skills in far less pressurized environment than a real one. As we are meeting with the lecturer early June, we will provide you with a detailed agenda on the web as soon as it is defined.

4.Next Short Cut to Akai Ito Kai (SCAIK)

As discussed in my presentation at TSS, we encourage your active participation to the next “Short Cut to Akai Ito Kai (SCAIK)”. The next Akai Ito Kai will be held in Sapporo on Friday, June 19. The list of attendees can be found in my presentation slide. One doctor has already submitted the SCAIK report and we have made a special appointment for the doctor to meet with one of R&D representatives of a company who is attending the event. This is very rare and unique opportunity provided only for the doctors (DC and PostDoc) of Hokkaido University. Make the best use of it!

5. Topics from Japanese industry

As was pointed out by the speaker of TSS in May, most of the Japanese companies are not well prepared to provide employees with written job description and performance objectives. This is one critical disadvantage for the Japanese companies to obtain and maintain well-talented individuals of foreign origin. This shortcoming cannot be overcome by the effort of one university, one organization or one voice, but as we relentlessly speak out and address the issue in any possible occasions, the voices can be heard someday. Prof. Iida will be addressing this very topic at the HR Summit 2015 in Tokyo on June 3 where thousands of company HR (Human Resources) staff will be gathering. A similar talk will be given to a private gathering of “Presidents of Hokudai Alumni” in July where president or executives of major Japanese corporations who are the Hokudai Alumni members will be getting together in Sapporo. One step at a time.

International Hopefuls #8

International Hopefuls
Issue 8
May, 2015

1.Memo from the Professor

My dear International Researchers,

Those who are newly registered to the Hi-System and started to explore your career development with us, welcome onboard. I-HoP is wholeheartedly congratulating your ambition of simultaneous pursuit of the research and transferable skills development. Being one of the seven former imperial universities, i.e., Tokyo, Kyoto, Tohoku, Kyushu, Hokkaido, Osaka and Nagoya (chronological order of inauguration), Hokkaido University or Hokudai for short, deserves to be recognized as Japan’s leading and most innovative research institution in every aspect. Every aspect includes Hokusai’s relentless effort in empowering Doctor Course (DC) and Post-doc researchers with a wide variety of career development programs. Your active participation to our I-HoP programs which are designed to stimulate your life-long career enhancement will not only benefit you but also provide a reciprocal positive influence to a relationship between Hokudai and the Japanese business community.

Some of you may be aware that there is a unique recruiting practice in Japan for the new graduates (especially for undergraduate and masters). All major corporations starts and finishes the hiring campaign of the new graduates THE SAME TIME, and it is conducted only ONCE a year. Although DC and Post-docs are technically excluded from this practice, some large corporations who hire many new DC graduates do apply this ruling for all recruiting.

A new ruling (an ethical guideline between Keidanren and major universities which is applied to Hokudai) effective this year stipulates that the official hiring process must start from August 1. According to a survey by HR Research Institute, in which 360 large and small corporations have responded to, 20% of sci-tech undergraduate in Senior of the seven former imperial universities have already received an Informal Acceptance (nai-nai-tei) between March and April this year.

Feeling restless? Don’t be so pessimistic. The active job opening ratio for this year is exceeding 1.2 which means, job opening is 20+% higher than the number of job-seekers. Companies are more aggressive in securing talented individuals in the early stage of the process, but are always exposed to the pressure of losing the selected candidates to other companies until the official ending of the process in October.

2.Topics from Japanese e-learning system

Application for your next JSST Japanese language speech test by phone will start from May 7. The actual test period is slated for June 9 through 14. We are encouraging your active participation to this program. The chart below shows a comparison of the number of users of the e-learning between TOEIC (English learning) and Japanese. While the number of TOEIC participants remains low, Japanese e-learning became popular and is growing! (number of active users in April counts 35). Managing your research/experiment time during a day and time to learn Japanese is not an easy task. The best way to learn and keep a language is to “use it every day”. 10 minutes a day before you go to sleep, or first thing in the morning to access to the e-learning system will give you a better effect than studying for an hour in the weekend. Of course if you study Japanese in the weekend on top of your daily e-learning, that will be more effective.



3.Transferable Skills Seminar – May 13

Register now at the Hi-system for the upcoming Transferable Skills Seminar on Wednesday, May 13 from 4:30pm at the Conference Hall. We are inviting a Hokudai PhD graduate who has worked for a company in Hokkaido. Learn from him what a typical “freshman’s life” looks like in a Japanese company. There must be quite a different perspective of what “work” and “job” stand for in Japan. We encourage your active participation by asking many questions to your Senpai.

The second part of the seminar is by Prof. Iida focusing on the objective and benefit of career counseling. The best teacher for your career is YOU, yourself, and he will discuss how to find YOU through the counseling process. Knowing yourself, your value and desire are integral and essential part of your career development. Job hunting or career pursuit with deep understanding of yourself will lead to a fulfilling and satisfying outcome.

For the details of the seminar, please click here.

4.Career Survey

From March 13 through 29, I-HoP has conducted a career survey to the international student who are registered to the OIA mailing list. Thank you for those who have made an effort to respond to the questionnaire. The number of respondent, however, was far less than one tenth of the list, to our disappointment. The first I-HoP career survey in August, 2014 was reminded or distributed through supervising professors or administration office of each faculty and we have obtained more than 40% of active response. The survey is essential for our designing and planning of programs and events which are suitable for your purpose. If you have any suggestions or recommendations for improving the response to the survey (i.e., method of notification, timing, survey period, etc.) please let us know by email to: ihop@synfoster.hokudai.ac.jp

5. Internship Opportunities

Representatives from NTT and Toshiba will come to Sapporo in May to explain their internship programs. Although they are all explained in Japanese, some of the research topics may accept English-only researchers. As I-HoP will be there at each introduction meetings, feel free to come and join the event if interested.

【 NTT 】
Introducing NTT Internships

When: 5/12/2015 (tue) 16:30 – 17:30
Where: School of Engineering B12
Application period for NTT Internship: May 7 through June 10
Notification to the candidate: 6/18/2015 (thu)
Confirmation for attendance: 6/25/2015 (thu)

Actual Internship Programs: 4 weeks within early August to mid-September, 2015

【 TOSHIBA 】
Introducing TOSHIBA Internships

Employees from TOSHIBA will be here to introduce TOSHIBA internships.

