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Campus Now

Early Spring Issue (Apr.)

Career compass Students and career choices

I want you to be excited at the prospect of work

Jun Uehara
Tokio Marine & Nichido Fire Insurance Co., Ltd. Personnel Planning Department, Chief of the Personnel and Employment Group Section

Here we ask people in charge of business recruitment about the latest job-searching information, and what they usually keep in mind when involved in recruiting activities. This time, we interviewed Mr. Uehara of Tokio Marine & Nichido Fire Insurance Co., Ltd.

Insurance supports the development of our customers

Our company was established in 1879 and is Japan's oldest nonlife insurance company. Nonlife insurance was originally devised to support the economic growth of the country, and since our establishment we have been growing alongside the development of our customers. To achieve these, our employees have a strong awareness to get involved in activities that constitute the roots of the economy, and it can be said that we have been searching for a long-lasting business that supports the development of our customers with a long-term vision, and not short-term profit.

Insurance is an indispensable mechanism for the development of the economy. It will also support the challenges of every business and individual in the future.

Acquiring the "ability to notice" even small things

What our company looks for in its employees is "a person who can think for themselves, dispatch and execute." Our company's product is insurance, but what we recommend differs depending on the customer, and it is necessary to propose an order-made plan through consultations with the customer. We don't have absolute solutions, only solutions for each customer. Therefore, when we hit difficult situations we don't get flustered and panic. We carry a strong will to "definitely find a solution" and confront the challenge with a positive outlook. It is also important to be able to think about assembling our own jobs in an order-made fashion.

So, what kind of people can think, dispatch and execute for themselves? In a word, people with "perception skills." Looking at students of late, there are many times I feel there has been a rapid decline in "perception skills." I think the main reason for this doesn't lie just with the students, but also in the society where they don't need to notice things to live. Children aren't scolded at school or home, and children who aren't reprimanded don't realize that anything is wrong. There is an extreme lack of opportunities for them to acquire these "perception skills". In order to gain "perception skills", first you need to have an interest in the people around you, and then you need to become sensitive to changes in the environment. There is nothing difficult to "perception skills," for example, all you need to do is accumulate simple things such as "that shop on my way to work has been renovated," or "my friend has changed his hairstyle." If someone gains an interest in everything, depending on how much awareness they acquire, the degree in which they grow as a human changes greatly. The same goes for part-time work, club activities and job-hunting activities. Depending on from how many various viewpoints someone can grasp a problem such as "What do I want to achieve?" and "Why didn't that work out?," a large gap appears in the amount of information they procure and the speed in which they process it in their own minds. What our company looks for is people who can link "perception skills" to "the ability to think", and convert it to growth energy. If you don't notice things, you don't grow. I definitely want you to become aware of things during your student life and brush up your "perception skills." When I come across students in job interviews, I place great importance on "perception skills."

Think about why you will work

One other point I always confirm is whether a person has an accurate image of what work is. There have been many times in interviews where I have asked students who don't have a clear image of what "work" is, "What is work to you?," or "How do you feel about going into the working world?" With that as a motive, I hope the students will take notice and grow. I want to meet as many students as possible every year and create chances for them to take notice.

Also, what I lately find regrettable about recruiting is that students today don't get excited about work and their only aim in job-hunting activities is to land a job. But isn't the most important thing thinking "Why will I work?," and "What does going into the working world mean?" during job-hunting activities. In order to think over those questions, talking with your parents, the closest people to you who are seasoned veterans in the working world, is the fastest way.

The important thing in job-hunting activities is being self-conscious of your own skills and intentions, and painting a picture of your future career. On top of that, you should choose a business where you can see yourself being active in ten years down the track. Recently I often hear the word, job aspirant (a new graduate who failed to find employment the previous year), but I think this has come about because students narrow their targets down to well-known companies or specified fields. You shouldn't have a fixation with the size of a company or a certain field. I want you to look at various companies. And for you to find out if that company is really the one for you, you should readily meet with people who work there.

Finally, a word as a graduate, "Keep on showing the color of Waseda. I want you to be proud of Waseda."

From the Career Center
Have a clear-cut reason for applying

At the start of recruiting activities in the time when there was an agreement between companies on the starting date, there are probably many people who remember a photo in the newspaper of students dressed in suits, lined up in front of the Tokio Marine Building.

The finance world, including nonlife insurance was popular among students then, and still is today. One in four humanities graduates from Waseda was employed in the financial world after last spring's job-hunting activities. Even now, there are students whose reason for applying is "because it's a stable job." That shows a lack of study. That phrase is taboo in employment examinations.

Jun Uehara
Tokio Marine & Nichido Fire Insurance Co., Ltd. Personnel Planning Department, Chief of the Personnel and Employment Group Section

Entered the company in 1994. Graduated from the School of Political Science and Economics, Waseda University. Visited tens of working seniors to learn what kinds of jobs existed in various fields. Had an image of the financial world being stiff, but after seeing many seniors taking pride in their work, he became interested and applied for the company. After entering the company he spent six years in the head office's sales division and five years in the personnel division in Sendai before taking up his current position in July 2005. When recruiting new students, he is sincere in telling students, "I want students to realize the value of once in a lifetime job-hunting activities" and "I want you to think about working seriously," so each individual can grow.

Tokio Marine & Nichido Fire Insurance Company
Established in 1879. 16,742 employees (as of March 2010). Aims to contribute to society by presenting "security and safety" as the leading company in the Japanese nonlife insurance world.