The Japan News by The Yomiuri Shimbun

Home > Campus Now > Career Compass -Eagerness, Aptitude, and Human Relations. All Are Tested in Job Hunting Activities. : Early Spring Issue (Apr. 2013)

Campus Now

Early Spring Issue (Apr. 2013)

Career compass
Students and career choices

Engage seriously in your current activities and find your own identity

Mr. Atsuya Sakata
Nomura Research Institute, Ltd.
Upper-Level Specialist Staff
Human Resources Department, Hiring Section

In this article "Career Compass," we hear the latest job-hunting information and how they generally perceive involvement in job-hunting from people in charge of recruitment. In this edition, we spoke with Mr. Atsuya Sakata, who is in charge of hiring at Nomura Research Institute.

Personnel who actively embrace new challenges

Our company gives top priority to helping our customers grow. In order to fulfill this important mission, we extract management problems and administrative problems at the customer, and then propose solutions. We achieve them by combining management consulting and IT solutions. Our customers operate in a diverse range of industries with different problems and solutions. If overseas expansion leads to growth, then we provide appropriate support. At the same time, it is necessary for our company to also acquire a global perspective.
However, globalization itself is not our goal. It is important to always remain focused on our company’s fundamental mission of helping our customers grow. Therefore, we seek personnel who possess a deep interest in the customer’s business, who take the initiative to conduct thorough investigations, and who give serious, in-depth consideration to how they can assist the customer. From the customer’s business to system knowledge, there is so much to remember in our line of work. Instead of using ignorance as an excuse for not giving full effort, we seek personnel who have the desire to learn new things in order to help the customer. As long as this passion exists, anyone can perform at our company, regardless of their experience or what university or department they studied at.

Devote yourself to your passion and discover your own unique identity

Recently, many corporations seek new employees who are capable of contributing immediately. As a result, some students seek to gain experience which gives them an advantage when seeking employment, and to acquire abilities and skills which will be useful in society. However, today’s world changes so quickly that no one can say what kind of abilities will be useful several years in the future. What’s more, it is unclear whether the academics and research to which students have applied themselves will be directly related to their actual work. In that case, I believe that time at university should be spent on what you really want to do and discovering your own "unique identity.” It is interesting to take on new challenges and create your own new opportunities, regardless of how the future may unfold.

I was a member of the ski club at university. Together with friends who possessed a high level of skill and desire, I worked to find my own “unique identity” even while encountering many obstacles. I thought about what I could do to heighten the team’s overall technique and I traveled many places searching for a coach who satisfied my requirements. This is just one example based on my personal experience. Waseda University is a wonderful environment which allows students to acquire a variety of experiences. From research to seminars, club teams, extracurricular activities and part-time work, everything is an opportunity for growth.

There is no guarantee that what you do at university will be useful in society. However, you will have acquired skills which are in demand at any corporation. Specifically, I am referring to the “willingness to give your best effort,” your own “unique values” and “philosophy,” and the “ability to find your own solutions to problems.” Upon entering society, you will work together with people who have different values than your own. I hope that new employees will draw upon their experience at university to formulate and execute a plan for achieving goals together with their coworkers.

Find your own values to follow while working

As the job-hunting period shortens, I’m sure students are extremely busy with activities such as attending seminars on consecutive days. The more corporations that a student considers, the more the distinction between corporations begins to blur. “What is the difference between your company and other companies in the same industry?”—I am often asked this question by students. I hope that students will take their time and find the answer to this question by themselves. Although explanations given by corporations may all sound the same, you can find the difference if you listen closely. While learning about many different corporations, I hope that students will find their own values to follow while working. Will you give priority to working style? Industry? The size of a corporation? When deciding, it will help to reflect on your lifestyle at university and assess what you have valued in the past. This will serve as a foundation for considering your future career.

Even so, I’m sure that students who are still at university are unable to imagine their future career. Students are particularly prone to becoming short-sighted once job-searching activities start. Therefore, it is important to provide more opportunities to imagine their future career. For example, I recommend that parents discuss what kind of work they have done and how they have built their own career. We must help students focus on the future and help them accumulate valuable experience. We must teach them that finding employment is not the ultimate goal; rather, a career is a never-ending process of constant formation. I believe that adults can create such awareness in students.

Mr. Atsuya Sakata
Nomura Research Institute, Ltd.
Upper-Level Specialist Staff
Human Resources Department, Hiring Section

In 2000, graduated from the Department of Architecture at the Waseda University School of Science and Engineering. Entered Nomura Research Institute as an application engineer. Handled business reform proposals and system planning, design, construction and maintenance for customers in the logistics business, with a focus on food supermarkets. From 2009, took on the additional duties of personnel cultivation and new employee training at headquarters. Assumed his current position from October 2010.

Nomura Research Institute, Ltd.
Founded as Japan’s first private think tank. Supports the creation of social systems, the business of customers, and a comfortable lifestyle for the general public through the 4 businesses of consulting, financial IT solutions, industrial IT solutions and IT infrastructure services. Under the corporate philosophy of “Dream up the future,” employs the core principles of “Navigation & Solution” to provide value which leads to the prosperity of society, industry and corporations.

From the Career Center
Find your own unique way of living

Time spent at university is also a journey for examining your relationship with society and finding your own unique way of living. “How should I live my life?—I will consider my future through my unique story (life) which I have written until now,” said one student. There is something in common between this student’s statement and the “unique identity” which Mr. Sakata discusses.