Internships are for:
MC / DC in Graduate School of Engineering
MC / DC in Graduate School of Information Science and Technology
MC / DC in Graduate School of Chemical Sciences and Engineering

If you are interested in internships or what TOSHIBA does, come join the seminar.
Program will be conducted mostly in Japanese.
However, there are some internships that accept English & Korean speaker.
I-HoP will be there to support English speakers.

Please send e-mail to Prof. Yamashita to attend the seminar.
Details are also posted at I-HoP community page on Hi-System.

----------------------------------------------------
◇◆Introducing TOSHIBA Internships◆◇

When : 5/28/2015 (thu) 16:30 - 19:00
Where : School of Engineering B 32
For :
MC / DC in Graduate School of Engineering
MC / DC in Graduate School of Information Science and Technology
MC / DC in Graduate School of Chemical Sciences and Engineering
Apply :
E-mail to the address below with subject " Toshiba Internships ".
Please include your school, status (e.g. MC1, DC2, etc.), name, telephone number.
----------------------------------------------------
Professor Toru Yamashita
Faculty of Engineering / Center for Engineering Education Development
e-mail:t.yamashita@eng.hokudai.ac.jp Tel:011-706-6907

International Hopefuls #7


International Hopefuls
Issue 7
April, 2015


1.Memo from the Professor

My dear International Researchers,

This newsletter will be released before the new entrants are introduced to the Hi-System/I-HoP activities at each guidance meetings. So I will reserve my message to the newcomers till the May issue. We have successfully completed one full fiscal year of I-HoP program at the end of March, 2015, and are now proceeding to the second year. My humble gratitude to your interest and support in our endeavor of enhancing transferable research skills including career development capabilities to the young international researchers.

Through the entire month of March, I-HoP had attended the Industry Study Seminar for undergraduate and master course students at the Clark Hall. Only a few doctors have shown up and utilized our support. After talking with 70+ company representatives with whom I have exchanged the cards, the following is my general observation:

1.The average Japanese (language) proficiency requirement at the time of entry is N3 or above. But the individual personality and capabilities take precedence over the language skills
2.Only a few company had special process for hiring doctors, and the rest are treating doctors the same manner as undergraduate for the hiring process.
3.Because of high Japanese proficiency requirements, many companies would require SPI Test (recruitment aptitude tests in Japanese) even for the international doctors.
4.Special referral to the key person at the target company by your supervising professors or use of matching event such as SCAIK (Short-Cut Akai-Ito-Kai) would certainly be advantageous for bypassing the rigid and competitive hiring process.

Based on the afore-mentioned findings, we would like to find opportunities to convey the message to the newcomers that they would need Japanese proficiency if they are serious about working in Japan after their graduation. I-HoP will give a 15 minutes presentation to the newcomers at the “New International Student Orientation” on Thursday, April 9 in the morning during the “English” session. If there is any proper gathering in your faculty or laboratories where we can effectively convey the message or exchange the ideas, please feel free to write to us at ihop@synfoster.hokudai.ac.jp.

2.Topics from Japanese e-Learning system

The first “Transferable Skills Seminar” hosted by I-HoP was successfully conducted on Thursday, March 19 at the conference hall. Despite the short notice, the seminar was attended by 16 international researchers. The seminar, coupled with interactive workshop for experiencing practical Japanese communication skills and explanation of Japanese business culture behind the manner, was highly accepted by the participants. The survey result below shows the level of satisfaction by the participants.

The survey also asked about topics to be covered by the future Transferable Skills Seminar and the following is the result:

I-HoP has started communication with professional training institutions for designing seminars in English focusing on Japanese business manner and inter-cultural communication. Stay tuned for further information.

3.S-cubic events

If you have JSST Level 5 or above, take a look at the class of “Career Management Seminar” (Every Monday from April 6 through July 27 at the Open Hall of faculty of Engineering from 14:45 to 16:15). You need to register to the Hi-System if you want to actively participate in the class because homework and reports are being processed through the system. Even if you are not confident in Japanese writing, but are capable of listening, this 15-course program will provide essential “transferable research skills” such as research strategy and management, marketing, business plan, product development, accounting, corporate planning, and introduction of actual advanced technologies from four lecturers from corporations.

Another interesting seminar for JSST Level 7 or above is scheduled on Friday, May 15 from 10:30 at the Conference Hall, entitled “the fundamentals of business manner and its practice”. The morning session (10:30 to noon) is open for MC, DC, PD and teachers / staff members, with total capacity of 80 participants. The afternoon session with capacity limit of 18 is slated for DC and PD with JSST Level 9 or above. If you are interested in learning the theory behind the OMOTENASHI, register through the Hi-System (use [イベント登録])

4.Japanese Industry Study

For those who are seeking for opportunities for academia in Japan, JREC-IN is the most comprehensive website. Even the opportunities within Hokkaido University is better searched here than in our homepage because JREC-IN is updated regularly. They have enhanced the contents recently and have enabled research institutions make the entry of new recruitments easier. Go and visit JREC-IN regularly at:
https://jrecin.jst.go.jp/seek/SeekTop?ln=1

If you can read Japanese, try Japanese pages first because the contents may be richer in the Japanese pages.

The following is the open positions in Hokkaido as of April 1:
Search results - 13 job posting(s)
----------------------------------------------
Date of update Application deadline
Title,
Institution [Research field],
Job type,
Employment status
----------------------------------------------
2015/04/01 2015/04/28
Call for Applicants Position open for Assistant Professor in Laboratory of Oral Biochemistry
Hokkaido University [Medicine,dentistry,and pharmacy-Dentistry]
Assistant Professor level
Full-time(Nontenured)

2015/03/28 2015/06/15
1 Tenure track faculty (specially appointed associate professor or specially appointed lecturer) (Food Science)
Hokkaido University of Education [Complex systems-Human life science]
Associate Professor/Lecturer (full-time) level
Full-time(Nontenured)

2015/03/27 2015/06/30
Postdoctoral Researcher (Hokkaido University and Stanford University)
Hokkaido University [Medicine,dentistry,and pharmacy-All Medicine,dentistry,and pharmacy]
Researcher/Postdoc level
Full-time(Nontenured)

2015/03/27 2015/05/29
Job Opening - Assistant Professor in Laboratory of Organic Synthesis
Hokkaido University [Chemistry-Applied chemistry]
Assistant Professor level
Full-time(Nontenured)

