29 June 2014

Job Hunting in Japan

I'm delighted to announce that I've landed a job in Tokyo, and will be start working from July onwards. Main job focus will be search engine optimization (SEO).

Well, let me share something or two about my experience of job-hunting in Japan.

1) It’s better to start early, but no harm to start later either.


In Japan the job-hunting (就職活動) for university graduates started about a year before graduation, which means the final year will be busy with job-hunting and 4th (final) year projects/researches. In fact, the previous trend was such that students start looking for jobs at least 1.5 years before graduation. At the same time, it's a rather time-consuming process to go through the companies, attending the career seminars and interviews for many rounds...

This may be slightly different than other countries.

Back in Malaysia, the students either started few months before graduation, or few months after graduation (sabbatical vacation in between). The process is rather straight-forward with just a few interviews, compared to a norm of at least 3 or more rounds of interview per company in Japan.

For my case, my plan changed drastically in the final year. Instead of further studying in Masters, I've decided to take a gamble and get into job-hunting.

I started rather late, just a month before graduation in March. Went to close to 10 companies' interview before settling down at this IT venture at the end of May.

For international students in Japan, we are entitled to apply for job-hunting visa (特定活動申請), as the name suggested for us to continue looking for job even after graduation. The duration given is half year, but extendable up to a year (eg: graduated in March 2014, but eligible to stay in Japan til March 2015).

While it may seems to be a risky move, no harm give yourself a little more time to look for suitable companies. From my experience, small venture companies or non-Japanese companies have higher chance of hiring people all year round, unlike the usual period that most Japanese companies abide to.

2) The advantage of a Malaysian student in Japan


It's not just Malaysians only, but generally speaking South East Asian (SEA) students are being actively scouted and recruited by Japanese companies.

With the current Japanese government's pro-SEA stance, more Japanese companies are eager to expand their business to the southern region instead of their closeby neighbours (due to political clashes obviously).

Manufacturing plants in Thailand or Vietnam, and service hubs at Singapore or Malaysia.
Cheaper cost, politically-stable and decent infrastructures are some of the main reasons of the SEA expansion.

The Japanese companies like to hire SEA students, train them in Japan for a yew years, before sending them back to their home country to take on senior positions. My company is thinking the same as well. Some, will stay in Japan to work for longer terms.

While this may not apply on every Malaysian students, the companies and general Japanese audiences are in awe of Malaysians' multilingual ability. We can, at least speak 3 languages: Malay, English, Japanese (we're studying in Japan after all), and some who're able to speak Chinese Mandarin too, made us versatile to adapt to work in different countries as we have lesser language barriers.

Our linguistic skills are highly valued here, and therefore I suggest for anyone out there, try to brush up your languages if you can, especially Bahasa Malaysia heh.




For now I shall leave it here with these 2 points.
Perhaps after working for awhile, I shall post my experience of working a few months later.

15 June 2014

My Adidas shoes collection

My first purchase of Adidas shoes was in 2004, exactly 10 years ago.

Every pair of shoes has it's own story and represents different eras of my life.

Looking from the shoes, the transaction from football shoes, sport shoes, walking shoes, to casual shoes has certainly suggested that I've been through changes in my life.

Predator Absolado

Year: 2007
Purchased at: Bata shoe store, Alpha Angle Wangsa Maju, KL.

Adidas Predator Absolado

* Classic Predator.

I often wear this back in TARC days, as I was constantly "on-call", as such that whenever I got a message from friend wanna play futsal, I'll be ready all the time. In fact, I used to kept the ball in the car so I can spring into action ASAP!

Now I wear it once in awhile, mainly for futsal games.

Truant ATS

Year: 2009
Purchased at: Adidas warehouse store, Wangsa Maju, KL.

Adidas Truant ATS

* First pair of non-football shoes.

As I won't be playing football that often once I'm in Japan, I thought I could make use of a pair of proper walking shoes.

It served me well but now it's being "demoted" to an extra pair of reliable shoes.

Samba

Year: 2010
Purchased at: ABC Mart somewhere in Saitama.

Adidas Samba

* Never go wrong with black & red.

Rather than heading to school with sports shoes everyday, I thought why not give sneakers a try.

Besides short-distance travel, I wear it for occasional futsal as well. After all, the design is based on the classic football shoes.

