November 01, 2006


so, an update about my issues on networking and the seminar.

As I said, it was kind of weird opening a seminar to a group of students who are expecting success stories about how to get the job you want with your Japanese Studies degree. Clearly, I couldn't give them that, but luckily I didn't have to say much. That was why we got four other people to talk to them about what had happened to them in their career so far.

The keyphrase of the night: being at the right place at the right time.
It seems that none of the parrieakers (or at least the few I listened to) had a very clear strategy worked out but by making the most of the opportunities that came along, by getting to know people, they got to where they are now.

And mostly, you just need to DO things. Make things happen yourself. Create your own opportunities.

Needless to say, despite that the evening was intended for the current students it was very good to listen to everyone talk for me as well.

It has also made me re-consider some options that I had previously discarded. Which clearly makes it more difficult to decide what to do but also opens up some new doors.

Oh well, lots to think about. Lots of people to talk to.

I realized I didn't actually mention anything about the networking post.

- I spoke to the person-I-had-never-met-who-didn't-reply-to- my-email. He gave a very interesting talk, and I talked to him for a bit in the bar afterwards. He said he'd try to find my email again and reply. So, I re-sent that email today to him. Let's see what he says.

- I called up the man-on-the-plane. But got his voicemail. Still, he now has a message from me and I'll email. I'm assuming he is somewhere in Nigeria.

- And, I have found some more people who are willing to act as a sounding board (?)/sparring partners in how I conduct my eternal jobhunt.

So maybe I should conclude that I am not so bad at this thing as I thought...


daniel leussink said...

its sounds that you have a fresh wind blowing through things? (how does one say that?)

That is very good!

On a sidenote:
I, for one, would be very interested in hearing what the people who did a Japanese Studies course are doing right now. Would you mind sharing?

machiruda said...

Yes, I'm on a high again, it seems.
Unfortunately, these 'highs' happen every now and then, I get all excited thinking that NOW finally is the time, and after a while it all falls apart again ending in a lot of frustration. So, let's see how long this one lasts... Trying to make the most of it at the moment though.

As to your second question, what do Japanologists do? Tons of different things, but to give you the examples of the four speakers on Tuesday:
- one long-time journalist, focused on Japan for years, now back in NL.
- one curator of East Asian art at a major museum
- one independent entrepreneur doing business with her own company, supporting and assisting media-related activities involving Japan
- one government official, currently working on Dutch/EU agricultural policy in the WTO.

Not bad, huh.

Of course there are also a bunch of people working in Japanese companies, or dealing with Japan from Dutch companies. We didn't manage to get any of them to come and talk, but that might not have been a bad thing after all. At least the students got to see that there are more ways than just one to make use of your degree. And it might have given them a sense of reality which is not bad.

Fenneke said...

And here's a Japanologist who is now employed at the help desk of a software company... and happy to be there! we got some Japanese customers though, so that's nice, but I don't make much use of the knowledge of Japan I gathered over 7 years. oh well, I enjoy my current job very much, and who knows what the future will bring.