2015/03/25 2015/04/30
Postdoctoral Researcher (Stanford University and Hokkaido University)
Hokkaido University [Engineering-Electrical and electronic engineering]
Researcher/Postdoc level
Full-time(Nontenured)

2015/03/05 2015/04/30
Recruitment of Assistant Professor(Research Group of Water Metabolic System,Division of Environmental Engineering)
Hokkaido University [Engineering-Civil engineering]
Assistant Professor level
Full-time(Nontenured)

2015/02/19 2015/04/30
Postdoctoral Researchers in Biomedical Optics and Applied Mathematics
Hokkaido University [Interdisciplinary science and engineering-Applied physics]
Researcher/Postdoc level
Full-time(Nontenured)

2015/02/18 2015/04/20
Job Opening - Associate Professor in Section of Integrated Environmental Science
Hokkaido University [Environmental science-Environmental conservation]
Associate Professor/Lecturer (full-time) level
Full-time(Tenured)

2015/02/052015/04/13
Job Opening - Associate Professor in Division of Mechanical and Space Engineering
Hokkaido University [Engineering-Mechanical engineering]
Associate Professor/Lecturer (full-time) level
Full-time(Tenured)

2015/01/26 2015/04/17
Announcement of a faculty position(Full-time Associate Professor or Full-time Assistant Professor (Non-tenured))-Applied Physics Research Unit
Muroran Institute of Technology [Mathematical and physical science-Physics]
Associate Professor/Lecturer (full-time) level,Assistant Professor level
Full-time(Nontenured)

2015/01/26 2015/04/17
Announcement of a faculty position(Full-time Assistant Professor (Nontenured))- Intelligent Informatics Research Unit
Muroran Institute of Technology [Informatics-Human informatics]
Assistant Professor level
Full-time(Nontenured)

2015/01/26 2015/04/27
Announcement of a faculty position(Full-time Assistant Professor (Nontenured))- Electrical and Communication Engineering Research Unit
Muroran Institute of Technology [Engineering-Electrical and electronic engineering]
Assistant Professor level
Full-time(Nontenured)

2015/01/17 2015/04/10
Job opening for full-time faculty member in Internastional Finance
Hokkaido University [Social science-Economics]
Associate Professor/Lecturer (full-time) level
Full-time(Tenured)
----------------------------------------------

5.Company Profile

Check the “Event Participants – Kigyo Kenkyu Seminar” of “Useful Links” of I-HoP homepage. We will soon identify companies who have attended and exchanged business card with I-HoP at the “International Student Corner” of the Industry Seminar (Kigyou Kenkyu Seminar) during the month of March. Although many of them require higher Japanese language proficiency, at least I-HoP has established a relationship with them and have informed that there are excellent researchers from abroad who are seeking for opportunities to work in Japan.

International Hopefuls #6

International Hopefuls
Issue 6
March, 2015


1.Memo from the Professor

My dear International Researchers,
The second I-HoP sponsored JSST Japanese communication skill test is now in progress (test period is from February 28 through March 8). Fourteen of you are challenging the examination this time and 5 out of the 14 are the repeaters. Congratulations on your persistence and interest in improving your Japanese communication skill. I-HoP is planning on conducting a seminar focusing on Japanese Language Skill requirements of Japanese private companies and laboratories, together with some hint for learning Japanese by yourself with minimum impact to your research activities in the daytime. The seminar will be held on Thursday, March 19 from 3pm at the Conference Hall. The details will be announced shortly. If you are interested in staying in Japan to work for a company or research institution after completing your term at Hokkaido University, your Japanese communication skill will certainly provide you with wider varieties of opportunities.

I have attended the 3rd Akai-Ito-Kai of this fiscal year which was held in Tokyo on February 18. Two SCAIK reports were submitted to this event. I encourage your active participation to the Akai-Ito-Kai by submitting the SCAIK report which will certainly draw attentions of companies attending the event. Out of the 16 distinguished companies attended, I would like to pick two of them who are providing unique opportunities for the international researchers. They are, IBM Japan Limited and Sumitomo Chemical Co., Ltd. Please see section 5 for the details.

On Sunday, March 1, the Industry Study Seminar of this season for undergraduate and master course students has started. 656 distinguished companies from all over Japan will come to the Clark Hall one after another to introduce their business to our students. As briefly discussed last month, I-HoP will open its satellite office at the “Foreign Students Consultation Corner” in the Clark Hall (1st Floor) every weekday during the month of March from 1pm to 2:30pm to assist English-speaking DC and PD researchers. Feel free to visit us. Our booth is located at the far end of the corner.

2.Topics from Japanese e-Learning system

A seminar series for Transferrable Skills of Doctorates is being planned. We consider Japanese communication skill as one of the transferrable skills that the international researchers ought to have, so I-HoP is now providing e-learning and JSST sponsorship. On top of these on-going services, we are inviting a special speaker at the seminar to discuss recent trends in Japanese and English language requirements in the Japanese companies, and to provide you with ideas on efficiently utilizing your time and resources to capture Japanese language skills. Once the details are defined, we will announce the event in detail through email, homepage and posters at the Office of International Affairs.

3.S-cubic events

40 DC researchers including four international researchers have attended the Akai-Ito-Kai which was held in Tokyo on February 18. In order to be qualified to attend the event, you need to prepare a poster in Japanese which describes your study and yourself. All the full-day event is conducted in Japanese including poster session in which you explain your research activities to the company representatives attended in Japanese, and attend one-to-a few short session between researchers and companies where the companies explain their business and intensive explanation of expected jobs of doctorates at the company.

On separate occasions, before and after the Akai-Ito-Kai, some DC researchers have attended “Seeds-Needs Matching Corporate Visits”. They have visited research labs and manufacturing plants of several companies to grasp the real corporate life, and have introduced their research activities to the corporate laboratory members by short presentation.

