Voice from Mr. Ong Eng Hong

Mr. Ong Eng Hong

Graduated from Kyoto Campus
Rent Life Corporation (Real estate business)

Mr. Ong Eng Hong, from Malaysia, entered the Kyoto Campus with no knowledge of Japanese. One year and three months later, he successfully got a job offer and is now working as a salesperson at a real estate company. We asked Mr. Ong Eng Hong, who is such a hard worker, for his advice on job hunting in Japan.

How long did you study at the Kyoto Campus?
I studied for a year and three months.
Please tell us your impressions of studying at ISI.
I didn't know any Japanese, so I am glad that I studied for one year and three months. Although there was COVID-19 situation and many school events were cancelled, I am still very happy to have met kind teachers and friends.
What are your memories of the Kyoto Campus?
I have many memories of my time at Kyoto Campus. I often chatted with the teachers after class and learned many interesting things. I remember flying a kite with Japanese people at the school event before COVID-19 situation. During vacations, I miss playing with my school friends and going out for dinner.
Why did you decide that you wanted to work in Japan?
Japan has one of the best economic bases in the world and is home to many well-known companies.
I wanted to work in Japan because I wanted to learn about Japanese corporate culture. Most Japanese companies are vertical societies and place importance on hierarchical relationships, but there are also many good points such as the discipline and autonomy of employees, and I thought that learning about such corporate culture would be useful in the future.
Looking back on your job-hunting activities, what were the hardest and best parts?
I didn't know the hiring criteria, so I had a lot on my mind. I think it is important to prepare properly and conduct job-hunting activities with a normal mind. It's natural to be nervous during an interview, but I think it's better to try to stay as calm as possible. The hiring manager understands that the interviewee is nervous, so it's okay to take time think about the questions and answer them slowly.
Please tell us about the company you are working for now.
I am currently working for Rent Life Corporation, a real estate company. Our main business is in Nagano Prefecture, but we also do business in Kanagawa Prefecture and Fuji City. We currently have seven stores, and our services include furnished apartments, home sales, weekly/monthly apartments, foreigner rentals, and renovations. Unlike most real estate agencies, our company does not require customers to come to our store, but rather we introduce our services online.
What is your job description?
I'm in charge of sales and customer service for weekly/monthly apartments, foreigner-specific rentals, and regular rentals. In June, I will be transferring to the Shin-Yokohama branch, so my main responsibilities will be in Kanagawa Prefecture. There are very few full-time employees at the Shin-Yokohama branch, so I will also be handling other things besides sales.
What are your future goals for your work?
My first goal is to first make sure that the business runs well in the store. Next, I would like to make suggestions to improve the company. I would like to increase the number of foreign customers and work hard to improve the work environment and business performance of the company. And eventually, I would like to work hard as a manager.
Do you have any advice for juniors who want to find a job in Japan?
When you are looking for a job, it is very important to have the mentality to take on any challenge. When a company is looking for new people, priority is given to those who are flexible in their thinking. I think the most important thing in job hunting is to show that we foreigners have a different way of thinking than Japanese people. Companies like creative ideas.
I will be supporting you in your job hunting activities. Good luck!

Two shots with the homeroom teacher at Kyoto Campus