AdiZero Bounce

Year: 2011
Purchased at: Adidas store Roppongi Hills, Tokyo.

Adidas AdiZero Bounce

* Long distance walker.

There's another backstory for this purchase.

When I was back in KL for holidays, my shoes were stolen from the house. So when back in Tokyo I've decided to get myself another pair.

The element on the sole attracted me, and it's not just aesthetical gimmick. It works well and the bouncy cushioning makes walking pretty comfortable.

I've traveled a lot on foot with this pair of shoes, especially my few trips to Kyoto, where I walked to most of the destinations.

Though it's worn and torn now, it's not surprising if I've clocked more than 100 km on this pair.

Zappan DLX

Year: 2014
Purchase at: Adidas store Shibuya, Tokyo.

Adidas Zappan DLX

* Smart & casual.

Though I'm still a freak walker today, as I'll be attending more occasions where sports shoes isn't appropriate, it is time to get something less sporty.

This pair caught my attention for it's low profile design but at the same time, comfortable cushioning to accommodate serious walking.

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Some other pairs that I left in KL.

The Predators (except for the pair that I brought to Tokyo).
PIC282

Scorch MB, which was being stolen back in KL, but miraculously found it back again later.
IMG_6005

01 June 2014

Life After School

* This post was originally written in March 12 back in year 2008.
That was when I'm still studying in college before coming to Japan!


Title: Life After School

I say, life in school is arguably the best time in our life so far, I think some of you here will agree this statement, don't you? (I absolutely stand up for this point, else I won't be writing this lol.)

When you step out from the school compound after finishing SPM/STPM, you'll realise that you might missed out or neglected some of the best moments.... but it's too late to get things fixed now, much to your regret. In this post I'll talk about something that you can do to reclaim back the precious memories, or at least, keep a bit out of the whole chunk.


Looking back at your school days few years later, the nostalgic memories of the good old days will tackle our brainwaves. Ah, the days when you're messing together with the best mates, putting a prank on the teacher, escaping disciplinary punishments, etc.

These experiences can only happen in school, and in your entire lifetime your job as a student is just the merely ±10 years. The next time when you return to the same scene, you wont be able to experience all of it again because your role is different then.


I have a feeling that I should try to jot down all the events, activities I've been through during my schooling days. To my own satisfaction, I've started it when I'm just begin to picked up those co-curricular activities. Co-cu activities are pretty much the best part of all, I think. Also, some events happened in school are worth to take note of, like the Teacher's Day celebration, cultural performances, etc. I've recorded down most of these activities in my blog as a journal. Of course, it isn't just words that speak for the events and activities, some posts are accompanied by images and videos.


Talk about the pictures and videos, I used to bring along my camera whenever there's any events/activities going on, much like a reporter for the school lol. Although I'm not a part of the Photography Club crew, I befriended with them and I've managed to sneak into the frontline take down pics and videos, rather than sitting in the hall watching from behind where you cant really get a clear view what's happening in front.

Do beware the school's policies for students to bring camera to school. Some schools, like mine for example, requires permission from the school admin to bring the camera as they fear students will abuse it for something nasty. So, remember to consult the authority before bringing it.  ;)


Most schools I believe publish their annual school magazine right? It serves as the "official" journal of events happened in the school in the year, also covering the graduates' profiles in it, particularly Form 5 and Upper 6 students. Keeping the school magazine is a good method for preserving some of the memories, though things are looked from the point of view of school admins, which might make the magazine boring for some (admins wouldn't be pleased to have the magz full of students' stuffs.)

If you got the chance, join the School Magazine Editorial Board (aka Sidang Redaksi Majalah)!! Play your part in it to make a better school magazine for fellow students!


Why I'm concern bout preserving all the memories of schools even after I've left school for years? I believe that school is a training ground for us to pick up and refine our skills.

Say, if you're active in school debate team, you might find yourself in a favourable position if you wanna become a lawyer or presenter;


Learning how to run a society/club may prepare you for the future working in an organisation;


Playing your part as the society/club's chairperson or head can build up your leadership reputation, which is useful for further studies and job employment.