4.Japanese Industry Study

Nearly half of the young international researchers at Hokkaido University is from China. As a reference and a piece of information to those from China, I-HoP has been introduced to an event which will be held on Saturday, March 7 at the following place. The city of Shenzhen is sponsoring a nation-wide match making event among Chinese industries and students/researchers studying abroad in April. The event on Saturday, March 7 is to explain the details of this upcoming event, including conditions of sponsoring a part of the travel fees to/from Shenzhen.
The following is the details of the event in Chinese.
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
深圳市2015北海道海外高层次人才交流恳谈会
招待状


2007年起,经国务院批准,唯一专门对外国专家组织、培训机构、专业人才开发的规模最大、规格最高的国家级、国际性的人才与智力交流盛会【中国国际人才交流大会】,是一个集人才、智力、技术、项目管理为一体综合性大会,“精英天下”全国中高级人才招聘展区是中国国际人才交流大会重要板块。

有10年承办经验的深圳市政府,派出在深圳市驻日本海外高层次人才联络处负责人,和全日本中国人博士协会一起,首次来北海道进行中国国际人才交流大会介绍、交流竞聘和恳谈会。期待北海道的留学生和有志人才前来参加恳谈会,为自己的今后人生发展道路增添选择的良机。



时间:2015年3月7日(星期六)
第一部分16:00-18:00 介绍、交流竞聘
第二部分18:00-20:30恳谈会
主办:深圳市驻日本海外高层次人才联络处
共办:全日本中国人博士协会
北海道中国会
会场:札幌アスペンホテル 札幌駅北口徒歩2分
〒060-0808 北海道札幌市北区北8条西4-5
电话:011-700-2111
费用:免费招待
报名:请将姓名、学校、专业、年级和有无博士学位内容明记后在以下邮箱报名

hkdkakyoukazinn@yahoo.co.jp

募集人数:40名
报名期限:3月1日
咨询电话:090-4873-8074 陶
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

5.Company Profile

As discussed in the Section 1, the following two companies have unique programs for the international students/researchers.

1) IBM Japan Limited

This is a wholly-owned subsidiary of IBM Corporation. IBM Japan has been in the Japanese market since 1937. They have two separate research labs in its organization. The first is IBM Tokyo Laboratory which is development center of IBM Japan Limited. Although they would work with other global laboratories of IBM, they focus on development of products, services and solutions for Japan. The second laboratory is IBM Research – Tokyo. This is a part of IBM’s 12 global research institutions with total global staff of 3000. They closely work with other global laboratories and owe responsibility for its research subject and topics. They have “Guest Researcher” program and PhD Internship programs for DC and PD researchers. You can apply in English and they will not consider Japanese as a limiting factor for the qualification. For the details, please refer to:
http://www.research.ibm.com/labs/tokyo/saiyou_e.shtml
In its hiring process, they do not discriminate international researchers from Japanese.

2) Sumitomo Chemical Co., Ltd.

I-HoP has recently visited their laboratories in Osaka. They are like “a department store of chemical products”. They research, develop and manufacture a wide variety of chemical products in its Osaka laboratories and plant which is located not so far from the Universal Studio Japan. They employ many foreign-origin staffs and not all of them have N-1 level Japanese proficiency when they join the company. They provide quite intensive Japanese learning program to those non-Japanese staff in the first 6 months so that they can survive and enjoy their work. For the details, please refer to:
http://www.sumitomo-chem.co.jp/english/recruit.html

International Hopefuls #5

International Hopefuls
Issue 5
February, 2015


1.Memo from the Professor

My dear International Researchers,

Out of 3.86 million companies in Japan (total number of companies as of 2012), 3.85 million (99.7%) are small and medium size companies. Big companies with national or global brand that you may be familiar with, which forms only 0.3% of the number of companies in entire Japan, have deep pocket for research and development so there is some opportunities for PhD’s to participate in. Those job opportunities at the big companies, however, are very competitive, and the framework or direction of the research is somewhat defined by the company that means you would have less flexibility in your research activities. If you are lucky enough, you may be able to find a position that would satisfy your current and the future intellectual interest, but in reality, it is practical to assume that you would be adjusting yourself to fit into the framework of the position that is defined by the big company.

On the other hand, some medium-sized companies, having less than 500 employees, for example, have very strong competence in its technology, business model or sales network, and are quite flexible in its operation or in meeting the market requirements because agility is their prescription for success.

If you could find a medium-sized company that suits you well, there is in general higher probability that you, as a doctor, would give influence in its research direction or would enjoy much reciprocal relationship with the company, meaning that your intellectual interest would lead the strategic direction of the company, hence you and the company will enjoy a win-win relationship.

I-HoP will continue to develop a mechanism or relationships for you to access to the big companies, such as SCAIK, but will also investigate partners who may be able to add the medium-sized companies into your job-hunting portfolio. In the section 5 of this newsletter, you will find information on two of those medium-sized companies, as examples, who are actively hiring masters and doctors from abroad. You may recall that the machine-shops in Ota-ku, Tokyo which I mentioned in the January issue of International Hopefuls are another good examples of the very versatile, highly specialized medium-sized companies.

2.Topics from Japanese e-Learning system

I-HoP is now hosting the second JSST Japanese Standard Speaking Test. The test period is slated for February 28 through March 8. Minimum five contestants to enroll for I-HoP to proceed with the program. We encourage that you would set Grade-7 as your target. Some Japanese companies insist on undergraduate students or masters from abroad to possess JSST Grade-10 or JLPT N-1, but we are trying to convince them that international young researchers (DC, PD) have values that would over-compensate shortcomings in their “initial” Japanese proficiency. The following is grading criteria for Grade-7:

■ Can speak with composure while expanding on familiar topics. Can explain events that occurred in the past and make comparisons, but the information provided may be insufficient.

■ Can work using Japanese for simple business. If presently overseas, this person may be able to manage a business trip to Japan.

3.S-cubic events

■ The third Akai-Ito-Kai of this fiscal year will be held in Tokyo on February 18. SCAIK (Short Cut Akai Ito Kai) report in English was due on January 30 but we will extend it to February 10. We encourage your active participation to this program as it is one of a few pathways to access to the big companies.

■ List of the companies attending this forthcoming Akai-Ito-Kai is shown below.

NEC Corporation
Sumitomo Chemical Company, Ltd.
IBM
Novartis International AG
KOSE Corporation
Data4C's
Fuji Xerox Co., Ltd.
Sumitomo Dainippon Pharma Co., Ltd.
Panasonic Healthcare Holdings Co., Ltd.
Kirin Company, Ltd.
Sapporo Breweries Ltd.
Mitsubishi Rayon Co., Ltd.
Teijin Ltd.
JFE Engineering Corporation
Secom Medical System Co., Ltd.
Shionogi & Co., Ltd.


