What is OBOG Visit (OBOG訪問) and How Does it Help with Job Hunting in Japan?: Recommended Resources and Apps
OBOG visit is your opportunity to set up a meeting with an employee from the company you want to apply to. If you think, “I want to learn about this specific project,” “This department sounds interesting, I want to hear more about it” -- that’s when you can ask the Senpais in charge! This article will be mainly focusing on what OBOG visit is and how to find senpais!
OBOG visit is your opportunity to set up a meeting with an employee from the company you want to apply to. It is a part of company research (click here for the article on company research-企業研究), but not a necessary step. As you research, you may find yourself thinking, “I want to learn about this specific project,” “This department sounds interesting, I want to hear about it” -- that’s when you can ask the Senpais in charge! This article will be mainly focusing on what OBOG visit is and how to find senpais!
What is OBOG Visit? What can you take away from it?
OB and OG are Japanese-made English. It stands for “Old Boy” and “Old Girl” and refers to former students who have graduated from a particular university or institution (alumni). In an OBOG visit, you can meet the employee from the company in a casual setting (over meals or coffee) and ask specific questions. In a conversation with OBOG, you can:
① Learn about the company culture
You can ask specific questions about the company culture, projects, and their work experience. Company information sessions are short, and often only include good things about the companies, so you can benefit from the first-hand experiences – both good and bad – of OBOG.
② Practice talking to professionals.
You can practice business manners and keigo (敬語), and become confident about talking with the working members of society.
③ Prepare better for interviews.
Companies want to know how much you actually want to join them. OBOG is a good proof of this because you put extra effort! Also, OBOG can give you tips on how to ace the shukatsu process or tell you small details of the company values. You can integrate their advice to your ES and interviews!
OBOG visit is NOT...
A required step.
Do this only if you have a very specific question you cannot find online or at a company seminar, because it can be very time and energy consuming.
A place to ask general questions.
Time is valuable to you and the OBOG, so prepare detailed questions! First, do your company research thoroughly (article on it here!) If you feel like you have enough information from company information sessions and online, there is no need for the visit.
→ Visit an OBOG only when it’s very necessary. If you think after a company research, “I want to learn about this specific project”, “this department sounds interesting, I want to hear about it!” then, go ahead!
How do you find OBOG?
① Career centers at your university
Most universities have a list of OBOGs they can connect you to! Go to your career center and look through the list of OBOGs and their companies.
② Company information sessions
This can be a great opportunity to make connections and reach out to OBOGs participating in the seminar. Introduce yourself, have a good manner, and thank them for the session. Then, you can show your enthusiasm to hear more about the company!
③ Websites and Apps.
There are websites and apps designed to connect students to OBOGs:
• Bizreach Campus
It has 44 Japanese universities registered, and alumni at many big corporations. You can make a profile and reach out to OBOGs via their profile, or search by companies you’re interested in! *Note that not every company is on this platform, as some prohibit its employees from using it.
This is a social media career platform designed to help students network. You can make a profile and register your resume, and reach out to professionals through messaging functions.
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