News & Updates

The first joint online networking event “Career Discovery” for undergraduate and graduate students in Japan and global companies held by JETRO

Jan 04, 2022

On November 26, 2021, with the cooperation of more than 10 universities in Japan, JETRO hosted the first joint online networking event "Career Discovery” for undergraduate and graduate students in Japan and foreign-affiliated companies active in Japan.

The event was held through Zoom, and on the day of the event, each of the 28 participating foreign-affiliated companies had 6 x 20-minute networking sessions in their breakout rooms respectively. Approximately 600 Japanese and international students aspiring to global careers visited the companies of their choice and engaged in lively interaction.

In the past, JETRO has organized such networking sessions between foreign-affiliated companies and students independently at Tokyo Institute of Technology, the University of Tokyo, and Tohoku University, with the aim of providing information to help students deepen their understanding of foreign-affiliated companies and broaden their career options through interaction with participating companies. This year, the number of target universities has been expanded to more than 10, mainly from the universities designated in the Top Global University Project, with which JETRO has concluded the Comprehensive Cooperation Agreement, with a consideration of their importance in regional development as well as their large number of global human resources. This is also intended to reduce the difficulty in acquiring global human resources for foreign-affiliated companies.

Supported by:
Akita International University, Tsukuba University, Chiba University, Shibaura Institute of Technology, Tokyo Institute of Technology, Kwansei Gakuin University, Hiroshima University
Cooperation by:
Hokkaido University, Tohoku University, Nagoya University, Kyoto University, Osaka University

According to the results of the ”Survey on University Employment and Career Support Activities” (*1) by DISCO Inc., about 60% of universities answered that the number of visits to their universities by companies, including online, regarding job offers for 2022 graduates had "decreased" compared to the previous year (57.1%). With the prolonged COVID-19 pandemic, many companies are finding it difficult to have contact with universities due to restrictions on access to universities, especially in major metropolitan areas. In addition, university career support centers are also facing difficulties in understanding and supporting students' career development.

On the other hand, with the promotion of DX (digital transformation), big data analysis, and utilization of AI (artificial Intelligence) becoming pressing issues for many companies, they have been actively recruiting international students in the sciences in recent years as a valuable resource to supplement the shortage of human resources in Japan. However, according to the Immigration Services Agency of Japan (*2), the number of new international students entering Japan saw a significant decrease; while the number of international students entered Japan in 2019, before the COVID-19 pandemic, was 121,637, it plummeted to 49,748 in 2020, both for the whole year, and there is a growing sense of crisis regarding the shortage of human resources.

With this background, Apple (U.S.), Bosch (Germany), Cambridge Consultants (U.K.), Ericsson (Sweden), Wolt (Finland), Satyam Venture Engineering Services (India), SWAT Mobility (Singapore), Whoscall (Taiwan), and other foreign-affiliated companies based in Japan took part in the “Career Discovery” this time. During the event, they enthusiastically exchanged information and opinions with highly motivated undergraduate and graduate students from all over Japan for about two and a half hours.

As it was held online, the number of participants from remote areas, both students and foreign-affiliated companies, increased, and a record number of companies and students participated in the event. The participated companies gave various comments such as, “We were able to meet students interested in our business,” “We were impressed by how actively the international students listened to us and asked questions,” “We met a variety of students from undergraduates to Doctoral levels who are working in the research fields we are looking for,” and “It was useful for our branding and to know what kind of questions students have.” They also said, “We wish each session had been longer.”

Likewise, the participated students shared various feedback such as “I was able to interact with a variety of people from leading global companies and gain insight into their businesses,” “It was stimulating to hear about the latest developments in my field of interest,” “In addition to hearing company introductions of foreign-affiliated companies which I had little opportunity to know, I was able to ask questions directly on the spot,” “It was great to deepen my understanding of what each company does and compare my interests and skills with their specific needs,” and “It was a good opportunity for me to get a feel for the atmosphere of each participating company through conversations in the Breakout room and to learn about their corporate culture.”

JETRO will continue to support the business expansion of foreign-affiliated companies in Japan and the career development of highly specialized human resources by connecting undergraduate and graduate students in various regions with global companies. By deepening diversity through such initiatives, we will promote the creation of innovation in the region.

Bosch’s introduction in the Breakout room

Bosch’s introduction in the Breakout room

Ericsson’s Q&A in the Breakout room

Ericsson’s Q&A in the Breakout room

Invest Japan Business Support Center, JETRO