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getting a job in Japan August 25, 2011

Posted by lumierre9 in useful information.

after 8 months since i made a move to find a job in Japan, after getting through lots of interviews with lots of rejections, after getting cynical response from my supervisor, finally i got one. it’s not the one i want the most, but still have to be thankful for it. i need to trust Him that this is the best job He has prepared for me.

i admit that finding a job, or what they call as shuukatsu (就活/就職活動),  for freshgraduate is so complicated. students start their shuukatsu activities from 1.5 years before their graduation. this is what makes it different from other countries where students start looking for a job after graduation, or at most one or two months before graduation.
the process generally follows this order:

  1. setsumeikai (説明会) or explanatory meeting by each companies where we can get informations about the company, the selection process, etc. it can also be replaced by job seminars or job fairs.
  2. entry sheet. this is the first part of the selection where we should fill some application forms called entry sheet that has a lot of questions, beside personal informations, such as motivations for choosing the company (志望動機), self-appeal (自己PR), experience during school time (part-time job, extracurricular activities, etc), and also some special questions that is different for each companies. some companies also have pre-entry that precedes this process.
  3. aptitude test (適性検査). the most common one is based on SPI test, which contains language related test (japanese!!), mathematics, and personality. some companies have their own kind of tests, and some provide the test in english which is good for international students like me (unfortunately only a few companies have it). some have the test online (and some work only on Windows >__<), some have it done in a special test center, and some in their own companies.
  4. interviews. there are a lot of interviews during the process. normally at least 3, but it could be more. and the form of the interview also varies. there are group interview, group discussion, group work, and individual interview.
  5. naitei/job offer (内定). this is the part where we can finally take a breath after those long tiring process, getting an informal offer for passing the whole selection process. after it is accepted, we only need to wait for the formal acceptance that is usually conducted on October.

during the shuukatsu time, students will get very busy with all these things, since generally each students applies for a lot of companies at once. it is a tough process for the japanese students themselves, and for international students, it is more difficult. learning from my experience, some advices i can give, the things you need to prepare for finding a job in japan:

  1. brush-up your japanese skill. it doesn’t have to be that good. at least if you can speak in daily conversation, generally it is enough to get a job. but since everything will be done in japanese, get prepared and get used to it. you will learn a lot during the process, getting used to write and read in japanese for the entrysheet, listening and speaking in setsumeikai and interviews, like what i experienced, but i would be a lot better if you are prepared beforehand, especially if you’ve been in japan only for less than 3 years and always use english in daily life (like me).
  2. collect a lot of informations. the process usually starts from 3 semesters before graduating. if you graduates on april 2013, start from october this year! most of big companies, especially foreign companies (gaishikei/外資系), start their recruitment early. usually there are a lot of job seminars on this period. you can also join some job information websites like rikunavi or mynavi to get more informations. i started quite late and i didn’t have enough information so i felt that it was very tough for me.
  3. know what you want to do, SPECIFICALLY. maybe this is the most important thing. you can pass all the entrysheet, but during the interview, this thing will be one main factor that can fail you. maybe this is the most difficult thing for me because i couldn’t really say what i really want to do in specific. for me, as long as i can have a job in a field that i like, that’s enough. any kind of task is okay for me. but for the companies, it is not enough. so, decide something that you want to do, find more informations, and say it explicitly.

basic protection from threatening virus for your computer February 4, 2011

Posted by lumierre9 in useful information.
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yesterday a friend asked me about how to recover her photos that were suddenly disappeared from her memory card…i suspected it was caused by some kind of virus, and it was later found that my suspicion happened to be true…before that i read an article about a new virus that was ridiculously made by a guy who was broken-hearted…and also a few weeks before my labmate said that her computer was infected by some viruses…

so here i just want to share a way to prevent your computer (windows) from getting infected by viruses that mostly spread through mass storage devices (usb flashdrive etc)…i used these steps and i’ve never get any viruses infiltrating my computer…

