Interview of Chattejee Bipasha Kaur
Chattejee Bipasha Kaur
India, 23 years old
Position: Editor Company: Mybest, Inc.
(Joined: 2018-04 through introduction of Jellyfish)
A new graduate with 5 years of living experience in Japan. Studied in the International Studies Department in The University of Tokyo. Became interested in Japan in elementary school and has knowledge of 6 languages, including Japanese, English, Hindi, Spanish, Punjabi and Bengali language. Future plan is to conduct research on gender identity.
Bachelor in International Studies (2013-10~2017-09)
The University of Tokyo
①What interested you about Japan before you came here? Why did you decide to come to Japan? Is there anything you are not used to here?
When I was in second grade of elementary school, I saw a documentary about the shinkansen in Japan, which was really interesting and made me become interested in this country. Also, in India, we have to select a language except for our local language and English as a third language from 6th grade in elementary school. I chose Japanese. Since then, I started to learn Japanese but the courses were really simple until high school. I started to learn Japanese seriously since high school because I was quite into the language at that time.
The reason for coming to Japan was that I wanted to study in a Japanese university. I didn’t apply for any university in India at that time. The convenient point is that we can apply for universities in Japan directly from India. The evaluation was based on high school grades, compositions and interviews.
Something I’m really not used to in classes here is that no one asks questions. In India, we get points on our grades if we ask questions in class. All of us are quite positive in asking questions, which is totally different here. It’s too quiet in class and sometimes you can even sleep, which is something I don’t like.
It’s been almost 5 years for me in Japan. When I first came here, I was really not used to the food as I used to only eat spicy food before that. Also, I’m allergic to seafood, which makes it harder for me to get used to the local food. The other thing I’m not used to is that people here take trains everywhere. When I was in my hometown in India, my father would always drive me, we didn’t use trains.
About job searching
②How did you search for jobs after graduation? How many did you apply for? Anything interesting in those interviews?
I searched for jobs on the Internet and also went to career fairs. However, there weren’t a lot of jobs I was interested in. I wanted to do something related to media, which was hard to find in those events. I applied for 4 companies and received interview offers for all of them. Rather than interesting, an awkward thing happened in those interviews when one interviewer asked private questions, such as whether I have a boyfriend, what kind of person my boyfriend was and if he’s Japanese.
③How did you know about Jellyfish? How was our service?
I saw a job posting from Jellyfish on a jobs website. The job title was “インド向け編集者”--editor (for India), which is totally what I’m looking for. I wanted to do media related jobs and it’s related to India, which is rarely seen here. When I first met Ema (Jellyfish consultant), she was very nice and gave me a lot of useful information. She helped me correct my resume, told me what to wear and also what questions might be asked in interviews. These seemed to be small things but I hadn’t known about them before and I was quite worried at that time. Her advice was really helpful.
About current job and future
④Why did you decide to join this company? What do you do right now? What’s the atmosphere in your company? Anything interesting?
I participated in an on-day training of the company and felt that the atmosphere was quite interesting here. People around concentrated on their own work, but they were also very willing to share interesting things happened. It’s different from other Japanese companies, as many of them are too formal. I joined as an editor and my main job was supposed to be to cooperate with writers in India and edit articles written by them. But there were problems that arose when there was too much copy&paste in those articles. I talked to writers many times but they didn’t listen, so I started to do the writing work as well. I wrote 2~3 articles every week based on different categories. The main theme was products which might sell well in India. I’ve written about insect repellent sprays and cyclical-used strolls recently. In my hometown in India, the no-plastic idea has been promoted. Many restaurants have stopped using plastic products and made posts telling to bring your own strolls. Therefore, cyclical-used strolls become a hit recently. When I write articles about products, I always check reviews from customers on Amazon. There is something interesting. On Japanese Amazon, people always write reviews seriously. The effect of using the product and the effect of each ingredient in the product can be seen in those reviews. But on Indian Amazon, no one writes reviews seriously. They write everything jokingly. When an insect repellent spray has no effect, they just don’t write a review. I saw one review saying that the effect of insect repellent spray was too weak and even if you catch an insect and spray on its face, it won’t die.
We have a shuffle lunch once every two weeks so that we can have communication in different teams. We also have English lunch time every week and we can participate freely. Every time, one native English speaker will take the lead and give topics such as “what would you do if you had 100 thousand yen” or “what would you do if you were left alone on an island”.
(What are the popular languages in India?) French, Spanish and Sanskrit (a standardised dialect of Old Indo-Aryan) are most popular. Sanskrit is useful if you want to study religion and history, it’s easy to learn for people who speak Hindi. But Hindi can’t communicate across the country. We have 22 official languages in India and we have strong identities in different regions. If I use Hindi in South India, people there will definitely get angry at me. Therefore, I use English to write my articles. However, there are also people who can’t speak English. This has become a social problem in India as people who speak English can get good jobs while people who can’t speak English can only do ordinary or local jobs.
⑤What do you want to do in the future? Why?
I want to save up some money and go to graduate school in the future. I’d like to conduct research on gender equality. There are a lot of this kind of problems in both India and Japan. When you check the world ranking concerning gender equality, you can see that Japan has a lower ranking than India. Iceland is the best according to the ranking. In India, we have had women as prime ministers, presidents and many important positions in companies. We also have a famous powerful woman in government right now. But everything in India is extreme. We have extremely rich people and extremely poor people. People in some places can receive good education while some can’t receive education at all. Some places have high equality between men and women while some places don’t have it at all.
I became interested in this theme when I was in high school. In high schools, we have a division of arts/humanities course, science course and economy course. I chose arts/sciences/humanities course and this course includes psychology, sociology, history, Japanese and English. Since then I started to become interested in sociology.