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Hello,
I'm Francisco Fernandez

SE

NEOJAPAN

Programmer

Tokyo School of Business

2023

Japanese , English , Spanish

Hello,
I'm Francisco Fernandez

SE

NEOJAPAN

Programmer

Tokyo School of Business

2023

Japanese , English , Spanish

Company

Discover more about this company including job opportunities and company information on JPort Match!

Company

Discover more about this company including job opportunities and company information on JPort Match!

About Francisco Fernandez

Hello! My name is Franscico from Montray, Mexico. I speak Spanish, English, and Japanese. During my time at Monterey University, I majored in 3D computer animation. After graduation, I worked at a company in Mexico, and I was mainly in charge of video editing for 2 years. However, it wasn’t the most interesting job for me so I started studying Japanese, partly because I liked anime, manga, and Japanese food. I often visited Japan on vacations, but I gradually considered it a destination to work or study.

I came to Japan in 2019, before the Coronavirus pandemic, enrolled in a specialized school, and studied there for 1 year and a half. I wanted to stay in Japan even after graduation, so I had to take courses outside of linguistics, due to visa requirements.

I switched my major to programming because I was interested in computers and coding so I studied IT in Japan for about two years.

What did you do during college?

I love to learn new things. Even when I was back in Mexico, I spent most of my free time learning Japanese. One of the things I am currently challenging myself with is to learn languages.

I am not satisfied with my Japanese level now probably because I compare my Japanese skills to my fluency in other languages.

I studied Spanish, a language that has many similarities with English, for 12 years. Compared to that, Japanese has unique features such as Kanji and formal language, and it has a completely different linguistic landscape. I believe I will finally be happy about my language proficiency from the bottom of my heart when I am confident about my Japanese skills as much as my English fluency.

What career advice would you recommend for job hunters?

There are many foreigners who think of Japan as a place with extremely overworking hours, lack a sense of fulfillment in work, and have a negative image towards Japanese companies. However, the experience I had working in Japan has been good. To those who are currently job searching, I strongly recommend directly reaching out to the company that you are interested in, and checking the atmosphere and workplace environment. Also, avoid making judgments without deep consideration or being swayed by others' opinions. In my case, while interviewing for NEO JAPAN and interacting with the people working there, I started to understand that they were very friendly and had a welcoming team. Thanks to them, the nervousness, worries, and fears I had at first were gone before I knew it.

What are the beneficial skills needed for working in Japan?

Many companies check if you have a Japanese-Language Proficiency Test (JLPT), so it's vital to take the test. However, I believe that “speaking skills” are more important than “reading skills.” Unfortunately, the JLPT does not evaluate “speaking skills.”

For example, in NEO JAPAN, we are expected to state our opinions or verbally report back to our bosses. Looking back at myself, I was too focused on my “reading skills” and learning about grammar, so I lacked practice speaking. There is no doubt that learning “reading skills” and grammar are essential; however, I wish I had put more effort into practicing expressing my thoughts precisely and improving my presentation skills.

NEO JAPAN’s working environment pushes you to step outside of your comfort zone and challenges you to use Japanese as much as possible. If your purpose in coming to Japan is to learn and grow, the satisfaction gained from such a challenging environment should be even greater.

What does a SE Do?

Our team is in charge of our representative products, Desknet’s NEO. We check if the program is updated, integrate new functions, and deal with bugs or errors when they occur. From planning to creation, coding, and testing, I am actively involved in every step of the process and ensure the safety of the products before providing them to our customers. NEO JAPAN values being familiar with all processes within the department.

In my case, I have a background in programming for 2 years, but when joining the company, they have a 2-month OJT, so prior IT knowledge is not necessary.

This training is like a crash course where you can learn quickly and comprehensively in Japanese. After this training, I was allocated to one of the development teams out of the three.

Work Environment NEOJAPAN

Why did you choose NEO JAPAN?

I learned about NEO JAPAN through Mynavi Corporation’s recruitment page. Most of the jobs posted were IT-related and at that time, I didn’t think Mynavi was particular about how to show their website to users. However, NEO JAPAN’s website was really appealing and it caught my attention. Intrigued, I started to watch the CEO’s video, find other content about the company, and research more about NEO JAPAN. I was struck by their global mindset and I found that ambition to be attractive and compelling. This motivated me to make a decision to apply to their company.

I was really nervous when I first had a Zoom meeting with NEO JAPAN’s HR. I was told by the school I used to attend that “interviews are serious and stiff”. That’s why even though the interview was held online, I made sure to practice hard so I could give my perfect performance. Yet, the interviewer spoke in a friendly manner from the start and even made light-hearted jokes. In contrast to the intimidating image I had of interviews, NEO JAPAN’s HR was very friendly and easy to talk to, and I was able to be at ease quickly.

The interview process consisted of a Zoom interview, an online test, and face to face interview with the president of the company. I was also nervous about my interview with the president at first. I knew of him through videos posted on the website, but once I actually started to talk with him, he surprisingly knew a lot about Mexico and he was friendly and open-hearted. I was expecting him to ask me about my education history, the field that I am interested in, or my future career, but we talked about my family and the countries that I have been to, and he focused more on me as a person. It was more like a chat with a friend rather than an interview for a company.

Previously, when I heard the word “president” I would imagine a person who is very serious and had great power but NEO JAPAN’s president is far from that image; He is very humble and easy to talk to. My impression of the president hasn’t changed even after joining the company. He often comes around our desks and asks how we’re doing. I think this is because while he finds it important to do his task, he cherishes the time to interact with the employees.

My department consists of 3 teams with an overall of 50 people but each member is kind and cooperative. My colleagues will actively help me out so I won’t feel left behind and they push me to voice my opinion with confidence. I used to be nervous and I didn’t want others to think that I was clueless so I hesitated to raise questions. However, my teammates advised me to keep asking questions until it was clarified.

This company is filled with an atmosphere of understanding and patience and it encourages me to express myself. Even outside of work, I often go to Karaoke, eat out, and play games with my colleagues, and we are building a strong bond and relationship.

NEO JAPAN’s Working Environment

At NEO JAPAN, in the beginning, I was assigned small work that was beyond my capability. Gradually, the complexity and difficulties of my work increase, so I am able to continuously grow. We also emphasize employees to challenge themselves, and foster independence in the long term. Additionally, we have a community-based mindset and promote communication among employees. The company provides a place of open communication between workers, hosts a small social gathering event across departments, and puts effort into creating a friendly work environment.

Who is a fit for NEO JAPAN? Who isn’t?

Those who fit into the company:

I think those who fit into the company are people who like to learn and are cooperative with teamwork. Of course, there are times when you work solo but it is essential to communicate with teammates. Additionally, if they are someone who is filled with taking on new challenges and find it exciting to work on big projects as their career progresses, I think they would like NEO JAPAN’s working environment.

Those who do not fit into the company:

It may be difficult for those who would like to work alone and face the screen all day to fit into this company. It is not necessary to be extremely bright and extroverted, but please keep in mind to practice open and efficient communication. The greater your ability to express yourself through texts and verbal communication, the more smoothly you will progress at work.

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