1. install antivirus software in your computer…you can find many good antivirus software out there, such as bitdefender, kaspersky, mcafee, norton, avg, etc…in my case, i used AVG antivirus free edition since it’s free and doesn’t use so much resources…as long as you update the virus definition frequently, it will be a decent protection for your system, although sometimes relying only antivirus software is not enough…

2. mostly the virus will exploit the autorun.inf in mass storage devices to spread in a system…when the device is on and the autorun is activated, the virus will be executed and start its invasion…to prevent this, you need turn off the autorun…you can do this by entering the windows registry…press Windows button+R or click Start > Run and type regedit…find “NoDriveTypeAutoRun” or “NoDriveAutoRun” and change the value into FF (Hex) or 255 (decimal)…this value will prevent the system to have autorun on any inserted device (including any cd with autorun)…
WARNING!! if you don’t know what you’re doing, don’t change any other things in the registry or you will damage your system!!

3. when you’re opening the device, it’s better not to open it from the main frame of windows explorer, but open it from folder tree on the left pane instead…sometimes if you open it from the main frame, it can also activate the autorun inside…

4. go to folder options in windows explorer and change the settings to show the extension of all your files and also to show any hidden files…it’s the easiest way to find out whether there’s any virus residing in your device or not…if it’s not caught by your antivirus software, enter your device with number 3, and see if there’s any suspicious files, and you can delete it if you’re sure that’s not your file…

well, basically that’s enough to protect my computer from most of the virus spread through mass storage devices…sorry if it’s not clear enough…i wish i could give a more detailed step-by-step way, but actually i don’t have much time right now, i hope i can update it some other time…i hope this information could be useful…

looks like I need more MSG July 27, 2010

Posted by lumierre9 in chit-chat, useful information.

since i came to japan, i rarely use MSG anymore, because it’s rather expensive here, and also because a lot of people says that it’s bad for our health, so i tried not to use it…and today my mom mailed me and asked about the study of MSG here, like how is the effects, good and bad points about MSG, etc…so i did some research on it through the www, and i found some articles…one of them gives conclusions as follows…

1. The MSC (MSG symptom complex) is an unpleasant reaction that results from the consumption of fairly large amounts of MSG. As many as 30% of people may be susceptible to this symptom complex if large amounts of MSG (5g or more) are consumed on an empty stomach in a liquid (usually a brothy soup). The MSC generally lasts about 20 to 30 minutes and rarely as long as one hour.

2. The MSC can be avoided in most cases if a high carbohydrate food is consumed before or with the MSG or if the total amount of MSG consumed at one meal is no more than 2g in a liquid. If the MSG intake is limited to 2g or less and/or consumed with solid foods no one has been shown to experience the MSC even though many people have been tested in carefully controlled studies.

3. Claims that MSG causes neurological damage in the fetus, newborns, or adults are without scientific merit. Claims that MSG causes Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, multiple sclerosis or Lou Gehrig’s disease (ALS) are specious.

4. Claims that MSG causes allergic reactions or bronchospasm in people with asthma have not been demonstrated in properly designed and blinded studies. People who believe MSG causes heir asthmatic symptoms should be tested in a blinded fashion with capsule containing MSG or a placebo. Believing that MSG is causing asthmatic symptoms may discourage people from seeking the true allergens or environmental stressors that are triggering the bronchospasm.

5. The same amount of sodium consumed as MSG is far less toxic to the body than an equivalent amount from salt. Avoiding MSG could contribute to an increased salt intake. Replacing salt with MSG (tsp for tsp) may help prevent or lower high blood pressure. It would also reduce the loss of calcium in the urine and may help reduce the risk of osteoporosis and kidney stones.

6. Replacing salt with MSG may also reduce the risk of stomach and esophageal cancer. By preventing HTN, replacing salt with MSG may also reduce the risk of kidney cancer.