4.Japanese Industry Study

Sunday, March 1 is open date for “hunting” season? Keidanren’s charter of corporate ethics on recruitment and employment of new college graduates, which excludes doctor course researchers and postdocs because they can apply any time, officially opens “Corporate Seminar season” for its member companies (most of the big companies) on this date. Hokkaido University is no exception. Our Career Center will be hosting 657 companies from all over Japan within the month of March to the Corporate Seminar, and representatives from each companies will be giving short presentation (corporate introduction) at a date/time assigned. On each day including Sunday, March 1, from 1pm to 2:30pm, some of them will be coming to the “International Student Corner” which will be situated on the first floor of the Clark Hall.

Although the event is slated for undergraduate and master course international students, Career Center has kindly accepted I-HoP’s request for allowing us to open a desk at this Corner. We will assist you, if you show up at this event, to communicate with the corporate representative who will be attending the event, and help you submit your paper or CV to the company. Don’t get too excited about this opportunity because those company representatives attending the event are staff members of Human Resources group of the company, and are not necessarily experts for judging hiring doctors. (SCAIK is very different, by the way. The very key decision makers are attending the Akai Ito Kai for hiring doctors.) You and I-HoP will be humbly requesting the representatives to pass your information package to the proper decision makers for consideration. Make sure to bring your business card, your CV and list of papers if you have. If you can prepare any of the document in Japanese, that will enhance your probability of gaining attention. List of the companies attending can be found at:
http://cc.academic.hokudai.ac.jp/_userdata/seminar/SeminarSchedule_150127.pdf

Sorry that this is all in Japanese, and those companies listed in red will come to the international corner. We will gradually add URLs of those companies attending the International Student Corner to I-HoP’s homepage. If you want to take this opportunity and need assistance from I-HoP, feel free to send us a message to ihop@synfoster.hokudai.ac.jp. You can show up at the event without appointment, but I-HoP can prepare better if you notify us in advance. We are ready to support you.

5.Company Profile

As briefly mentioned in the section 1, I-HoP has been introduced to the following two medium-sized companies who are aggressively hiring masters and/or doctors from abroad to broaden their presence in the global marketplace. Each companies have quite different human resource policy so studying their activities would be of good reference for understanding the industry.

Company 1: Fujii Corporation Co., Ltd.
Definition of Business: Manufacturer of Machinery
Major Products: Snow blower, Press-machine
Business Model: B to B (some B to C)
Corporate URL: http://www.e-fujii.co.jp/eng/index.html
Established: 1865
No. of Employees: 140
Purpose of hiring international staff:
1.Language (Mother tongue, English and N-1 level Japanese)
2.Global business expansion
3.Develop unique products for global market (meeting specific needs of niche market)
4.Prefer students from emerging countries (to expect future growth)
5.Globalization of Japanese staff’s mindset
Unique management policy:
1.No political activities in the company
2.No religious activities in the company
3.Focus on commonality, not the difference
4.Fair and equal treatment regardless of nationality
Evaluation criteria for hiring:
1.Evaluate during internship (inter-personal relationship, communication skill, self-motivation, etc.)
2.Recommendation from university or professor.
3.Cohesiveness of individual career plan and corporate strategy

______________________________________________________________

Company 2: Honda Kiko Co. Ltd. (Honda Pump)
Definition of Business: Manufacturer of Machinery
Major Products: Industrial Pumps (to be used at plants and public utilities)
Business Model: B to B
Corporate URL: http://www.hondakiko.co.jp/english/
Established: 1951
No. of Employees: 165
Purpose of hiring international staff:
1.Enhance diversity of the company
2.Global business expansion
3.Develop unique products for global market (meeting specific needs of niche market)
4.Globalization of Japanese staff’s mindset
5.Language (Mother tongue, English and N-3 level Japanese)
Unique management policy:
1.Don’t need “Japanized” foreigners.
2.Need individuals, regardless of nationality or cultural background, who deeply understand and become intrinsic to the corporate policy and culture.
3.Encouraging “spin-off” from the company to become their sole agent of the country where the international staff elects to establish its footfold.
4.Fair and equal treatment regardless of nationality
Evaluation criteria for hiring:
1.Self-motivation
2.Communication skills (English, languages other than Japanese, some Japanese)
3.Agility in capturing and embodying the Honda culture

International Hopefuls #4

International Hopefuls
Issue 4
January, 2015


1.Memo from the Professor

My dear International Researchers,

Happy New Year and best wishes for a successful and rewarding year!

Allow me to share with you some of our progress last year. Since its inauguration in April, I-HoP has conducted total 34 “J-window” career consultations in English, 8 career development speeches in English, one Career Survey, one SCAIK event in December, enabled off-campus network access for Japanese e-Learning, and sponsored the first JSST Japanese speech test. Among them, the fact that three SCAIK reports have been handed over to three companies that attended the Akai-Ito-Kai in December, and nine JSST participants have successfully completed the first I-HoP sponsored test in December made me very excited. Although it is a small step for I-HoP, it will be a great leap for all the international researchers in Hokkaido University for the pursuit of career development of English-speaking researchers in Japan. Please tell and share with your friends and buddies who do not know us that I-HoP is here to help you, work with you, and want to open a new gate to connect international researchers with Japanese industry and industrial communities.

2.Topics from Japanese e-Learning system

As reported, the first I-HoP sponsored JSST Japanese Speech test was successfully conducted and all of nine I-HoP clients registered have completed the test. The next call for participants will be announced on January 30. If you are not confident in your Japanese skill, or always seek for getting a good score no matter what the test is, do not waste your time to take the first test. You, the researchers know more than I do that things can only be managed if it is measured. JSST provides you with a tool to measure your Japanese conversational skill. Once measured, you can manage your time and efforts to learn Japanese by using the e-Learning or whatever the methodology that you may choose. I-HoP will sponsor the JSST every three months. You can take the test as many times as you want. It is all free for you. My recent discussions with corporate leadership reveals that JLPT N3 level will give you a fair opportunity for being considered as a candidate of foreign employee. Here are the evaluation criteria of N3:
● One is able to read and understand written materials with specific contents concerning everyday topics.
● One is also able to grasp summary information such as newspaper headlines.
● In addition, one is also able to read slightly difficult writings encountered in everyday situations and understand the main points of the content if some alternative phrases are available to aid one’s understanding.
● One is able to listen and comprehend coherent conversations in everyday situations, spoken at near-natural speed, and is generally able to follow their contents as well as grasp the relationships among the people involved.

