留学生インタビュー

Ms. Quynh Anh registered at the Tokyo Employment Service Center in 2007 and later joined Lawson, Inc., which was one of the companies she was referred to by the center. Lawson is a leading convenience store in Japan with the second largest number of stores in Japan (as of the end of March 2008). Ms. Quynh Anh was hired by the company after taking the same test as Japanese job applicants and undergoing two interviews. She was among 116 people hired by the company that year, of which 10, including Ms. Quynh Anh, were foreigners. She was the only person of Vietnamese nationality hired that year. Today, Ms. Quynh Anh works at one of the convenience stores owned directly by Lawson. At Lawson, new employees are required to work at a store to get firsthand experience on store management. They aim to become the store manager next, followed by becoming a supervisor who provides management guidance to franchise stores. Various other career options then open up according to the person's effort and abilities.

I wanted to work for a Japanese company after graduating from the junior college. One of the professors at my school told me about the Tokyo Employment Service Center for Foreigners, and I registered there. There were also many companies that were recruiting foreigners over the Internet, and I sent many applications, but I did not get a single response from them. I also participated in many recruitment interview meetings held by companies and sent many applications but did not hear back from these either.

The Tokyo Employment Service Center for Foreigners referred me to Lawson, Inc. and one other company - a travel agency - and I received employment offers from both companies. In the end, I decided to work for Lawson because of its large scale as a company. I also thought that I wanted to open a convenience store back home in Vietnam some day. I didn't know about convenience stores until I came to Japan, but I found them to be very convenient.

About six months have already passed since I started working at the current store. I like serving customers, so I enjoy my work. What makes me the happiest is when a product that I had suggested they stock in the store is purchased by customers. Being a foreigner, supervising part-time workers or, at times, interviewing prospective part-time workers can be a bit challenging. However, I am doing my best while consulting with and getting advice from the store manager. If I am having a difficult time or need help, I call a female Vietnamese staff member in the Human Resources Department at the head office. She is like a dependable older sister to me, and sometimes, just being able to speak to her in my native language comforts me.

I think the most important thing for a person who will be looking for fulltime work in Japan is to start the job hunt early. In my case, I started my job search around the end of my first year at the junior college, and I received an offer in July of my second year for employment beginning in April. You will have a wider selection of companies to choose from if you start early.

It is also important that you take a test of your Japanese proficiency. I had taken Japanese Language Proficiency Test and passed Level 1 and that turned out to be very useful for me. I wish everyone good luck!

Uploaded on 31st March 2009