7. There is a lot of irrational fear and concern about the use of MSG as a food additive in America. This fear is largely the result of unsubstantiated claims of health problems blamed on MSG. It seems likely that nearly all of the serious health problems and most of the unusual symptoms, which are believed to be caused by MSG, are due either to something else or are psychosomatic in origin. The irrational fear many people now have about consuming even small amounts of MSG is largely the result of a well-orchestrated campaign of food terrorism.

8. Believing that small amounts of MSG consumed with solid foods can cause symptoms like heart palpitations, shortness of breath, weakness and chest pain may lead some people to dismiss symptoms of a heart attack as simply an adverse reaction to MSG. This could be a fatal error. Chest pain or tightness that is not accompanied by flushing or burning sensations is unlikely to be related to MSG intake.

9. There is better evidence linking salt intake to headaches, including migraines than there is linking headaches to MSG intake.

source: http://foodandhealth.com/cpecourses/msg.php

and my problem lies in number 5…every time i cook, since i don’t use MSG, indeed i use more salt for my food, and i just knew that it’s not good, better to use MSG together to reduce the salt usage…so i think i need more MSG from now on 😀

japan hospital January 28, 2010

Posted by lumierre9 in chit-chat, useful information.
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last tuesday was my second experience going to a hospital in Japan…the first one was at the beginning of the year when my right elbow got inflammated and unmovable…i, accompanied by Mr.Bahar, went to the university health center, and they suggested that we go to 大脇 (Oowaki Hospital) in Okusawa, one station from Ookayama…

it’s not a big hospital, but it’s a quite good hospital…after i made the patient card, i need to wait around 15 minutes because when i arrived there it was their break time…then i was called into the doctor’s room, he checked what’s wrong, and then suggested me to have my elbow x-rayed, then i waited around 5 minutes to get x-rayed, and after that also around 5 minutes i think to be called back to the doctor…i was quite impressed because the x-ray photo was sent directly to the doctor’s PC, so it doesn’t need to be printed out…he checked the photo and he said that he didn’t really understand what’s wrong with my elbow, but for the time being, he gave some medications for the inflammation and see the progress for a week…after that, i waited to pay the bill…it costed me 2010 yen…

after that i bought the medicines in the pharmacy in front of the hospital…as a first-timer, i was asked to fill some questionnaires regarding medications…i was called after my medicines was ready, and i was explained about the meds, they also gave a printout of the explanation…the meds costed me 790 yen…

and last week, i felt hurt on my inner cheek, and i couldn’t eat well because of it…the next day it was still a bit hurt, and my ear felt kinda hurt too…i told my friend about it and she recommended me to check the symptoms here and after i found out that it may be an effect from the problem on my teeth, gum, or jaw…so i tried to analyze the wound on my inner cheek, and i thought the cause was my upper wisdom tooth that grew facing outside…

so i consulted with an indonesian friend in my dorm who’s studying dentistry, and also my dentist in indonesia, and the conclusion was i need to take out that tooth…so last tuesday i went to 東京医科歯科大学病院 (Tokyo Medical and Dental University Hospital) in Ochanomizu where my friend studies…she helped me with some of the administration there…

actually we knew already that we need to go to the dental surgery division, but because we didn’t have any references to any doctor there we must go to the general diagnosis first…there i was asked to fill a questionnaire about general health…after that i was called to have blood pressure check (mine was kinda weird, 148-85 as i remember)…then had another waiting until finally my turn for the diagnosis…fortunately the dentist can speak english quite well (we asked for english-speaking dentist) although actually i wasn’t so sure how to explain my problem in english…hehe…so, he refered me for the dental surgery which is located on 6th floor…so i went upstairs, waited for a while, got a queue number and waited again while filling another questionnaire, this time about dental surgery things…that time the queue number was 22 and my number was 35, so it took quite long…after waiting for about 20 minutes, there were two dentists who seemed to be looking for someone, i thought maybe they were looking for me, but they didn’t ask me or anything, do i look like a nihonjin??but after that they call me by name in the loudspeaker, so they were really looking for me…