3.S-cubic events

● Career Path Seminar II (a seminar to broaden your career vision) will be held at the Conference Hall from 13:00 to 17:00 on Monday, January 19, 2015. Two CEOs from Japanese venture companies (Ms Eiko Hashiba of visasQ Inc. and Mr. Masahiko Inada of kabuku Inc.) If you have N3 or above Japanese skill, you may be able to enjoy this Japanese-only seminar. Apply through Hi-System by January 9 (due date has been extended).
● The third Akai-Ito-Kai of this fiscal year will be held in Tokyo on February 18. SCAIK (Short Cut Akai Ito Kai) report in English is due on January 30.

4.Japanese Industry Study

Large Japanese corporations usually spends considerable amount of money for the new technology research and development. They are facing with severe global competition, thus diversity in their human resources, including hiring individuals with non-Japanese origin is one of their imminent issues. That is the very reason I-HoP prioritizes creation of a match-making platform such as SCAIK which involves large corporations.

I-HoP has recently met with chairman of Ota Industrial Association which is an industrial association of mid/small machine shops in Ota-ku, Tokyo. Large manufacturers such as Toyota, Hitachi or Panasonic rely heavily on their first, second or third-tier subcontractors for manufacturing their advanced products with quality and cost. Those relatively small machine shops have their own place in the market, possessing unique versatility in realizing almost-impossibly demanding requirements of their clients. It is fair to say that the Japan quality is supported by these companies, and now they are even looking into the global market as well because they can no longer count on long-term purchase commitment from their Master Contractors who act as the first-tier subcontractors of the large manufacturers.

If we could assemble a team of more than ten international researchers who are interested in learning more of these skillful machine shops, I-HoP may be able to coordinate a day tour from Sapporo to visit three or four of them because these shops are within 30 minutes’ drive from Haneda Airport in Tokyo. Send your message or question to ihop@synfoster.hokudai.ac.jp if you are interested in this Ota Machine Shop visit.

5.Company Profile

I-HoP usually focuses on finding career opportunities in the Japanese industry. For those who may be interested in working as a researcher in the government-funded research institutions, a list of major public institutions is attached below. Some English pages may give you information on their objectives and activities. Your research professor or your Japanese colleague may be a good source of information for any academic questions concerning the jobs at these laboratories.

The best comprehensive job-searching site for all the open positions of these institutions, as well as major universities including Hokkaido University, is JREC-IN. (https://jrecin.jst.go.jp/seek/SeekTop?ln=1) If interested, a periodical checking of this site is recommended.
IAI (NISTEP report)(89 KB)

International Hopefuls #3

International Hopefuls
Issue 3
December, 2014

1.Memo from the Professor

My dear International Researchers,
The Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology-Japan (MEXT) has selected Hokkaido University as one of the top 13 universities in Japan that will receive special funding for the next 10 years to advance its plan for achieving the status of the “Super Global University”. The plan named “Hokkaido Universal Campus Initiative” contains One governance enhancement plan, Four educational reformation plans and Four system innovation plans. In the course of implementing this Initiative, Hokkaido University aims to earn the status of one of the top 100 universities in the world. The worldwide recognition cannot be earned overnight and it highly depends on the people who study at, work for, and are graduated from the University. I-HoP will continue to update you on the progress of the Initiative as the details being revealed.

2.Short-Cut Akai Ito Kai (SCAIK) again

Last month, we introduced the idea of utilizing S-Cubic’s match-making event named Akai Ito Kai (AIK) for possible introduction of young international researchers (i.e., I-HoP clients) to those companies who are attending the event. As we encouraged you to prepare a short report on “Why the company must hire you”, the time allowed you to prepare such a creative report may be too short last time. The 3rd Akai Ito Kai of this fiscal year is being scheduled on February 18, 2015. The following companies will be participating in it, and I-HoP encourages you to prepare the SCAIK report in English by the end of January, 2015.

□ List and URL of Companies attending the 3rd AIK 

NEC Corporation    http://www.necam.com/
Sumitomo Chemical Company, Ltd.    http://www.sumitomo-chem.co.jp/english/
IBM    http://www.ibm.com/us/en/
Novartis International AG    http://www.novartis.com/index.shtml
KOSE Corporation    http://www.kose.co.jp/global/en/
Data4C's    http://www.data4cs.co.jp/
Fuji Xerox Co., Ltd.    http://www.fujixerox.co.jp/eng/
Sumitomo Dainippon Pharma Co., Ltd.    http://www.ds-pharma.com/
Panasonic Healthcare Holdings Co., Ltd.    http://panasonic.net/corporate/segments/phc/index.html
Kirin Company, Ltd.    http://www.kirin.co.jp/company/english/
Sapporo Breweries Ltd.    http://www.sapporobeer.jp/
Mitsubishi Rayon Co., Ltd.    http://www.mrc.co.jp/english/
Teijin Ltd.    http://www.teijin.com/
JFE Engineering Corporation    http://www.jfe-eng.co.jp/en/index.html
Secom Medical System Co., Ltd.    http://medical.secom.co.jp/

The program, tentatively named SCAIK (Short-Cut Akai Ito Kai) proceeds with the following steps:
1. Review the English homepages of the companies attending the next AIK.
2. International Researchers to pick one or two from the AIK company list and conduct survey by themselves of the future direction of the companies selected.
3.International Researchers to prepare a report, no more than two pages, in English describing “Why the company must hire you”(SCAIK report). The report contains the researcher’s view on the future direction of the company selected, and a scenario how the researcher can make the future direction possible.
4.International Researchers to submit the report by email to I-HoP by January 30, 2015
5.I-HoP, on behalf of the International Researcher, will hand-deliver the report to the company representatives who will be attending the AIK and ask them for consideration. I-HoP will follow up periodically with the company, and obtain the report (Yes, No, Further Clarification required) within one month.

3.Topics from Japanese e-Learning system

Studying foreign language by e-Learning is quite lonely work and is hard to see the progress by yourself. I-HoP is pleased to help you visualize your progress by sponsoring the JSST. Every three months starting November, 2014, I-HoP will invite participants to the JSST, a computer-based evaluation tool of your Japanese conversation skill by using telephone. If we see more than five (5) participants to practice, we will proceed with the vendor who conducts the JSST and inform the participants the time window of the test. You can dial-in the number assigned 24 hours a day, and you will be orally responding to the questions from the automated voice. The entire test will take 12 minutes. The test result will be informed to you later.
A suggested way of using this JSST test is to take it “before” and “after” your planned e-Learning session so that you can visualize your progress by the grade they give you (1 to 10). Look forward to your active participation to this program.