If you could see the school's role in this way, then I think you will appreciate all the things you get involved in school.  :)


One of the most important thing you have to do is to keep in touch with friends, regardless whom they are. It's also good to build up contacts early on, as they might come in handy in the future ^^. As I mentioned bout the school magazine, much of the contact details are inside there, just a matter whether it's up-to-date or not. Alternate methods to maintain the relationship, can be easily achieved by IMs, forums, and blogs. Nowadays, keeping in touch with friends is much easier than years ago, just see whether you got the initiative to do so or not. A random "Hi!" or "Hey!" in IM is good enough to start conversation with someone. Unless they hold some grudge on you, else they'll usually reply your message.  :)


I've seen teenagers write about their wonderful moments in school on their blog, accompanied with pics. Heh, if you're one of 'em, try to read those posts again years later, all the flashbacks of school life will struck you again, as if all the activities are running again inside you. I did this, so I know the "feel good" factor, heh.


My ultimate contribution to preserve school memories are condensed into a video I made sometime in Dec 2006, the time when I finished SPM. I'm glad that I did it, as I heard some peers and juniors are doing the same thing after I started it. Glad to have people who holds the same beliefs as mine, heheh.


I think this post might be useful for students who're still studying in school. If you're running your blog in such fashion, then congratz, we're the "same kind" lol. Then again, comments and critics, are welcomed here.  :)


Cheers.

15 May 2014

Purchasing another Dell computer

[UPDATE] 26 May 2014
Due to lack of parts on Dell's factory, the order has been cancelled.... orz

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Over the past few years I had purchased 2 units of Dell laptops, namely the Inspiron 1420 on Dec 2007 & Studio 15 on March 2009.

I've decided to write about this recent purchase as I realized that I've been recording down every single purchase since then.... This time, however, is for the family's use.

Family has been using the old Inspiron 1420, which almost clocked 7 years and being an aged computer, it's slow to the point that it test one's patience with computer.

The spiritual successor, Inspiron 14.

Geek data...
  • 3rd Generation Intel Core i3-3217U processor 1.8 GHz
  • 4GB DDR3 RAM
  • 500GB HDD
  • Windows 8.1
  • Intel HD Graphics 4000
  • 3 years support 
  • Microsoft Office Home & Student 2013
  • Cost: RM 2,074
Since the family don't really use it intensely (like games), so this setup is pretty decent I think. Hopefully it will last for a few solid years to come.

Well since I don't think I would be around that often, so getting a 3 years support option for RM 200 is pretty good deal, as previously I had decent experience when it comes to Dell's tech support. Recommended for folks who aren't that familiar to troubleshoot computer problems.

Besides, it could be a bit of struggle for folks to get used to Windows 8, switching from Vista. It would be a new experience for me as well as I haven't really get hold of a Windows 8 machine up until now.

Estimated date of delivery..... hopefully it can be delivered before I'm flying back to Japan.

Would like to hear if your experience of using Windows 8 computer, so feel free to comment. :)

27 March 2014

卒業生代表 答辞

 春の始まりを告げる、桜を咲かせる季節となりました。 



本日、私たち卒業生のために、このような盛大な卒業式を挙行して頂き、誠にありがとうございます。ご臨席を賜りました学長先生をはじめ、ご多忙にもかかわらず、ご出席下さった皆様に、卒業生一同、心よりお礼申し上げます。

4年前、この尚美学園大学に入学した時は、今までとは異なる環境で、慣れるまで少し時間がかかりました。不安もありましたが、今日この日を、共に歩んできた仲間たちと迎えられたことを、とても幸せに思います。

大学生活は、あっという間に過ぎました。しかし、一瞬一瞬を大切にし、新境地に挑戦する機会が増え、充実した日々を送ることが出来たと確信しております。

また、学業とサークル活動、アルバイトなどを両立させながら過ごした日々の中で、一緒に学び、悩み、励まし合って困難を乗り越えてきた仲間、先輩、後輩との出会いは、一生に繋がる絆になると信じております。

そして、私たちが安心して大学生活を送ることができたのも、職員の皆様、家族、多くの方々のお力添えがあって実現したことと感じております。お世話になった方々に心より感謝申しあげます。

本日、私たちは尚美学園大学を卒業し、4月からそれぞれの道に歩み出します。

卒業生の皆様にとって、今年お花見の雰囲気は少し違うのでしょう。大学入学式の時に、ワクワクの気持ちがあったのでしょうが、今年の桜はある意味では新たな一歩を踏み出すことになります。