so here i was again asked about the problem, the dentist who were asking me speaks english very well, maybe he ever studied abroad before…and then he told me to have an x-ray photo of my teeth before he took out my wisdom tooth to see if there’s no problem…and the radiology is on the basement floor…so i went down again…but here, the doctor and the nurse didn’t seem to speak any english, so at times i was kinda confused…after the photo was taken i was asked to wait a moment for the result, and then i was given an envelope with the x-ray photo inside…oh, this hospital wasn’t as advanced as the one in Oowaki, i thought…but maybe because it was troublesome for the dentists to handle the computer while taking care of the patients…so i went upstairs again, submit the photo, and now finally the execution time…

he showed me the photo result, confirming again about the tooth removal…he said that my wisdom tooth was close to the sinus, to it has a possibility to affect it in some way, but the chance is small, so it’s safe…after that he gave me a consent and agreement form that mentions some of the risk of the surgery…he asked me to read it carefully and sign it…then he was preparing for the surgery and i was asked to read another paper about instructions for post-tooth-removal…and the surgery began…first he asked me permission to give anaesthetic and he started taking out my tooth…i didn’t expect it would be that quick, maybe only 5 minutes until it’s done…my friend said that maybe because my tooth was already tilted so it’s an easy position to be pulled out ^^ after that the dentist explain some more thing, and asked me if i want to bring the removed tooth home, so i took it 😀

after that i went to the cashier, and i was given a receipt for the medicine that i need to pick at the pharmacy…finally i went back to the cashier to pay the bill…this time it costed me 5550 yen…

some things i learned from these experiences:
1. the technology and the network in japan hospital is already advanced, i was impressed especially with the x-ray result that was sent directly to the doctor’s PC
2. the hospital also have some mechanism to send documents automatically to any other divisions…we can see the document traffic in some part of the ceiling…it’s so convenient so people don’t need to run around to deliver the documents anymore
3. in Ikashika Hospital, they made some kind of route on the floor to show the way to certain division, so it is much easier for patient to find their way
4. patients are treated very well, they are given detailed explanation about the whole thing, even they are asked to fill the questionnaire so that it will be easier to be taken care of in case of problems
5. medical cost in Japan is very expensive, compared to Indonesia, and the number i mentioned here was already cut by the national health insurance, so i only pay 30%…so if you don’t have the insurance, it will be much more expensive…so you’d better take care of your health while you’re staying in japan…but actually, come to think of it, if we see the service we get as i mentioned above, that price is still reasonable…again compared to Indonesia where we can rarely find good public service…

to conclude, well, Indonesia still need to learn a lot about all these things to become better and better…

Opera Mini 4.1 August 14, 2008

Posted by lumierre9 in chit-chat, useful information.
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Regarding to my previous post about wordpress doesn’t work in my opera mini, I tried upgrading it to the latest version. So here I am using opera mini 4.1 and wordpress works! A lot of development has been made to this new version. It by default shows web pages just as in PC,it even shows the mouse pointer. A little bit weird n uncomfortable for a 176×220 sized screen. But it can also be switched into mobile view mode like the old version.

posted via opera mini 4.1 on my SE Z610i

Beasiswa Okazaki Kaheita Jepang September 11, 2007

Posted by lumierre9 in useful information.

Okazaki Scholarship Candidates 2007 (Shangri-La Hotel Jakarta)

Buat yang berminat untuk ngelanjutin studi Master (S-2) ke Jepang, terutama mahasiswa ITB, IPB, UI, dan UGM, mungkin beasiswa ini bisa jadi pilihan yang bagus. Beasiswa ini dikasih ama lembaga yang namanya The Okazaki Kaheita International Scholarship Foundation.