4.S-cubic events

□ 2nd Akai-Ito-Kai (AIK) will be held at the Conference Hall on December 9. This is for Japanese and those having N1 or above Japanese proficiency. SCAIK (see section 2 above) will be provided on an experimental base.
□ Career Path Seminar II (a seminar to broaden your career vision) will be held at the Conference Hall from 13:00 to 17:00 on Monday, January 19, 2015. Two CEOs from Japanese venture companies (Ms Eiko Hashiba of visasQ Inc. and Mr. Masahiko Inada of kabuku Inc.) If you have N3 or above Japanese skill, you may be able to enjoy this Japanese-only seminar. Apply through Hi-System by December 26.

5.Japanese Industry Study

I-HoP has attended the Business EXPO in Sapporo on November 6 and 7. Although local companies in Hokkaido has a long way to go for hiring English-speaking foreigners, we have established connections with industry group of mid to small manufacturers in Ota-ku, Tokyo and Hamamatsu, Shizuoka. I-HoP will be meeting with the president of the Industry Group of Ota-ku in the middle of December to find opportunities for industry-academia collaboration by utilizing young foreign researchers.

6.Company Profile

IBM Japan, a wholly-owned subsidiary of IBM Corporation, is celebrating its 75th anniversary this year. They underwent significant restructuring and reformation of their business to focus on cloud-based value-creation service.
Although IBM Japan is slated for serving Japanese market, they showed strong interest in hiring international researchers who has subject matter expertise and versatile cultural background. Study their corporate profile at http://www.ibm.com/ibm/jp/en/ and prepare your SCAIK report if interested. They will be coming to the 3rd Akai Ito Kai which will be held in Tokyo in February.

International Hopefuls #2

International Hopefuls
Issue 2
November, 2014

1.Memo from the Professor

My dear International Researchers,
Hokkaido University welcomes many international researchers in October, and the orientation or other introductory events have been held for the newcomers. I-HoP had opportunities to introduce our activities at the orientation meeting of the Graduate Schools of Veterinary Medicine and Agriculture.
Speeches on Career Design and Career Planning for International Researchers have been given at the following three occasions. Office of International Affairs may give us more time for the next occasion.
-New International Student Orientation (Office of International Affairs)
-Career Guidance Seminar for International Doctoral Students (e3 – English Engineering Education Program of the Graduate School of Engineering)
-2nd IGP-ILSS Seminar (The Graduate School of Life Science)

2.Short-cut approach to Japanese Companies

Not many Japanese companies hire doctoral graduates because they prefer to train and educate new employees of undergraduate or master course graduates from the scratch. Because of globalization and fast change in international market, some companies have changed their policy to seriously consider hiring doctor course graduates because they no longer have luxury of time/cost to train its employees.

S-cubic, which is for Japanese and those who are excellent in Japanese proficiency, has long been working with companies to promote the value of hiring doctors. Thanks to their 9+ years of efforts, more than 300 excellent Japanese companies have been actively enrolling to S-cubic’ match-making event called “Akai-Ito-Kai” or AIK for short. Those 300+ AIK member companies already understands the value of hiring doctors. There are three AIK events each year, two in Sapporo and one in Tokyo. Because of high Japanese proficiency requirements (N-1 or above), AIK is not for International Researchers in English course. When I-HoP started communicating with some of the AIK member companies, they expressed interest in hiring international researchers who can communicate with in English. Because of the severe international competition which these companies are facing with, they consider hiring those talented individuals from abroad to enhance their human resource diversity.

Therefore, I-HoP has decided to explore a possibility of introducing the English-preferred doctors to the AIK companies. The program, tentatively named SCAIK (Short-Cut Akai Ito Kai) proceeds with the following steps:
1. List URL of English homepages of the companies attending the next AIK (15-16 companies) on the I-HoP homepage.
2. International Researchers to pick one or two from the AIK company list and conduct survey by themselves of the future direction of the companies selected.
3.International Researchers to prepare a report, no more than two pages, in English describing “Why the company must hire you”. The report contains the researcher’s view on the future direction of the company selected, and a scenario how the researcher can make the future direction possible.
4.International Researchers to submit the report by email to I-HoP by the date specified. (Normally 10 days before the next AIK)
5.I-HoP, on behalf of the International Researcher, will hand-deliver the report to the company representatives who will be attending the AIK and ask them for consideration. I-HoP will follow up periodically with the company, and obtain the report (Yes, No, Further Clarification required) within one month.

I-HoP encourages and welcomes your active participation to this experimental SCAIK project. The next AIK will be held on Tuesday, December 9 in Sapporo, and the list of the URL has already been uploaded to our homepage.
(http://www2.synfoster.hokudai.ac.jp/cgi-bin/index.pl?page=contents&view_category_lang=2&view_category=1095)


3.Topics from Japanese e-Learning system

We are pleased to announce that the Japanese e-Learning system is now accessible from outside the campus network (effective October 28). With this new change, we are asking you to change your access PW, and it has been communicated from our office. If you have any difficulties in accessing to the e-Learning, feel free to contact us at ihop@synfoster.hokudai.ac.jp

4.S-cubic events

Advanced COSA (Course Of Science Administration) will be held on November 19 and 20 at the Conference Hall. Researchers from Japanese leading companies such as Japan IBM, Sumitomo Forestry, Suigei Shuzo (A Japanese rice-wine company) and Ajino-Moto will talk about PhD’s role and life in the corporate R&D organization. If you have N3 or above Japanese proficiency, you may be able to capture some of the contents. There is no need to speak or write in Japanese unless you want to.

2nd Akai-Ito-Kai (AIK) will be held in Sapporo on December 9. This is for Japanese and those having N1 or above Japanese proficiency. See Section 2 above on the SCAIK project.

5.Japanese Industry Study

28th Business EXPO, the Hokkaido Technical Information & Business Exchange Fair will be held from 6th to 7th of November at “Access Sapporo” in Oyachi. Total 356 companies, research institutions and universities, including Hokkaido University will be attending. I-HoP will display a poster at Hokkaido University’s booth to draw attentions of companies and research institutions and inform them that many of our International Researchers are interested in working in Hokkaido after their graduation. We will update you on the outcome of this event next month. Stay tuned!

