22 mai 2007

My interview

Chanson du moment :
Cut Chemist (feat. Hymnal) - What's the altitude
Livre :
Ken Grimwood - Replay
Merki Naïs ^^
Jeu :
Metal Gear Solid Portable Ops

Voilà un bon moment maintenant que ce blog ressemble plus à une collection de liens qu'à un blog perso. Ce qui est bien dommage - "ou pas" me direz-vous, mais je ne vous écouterai pas : c'est chez moi ici, j'y fais ce que je veux ! Nomého !
Où en étais-je, avant cette grossière interruption ..? Ah oui, c'est le retour en mode mylife.com, donc. Il ne faudrait pas oublier qu'un blog, ça sert surtout à se flatter l'égo - que comme chacun sait, j'ai surdimensionné. Je rectifie donc le tir dès à présent le tir en vous proposant une interview de moi, en anglais. C'est pas drôle, ni d'un intérêt fantastique, mais ça vous fera toujours travailler votre angliche !
Pour ceux que ça inquiète : non, je ne m'amuse pas à m'auto-interviewer en anglais comme une rock star schyzophrène... C'est un questionnaire qui circule parmi les Vulcanus, pour faire un recueil-souvenir à la fin de l'année. D'ailleurs, si je lis une interview de collègue digne d'intérêt, je vous la mettrai ici aussi...

1 - Self-introduction, please! Name, age, country, studies, interests... Tell us who you are.
Hi! I’m Thomas, from France. I’m 22 and I study Engineering Mechanics. My hobbies are snowboard, photography, paragliding… and beer. よろしく!

2 - In what company are you working now? What is its main activity? Is your internship interesting? What is it about?
I am working for JFE Steel Corporation, in Chiba. I guess you can figure out by yourselves what this company does… More precisely, I do material science research concerning electronic chips packaging, although it is not exactly my major.
I’d say the subject of my internship itself is very interesting. But unfortunately, due to my position as a trainee and the very “traditional” organization of my company, I get no real responsibility in the project: it feels more like a technical job than a research one.

3 - Where do you live now, and how?
I live in Chiba, a large city east of the Tokyo Bay. It’s not exactly a thrilling city, but I’m not that far from downtown Tokyo (around 1h30)... At least it doesn’t feel that far anymore, since I had to travel to the other side of Tokyo every day for the first 4 months to get to the Japanese language school, like a regular salaryman! I would have thought that unacceptable back in France, but this is how people live here. There’s a price to pay for living in the Tokyo jungle! Now I work just 10 minutes away from my place by bike, which is cool.

4 - Ok, now let's rewind a little: why are you here? Why did you apply to Vulcanus?
A question I’ve been asked a thousand times, and I’m still unsure about how to answer it… I really wanted to travel abroad this year, and make something else than studying, for a change: I had been solving equations and stuff for 5 years, I really needed to take a break and make something that actually leads to some results. Or at least, be in a fun and interesting place – the further, the better! Besides, I also have a thing for Japanese pop culture and was really curious about this country. So when by chance, I ran into that ad poster for the program beside my university’s coffee machine, I just thought: “that’s it!”

5 - In the end you succeeded: how did you feel when you were told that you passed the selection? What was your reaction?
It was kind of tough, in a sense, because I was with my girlfriend at the very moment I opened that fatidic “you are selected” mail. Of course, she didn’t enjoy it that much. It was quite awkward... But besides that, of course, I felt really happy and excited.

6 - You have been selected among more or less 800 other candidates: how do you feel about that?
This may sound arrogant, but I wasn’t surprised all that much. I really thought that is was what I wanted to do, and my profile was a good match with the requirements. Still, it’s something I’m proud of.

7 - Why Japan?
As I said, I’m a Japanese pop culture enthusiast. The 2-year relationship I had with a Japanese girl a few years ago is also one of the reasons… She was always telling me how great Tokyo life is, and complaining about France not having this or that, being plagued by problems that are nonexistent there, etc. I wanted to see for myself.
Plus I like cultural shocks, for the thrill and the perspective you get out of it, and Japan is one of the best places ever for that matter!

8 - Is Japan how you imagined it? Is it different? Generally, are you disappointed or positively surprised?
Well, it is how I imagined it: different! There are things I like very much here, and others that I really dislike, but discovering those things is interesting all the same. I didn’t come here to judge the Japanese culture, but to discover it and learn from it.

9 - About Japanese language, what was your level before Vulcanus '06/'07 started?
Maybe a dozen words picked up from anime: in other words, level zero.

10 - What about now? Are you satisfied with your current skills?
There’s no way I would be satisfied with my level after less than one year! I definitely want to learn more, but considering the short time I’ve been here, I’m happy and proud of my level already. I communicate in Japanese only at work with a reasonable efficiency, and I can stand a basic conversation at a fluent speed. As long as you stay away from the terribly difficult writing system, Japanese is actually not a language as difficult as it is usually described!