いよいよ私達が社会に登場します。学生としての学習を終え、これから社会人としての自覚と責任を持ち、頼るのではなく頼られる人間へと成長していかなければなりません。険しく厳しい出来事に対しても、最後まで諦めずに、本学で学び得たことを生かし、努力することを惜しまず、自分が信じ歩んだ道に、いつか、自分なりの花を咲かせたいと思います。

最後になりましたが、未熟な私たちを温かく励まし、ご指導下さいました諸先生方、様々な場面で私たちを支えて下さった職員の皆様、そして大学卒業を迎えた今日まで私たちの成長を見守り続けてくださった家族、その他多くの方々に重ねて心よりお礼申しあげると共に、後輩の皆様方のご活躍を祈り、尚美学園大学のより一層の発展を願って、答辞とさせていただきます。


平成26年3月22日
卒業生代表 
芸術情報学部 情報表現学科
チェン リン ファン 

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こちらの原稿は、実際に卒業式に読み上げたものとは若干異なっています。

17 March 2014

Malaysia's Foreign Policy (East Asia)

In the first part of the topic of Malaysia's foreign policy, I've covered the links with fellow South East Asia nations. Now, it's time to look at fellow nations further north-eastern from SEA.

Let's start up with the big one.

1) China


The relation with the big nation has started centuries ago, one of the notable occasions being the delegate from Ming dynasty visited Melaka to further strengthen the commercial trades.

However, the darker side of the history would be the involvement of communist during and after the World War II. Influenced by the movement in the China mainland, the original purpose of the Chinese communist was to oppose the Japanese military's control, and soon after the Japanese left, the communist tried to take over the country. That idea of course, didn't went well with the others.

The bitter conflict between the Chinese communist and local Malaysians had caused frictions between the Chinese villagers and other local residents. Even today, some of the elders still have bitter stories to share what happened back in those days. The conflict eventually ended with a peace treaty in the 80's.

On the bigger picture, (if I'm not mistaken) the 2nd Prime Minister of Malaysia, Tun Razak decided to change the approach by embracing China. This move was welcomed by the chairman Mao Tzedong of China. Malaysia is said to be one of the earlier nations to re-establish a formal political tie with the People's Republic of China (another similar name, the Republic of China is actually Taiwan).

Today, both nations maintain strong relationship, creating a valuable partnership across the region.

2) Japan


When it comes to this nation, it is a bittersweet issue, due to the infamous past during the Japanese military rule over the country for 3 years and 8 months. Though it was just a rather short period of time, it was devastating nevertheless. The Japanese left Malaysia when they surrendered in the war.

Years later, Japan's rapid revitalization and modernization become the role model for other SEA nations to look upon in developing the nation. While Japan may have caused damage during the war, they did contributed and supported the development of the SEA nations. That could be the reason eventhough the nations had suffered during the war, but they chose to forgave the Japanese and moved on.
(Good read here explaining why China's general dislike towards Japan.)

Malaysia's 4th Prime Minister, Mahathir Mohamad's "Look East Policy" initiative of sending students to study in Japan & Korea also helped to cement a solid diplomatic relationship between the 2 nations. I for one, would say that I'm benefiting from this policy indirectly (as I wasn't sponsored by the government via the LEP).

It's not just Malaysia only, as Japan is also maintaining close ties with other SEA nations. I would say that Japan is much closer to the SEA nations than it's direct neighbours, ironically.

3) South Korea


Surprisingly, I don't really have in-depth knowledge the diplomatic relation between Malaysia and South Korea. But South Korea is making a huge impact in Malaysia in recent years, with the dominance of Samsung, LG & Hyundai lurching away the lucrative market shares of Japanese brands like Sony & Honda.

4) North Korea


OK, to mention this notorious North Korea nation here is rather odd perhaps, but Malaysia is one of the very few nations that has an official diplomatic tie with this misunderstood country.

One of my friend traveled to North Korea some time ago and was surprised to see this Proton Wira around. It seems that some of Malaysia's products has made into the country.
Photo credit: Wan KH

And I was being told that, it's rather easy for Malaysians to get into that country too.

On the next chapter, let's look into the Western nations, namely the UK, USA, Australia, and one country that Malaysian's passport are barred from entering.

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It's been almost 10 days since flight MH 370 went missing.
The current update says the plane may have headed to the west towards the Indian Ocean, and the communication was deliberately cut off. Further investigation and search operations are still underway....
Let's hope we'll have a brighter update when the next blogpost is published...