My ultimate goal is to find inspiration to contribute to society.
SG Holdings Co., Ltd.
LEE HYEEON (From Korea)
School：Doshisha University The Institute for the Liberal Arts
※Interview in 2016
What motivated you to study abroad in Japan?
When I was in high school, I used to make ads in a school club. While I was making them, I used to see a lot of Japanese ads, and it struck me that they were a bit different from ads in other countries. Their uniqueness attracted me, and made me want to learn more, so I decided to study abroad in Japan.
What kind of student were you?
My main focus as a student was on studying, followed by playing guitar in a school club.
Since my first focus was studying, I spent almost every weekday in the library, where I would return after club practice.
In my school club, myself and only one other student were the only international students. I think that experience was really important for experiencing the culture of Japanese young people first-hand.
Were university classes conducted in Japanese?
I had joined a program where I could take all of my classes in English, so my basic specialized classes were held in English.
However, I was able to apply to join classes conducted in Japanese, too, so I participated in some classes in Japanese as well.
I took half of my classes in Japanese, and half of them in English.
Could you speak Japanese when you came to Japan?
I was able to speak some, yes.
But when I look back at some of the emails I wrote my freshman year, I’m surprised I was able to speak, based on the content of the sentences, so I imagine the things I tried to say back then didn’t really get across to the people I spoke with.
How did you search for jobs?
I went through all of the same struggles that Japanese students go through when they’re job hunting. I actually didn’t really participate in many company information sessions aimed at international students.
Tell us about your current job.
The department I’ve been assigned to is the finance department. Simply put, we’re in charge of handling the company’s money. I make sure how much is left in the company balance every day, and that there’s enough money leftover. Deciding how to increase that money, and how to use it are also parts of my job.
Why did you search for a job in Kyoto?
After spending four years of university in Kyoto, I knew that I wanted to live in this city that I fell in love with.
I felt that Kyoto would be a good place for me to relieve stress, and I feel comfortable spending my private time and weekends here, so if possible, I wanted to find a job in Kyoto.
How do you spend your weekends in Kyoto?
Kyoto has a lot of shrines, but my favorite place in the city is the Kamo River.
I often go there on weekends to refresh myself by going walking, jogging, or to zone out all day or read a book.
When I’m feeling like doing something a little more active, sometimes I’ll visit a shrine or go to an event.
Do you and your colleagues get together on holidays or after work?
Sure, we go out a lot. We’re very close, so if I say, “I want to eat here!” even on a weekday, an older colleague may take me. I also go on trips with my colleagues; we get along well.
What's your dream or goal in society?
My end goal is to contribute to society.
Companies, in the end, will end up focusing on profits, so I’d like to make some kind of work structure that would protect profits, but help inspire us to contribute to society.
Message for students hoping to study abroad in Kyoto, Japan.
Kyoto is truly a city full of wonders.
If you’re thiking of studying abroad, I encourage you to come to Kyoto, experience it firsthand, and make your dreams a reality.
I hope I’ll see you in Kyoto!