11 - How were the Japanese classes held by Kai School teachers?
The level of proficiency I acquired, I owe it in big part to them teachers, so I can be no less than grateful towards them. They were very nice and interesting. Maybe we could have made even more out of the time we had together; I didn’t completely agree with their teaching methods. But again, they did their best to teach us as much as possible, and they did well.

12 - We are in Japan but EU also is playing an important role in our experience: do you feel "European"? How?
I always felt more “citizen of the world” than “French” anyway… Until recently, I didn’t travel out of Europe, so that “citizen of the world” meant more like “European”, in fact! I am strongly opposed to the concept of nationalism. I believe that if we get rid of these dangerous, out-of-date ideals, a prosperous, strong and culturally richer European Union can be built.

13 - Did the Vulcanus so far change your vision of EU and its citizens?
It is extremely interesting to cohabitate with people from all across Europe in this program, and it’s one of its very enjoyable characteristics. I never had the opportunity before to meet people from Finland, Lithuania, Slovakia, and Portugal… Such a heterogeneous group of people can only fortify this “European” feeling, especially when facing together the striking cultural gap with Japan. Makes you say, “Hey, we’re all just the same” - But each with our cultural specificities, good or bad, that spice things up a little!

14 - Around 100 days are left before our Vulcanus ends... how do you feel?
I feel like it’s time to take a step backwards and look at the big picture. What did I want to do here that I still didn’t..? How to make the most of the time that I have left?

15 - Is one year in Japan a too long time for you, or too short?
It felt terribly short for the first few months; they flew away in the blink of an eye. But now that I am anchored in the routine of a salaryman’s life, time passes much more slowly. I think more would be too long for me.

16 - Do you feel homesick?
Not that much, although of course I miss the people back there. I am very much looking forward to my coming back there, as a student again, in a new city!

17 - Do you think that this Vulcanus will bring advantages to your future career? Why?
Obviously, this is a very strong experience. As a line on a résumé, this is something to be proud of. I doubt that I am going to work for a Japanese company or one with contacts in Japan, but I am aiming at a job with a strong “international” feel to it, and for that matter the Vulcanus experience will definitely be appreciated.

18 - What did you learn so far? Not only about knowledge or skills, but also about yourself.
I think I learned quite a lot about human relationships. This is hard for me to put in words yet, but I probably will get a broader point of view on life in general from this experience. I feel like I will come back with more self confidence and maturity.

19 - Would you recommend this experience to someone else? Would you give any warning?
I would recommend it to almost anyone, for this is a great adventure. But one has to be aware that loneliness can become an issue: people who have very strong relationships with their relatives and friends might want to think twice about it.

20 - Any regret so far? Do you think you lost some opportunities?
I may have gotten a little bit too much into a “Tokyo lifestyle”, and I understand now I probably should have partied less and traveled more. Spending too much money on unnecessary things prevented me from making the most of my stay here.

21 - What's next? What do you plan to do after the end of our Vulcanus?
I still didn’t finish my studies back in France, so I will go back there and get my Masters degree. After that, I’ll probably go for a PhD.

22 - Imagine your company offers you to have a full time job (related to your specialty) here in Japan: would you accept? Why?
No. Being a trainee here is a good experience, but I’m not cut out for working in a Japanese company. Besides, I have a contract with the French state, stating that I will finish my studies there, so wouldn’t be possible anyway.

23 - Will you come again to Japan in the future? Why?
I hope so, but probably not in a near future. There are plenty more countries I would like to discover while I am young and have a chance to do so. I would enjoy coming back, but it is not a priority for the next years.

24 - What will remain of this year? Is there something you think you will never forget?
There are plenty! I cannot even start listing them. The unique feel of Shibuya and Shinjuku, the magnificence of Kyoto, the crazy clubbing nights, and some of the people I was lucky enough to meet here…

25 - The interview is finished. Good luck for your future my friend! Is there anything you would like to say last?
Just this: Vulcanus banzai! and… Kanpai!

2 commentaires:

Sissi Imperatrice a dit…

je t'avoue au debut je me suis dit, ca y est il nous fait encore du remplissage de blog pour occuper ces journees. Mais point du tout, au joie et contentement de voir exprimer ainsi les sentiments et ressentis du rustre que tu es. J'en suis tout emu. Et le passage sur le citoyen du monde ca m'a completement seduit, ca y est t'es devenu mon Che :P (Ceci dit, j'en connais qui te dirait qu'on peut etre patriote sans etre nationaliste, mais bon...).
Enfin tout ca pour dire que des que c'est possible en France, je te demande ta main.
Sinon je tiens a preciser que l'interview en question n'a pas circuler jusqu'a moi, a croire que je suis pas un vulcanus assez sociable... je tousse...

Tom² a dit…

1. Patriotisme =/= nationalisme, c'est évident. C'est le deuxième qui me hérisse (quoique je suis un peu fâché avec l'autre aussi)
2. Pour ma main ça va pas être possible, elle est fiancée avec moi déjà
3. Si tu lisais le forum aussi...