Lama beasiswa ini 3 tahun, meliputi 1 tahun sekolah bahasa dan 2 tahun kuliahnya. Semua biaya masuk, biaya ujian, dan biaya kuliah ditanggung sama Foundation, dan tiap bulannya dapet 100,000 yen selama sekolah bahasa dan 120,000 yen selama kuliah. Sebelumnya juga dikasih 100,000 yen sebagai initial funds. Tiket pesawat dikasih untuk pergi dan pulang dari negara asal ke Jepang dgn ANA airline untuk pertama berangkat dan setelah selesai. Waktu tahun kedua juga dapet tiket pesawat untuk pulang-pergi ke negara asal. Selama sekolah bahasa, penerima beasiswa tinggal di asrama ANA, dan waktu kuliah, utk yg kuliahnya di sekitar Yokohama dan Osaka harus tetep tinggal di asrama, tapi kalo di luar kota-kota itu biaya tempat tinggal juga ditanggung Foundation. Biaya transportasi umum dari tempat tinggal ke universitas juga ditanggung. Terus yang paling asyik, tiap tahunnya penerima beasiswa bakal dapet jalan-jalan ke daerah-daerah di Jepang.

Berdasarkan testimoni dari salah satu alumnus yang pernah mendapat beasiswa ini, dengan beasiswa yang ada seseorang sudah bisa hidup dengan enak di Jepang. Jika dibandingkan dengan beasiswa Monbukagakusho, alumnus tersebut mengatakan “kalau dapat beasiswa Monbukagakusho diirit-irit kita yang untung, tapi kalau ini diirit-irit kita malah rugi”. Memang sih, kalau diliat dapetnya banyak banget tuh.

Tapi ya untuk dapetnya juga ngga segampang yg Monbukagakusho. Pertama, yang bisa daftar utk beasiswa ini cuma dari universitas2 terpilih, yg udah disebutkan di atas, yaitu ITB, IPB, UI, dan UGM. Kedua, memang saingannya jadi lebih sedikit (dari tiap univ cuma diterima 5 pendaftar), tapi peluangnya juga lebih sedikit, karena yang bakal diterima cuma 1 orang. Saya bbrp waktu yang lalu daftar utk beasiswa ini dan yang datang waktu interview cuma 12 orang. Dari jumlah mungkin terlihat sedikit, tapi kalau dilihat peluangnya, 1/12, ngga sampe 10%!! Dan satu hal lagi, untuk Indonesia, beasiswa ini cuma ditawarkan 3 tahun sekali. Jadi karena tahun ini sudah ditawarkan, bagi yang berminat siap2 saja untuk daftar 3 tahun lagi. Pendaftaran biasanya dibuka awal tahun, jadi kemungkinan beasiswa ini dibuka untuk Indonesia berikutnya awal tahun 2010.

Mengenai seleksinya, setelah memasukkan dokumen yang diperlukan, pendaftar akan dipanggil untuk tes tertulis dan interview (di hari yang bersamaan). Tes tertulisnya menulis essay dan matematika. Keduanya dalam bahasa Inggris. Lalu ada juga interview seperti seleksi beasiswa pada umumnya. Yang melakukan interview semuanya adalah profesor2 yang masih mengajar di universitas Jepang. Waktu saya interview kemaren ada 4 orang profesor, ada yg dari Toudai (Tokyo University), Tokyo Institute of Technology, Waseda University, dan Kyoto University. Untuk interview, pasang telinga baik2 aja, karena ngga semua dari profesor tsb bahasa Inggrisnya bagus. Dari 4 orang yg menginterview saya aja cuma 1 yang English pronunciationnya bagus, tapi untungnya saya sebelumnya punya pengalaman ngobrol2 sama banyak orang Korea yang pronunciationnya belepotan juga jadi udah biasa nangkep omongan mereka. Tapi mereka terima interview dalam bahasa Jepang juga, jadi kalo udah bisa bahasa Jepang bisa membantu juga tuh.

Untuk informasi lebih lengkap bisa lihat di official websitenya: http://www.okazakizaidan.or.jp (bahasa Jepang)