6.Company Profile

Nidec Corporation (http://www.nidec.com/en-NA/), Japan’s leading electric motor company, is hiring international researchers to enhance its newly established R&D labs in Kawasaki. Japanese proficiency is not a mandatory requirement as long as you can communicate in English. If interested, contact us at ihop@synfoster.hokuda.ac.jp with your CV and contact information.

International Hopefuls #1

International Hopefuls
Issue 1
October, 2014

1.Memo from the Professor

My dear International Researchers,
I-HoP is thrilled to learn from the recent survey that 76 of you have shown interest in receiving a career consultation in English. All of those who expressed interest have been contacted by I-HoP and some of them have started the interview. If you want to have a consultation, feel free to contact ihop@synfoster.hokudai.ac.jp or call 011-706-2157. We look forward to hearing from you.
I-HoP Survey No.1, which summarizes the recent survey can soon be found at I-HoP’s homepage. The fact that a half of those responded indicated that they want to stay in Japan after their graduation have been shared among the key members of Front Office for Human Resource Education and Development. We will enhance our support for you.

2.Career Action Steps

Each I-HoP career consultation takes an hour for the first meeting. To make the meeting productive and efficient, the following career action steps may be a useful tool to synchronize your thought process with us.
Step 1. Self-Assessment:
Evaluate values, personality, skills and knowledge, motivators and interests.
Step 2. Summary of Self-Assessment:
Evaluate current situation and identify possible alternatives
Step 3. Gather Information:
Research career options and talk to professionals in the field (I-HoP Career Consultation will help you find the information)
Step 4. Make Decisions:
Based on Steps 1-3, decide on a desired action
Step 5. Set Goals:
Formulate goals for achieving your career vision
Step 6. Develop a Plan of Action:
Decide on your focus. Preparing for Plan-B is not a bad idea.
Step 7. Implement Plan:
Move forward with your career vision. If improving your Japanese is included in your plan, I-HoP can help you with a free Japanese e-Learning.

3.Topics from Japanese e-Learning system

We have received many voices from the potential Japanese e-Learning users that it would be more useful if the system can be accessed from Off-Campus network such as your home. We are shooting for having it done by the end of October. Stay tuned.

4.S-cubic events

1st Akai-ito-kai for this fiscal year has been held on Friday, September 26 in the campus. This is a match-making event between 33 DC/PD researchers and 16 distinguished corporations. This intensive full-day event requires Japanese proficiency level of N1. Two international researchers have attended the event.

5.Japanese Industry Study

Job-hunting procedure for undergraduate and Master Course students is different from DC and PD in Japan. While DC and PD researchers can apply for the jobs anytime through the year, undergraduate and MC must follow a strict guideline which defines precise schedule of recruiting events. This is because the hiring takes place once a year for the new hire to commence working on April 1.
A comprehensive Career Handbook for international undergraduate and MC students has been updated and is readily available at the Career Center. Japanese/English version and Japanese/Chinese versions are prepared. N2-N3 level Japanese reading proficiency is required to read this handbook. DC and PD researchers who are looking for job opportunities in Japan are recommended to read this handbook, despite that some contents such as event schedule or interview schedule are not applicable.

6.Company Profile

Out of 16 distinguished companies who attended the latest Akai-ito-kai, Nippon Steel & Sumitomo Metal, the largest steel manufacturing company in Japan may consider hiring English-only doctors. Those who may have interest with this company, please visit http://www.nssmc.com/en/index.html to find out if they have any business area that would fit with your research subjects or skills.

International Hopefuls

International Hopefuls
Issue 0
September 3, 2014


 ■ Memo from the Professor ■ 

I-HoP is pleased to release the issue 0 of its monthly magazine, the “International Hopefuls”. This on-line magazine is a vehicle to link-up international researchers and members of business community who are registered to the Hi-System with us at I-HoP, Hokudai International Human Resources Development Program. We will be providing information that will be helpful for your professional career development.

In this issue, we’d like to start with a quick summary of the survey which we have conducted at the end of August. The questionnaire has been distributed to close to 350 MC, DC and some PD international researchers, and more than 150 responses have been received as of September 3, 2014. We thank you for your cooperation and we would like to continue this kind of survey to better understand your requirements. As we were anticipated in advance, more than half of the researchers implied that they look for opportunities, either academic or business, in Japan after they finish the doctor course. This is very encouraging information for I-HoP and we will further enhance our service to you. We will issue an official report of the survey soon.

 ■ Japanese e-Learning System ■ 

Instruction in English and Chinese for initial set-up of the Japanese e-Learning system has been posted in FOHRED’s homepage.
URL:http://www2.synfoster.hokudai.ac.jp/cgi-bin/index.pl?page=contents&view_category_lang=2&view_category=1029
When the number of active users (use more than once a week) exceeds 50, we will start preparation for the following additional services:
1. Off-campus access
2. Japanese Learning Counseling (one-on-one progress monitoring and consultation for your learning practice by professional learning expert)
The current active user is 5. Your active participation is encouraged!


 ■ News from Office of International Affairs ■ 

Orientation for new international students
Place: Clark Hall
Time: Thursday, October 2, 2014 from 10:45 to 16:10


 ■ News from Career Center ■ 

Comprehensive Guidance Ⅰ for International Students looking for a job in Japan

Time & Date: 9/16 10:30-16:15, 9/17 10:30-16:15, 9/18 10:30-14:30
Place: Clark Hall 3F Room for International Cultural Activities
Topics:
9/16 Orientation, Industry/Company research, Self-analysis
9/17 Résumé/Entrée sheet, Interview, Business manner
9/18 Written examination
*Event hosted by Career Center
*Guidance will be conducted in Japanese
*No appointment necessary
URL: http://cc.academic.hokudai.ac.jp/pg45.html


 ■ News from S-Cubic – Career Support for DC and PD in Japanese ■ 

第1回 赤い糸会&緑の会
    9月26日 10:45-20:00
既に募集は締め切り済み。
参加企業:
 IHI
 旭化成
 アミノアップ化学
 サントリーホールディングス
 新日鐵住金
 ダイナックス
 大日本印刷
 大和ハウス工業
 東レ
 日本たばこ産業
 日本電産
 パナソニック
 マルハニチロホールディングス
 ヤンマー
 ライオン

If you have any companies that you want to establish a relationship, send your CV and reasons for that company to hire you to I-HoP by September 19. There is no guarantee that the company will review your document because they will require, in principle, N1 level Japanese proficiency.