Category Archives: Life in London

End of job hunting

Thanks to everyone who supported me, I finally got a job! It’s UI design agency in London. I will be UX designer! My money in the bank was going to be zero by the end of August, I was thinking of returning to Japan if I can’t get it. So this is the summary of my job-hunting process:

Oct: Course finished, returned to Japan for a few weeks

Nov: Started a part-time job at Japan Centre while researching the agencies in London, preparing for CV, portfolio, personal website

Feb: Got PSW visa, attended an event about digital video production > got some contacts > had a meeting with them, got some advice, applied for about 10 agencies > fail, attended UX networking events > got some contacts

Mar: Had an interview with one of the agencies I met at the event > fail, arranged a meeting via LinkedIn > was introduced to a recruitment agency > attended a UX networking event > got some contacts, applied for about 10 agencies > fail

Apr: Got some advice regarding CV and portfolio from the people whom I met at the event, had a couple of interview via the recruitment agencies > fail, applied for about 10 agencies > fail

May: Applied for an internship which I found on the internet > start internship

Jun: Had the 5th interview via a recruitment agency > got an offer

Jul: Had the 6th interview via a recruitment agency > got an offer

Well, it might look like the last couple of months were easy, but actually I was doing 4days/w internship + 2 day/w part-time shop assistant + preparing for interviews (+ design assignment) so it was really tough. It’s a bit embarrassing result that I got only 6 interviews after sending CV to nearly 30 agencies, but after all I got three offers. I think after I started the Internship, and after I attended some networking events, it improved efficiency dramatically, I learnt it’s really important to meet people face to face, in order to achieve job-hunting in this country.

So…I really appreciate Syzygy who gave me the first chance! I had been told that they were not looking for Junior…but finally they gave me an offer. Even after I told them I wanted to go to another agency, they were so kind to say “You are welcomed to come back anytime!” They were so nice. Thank you. During the job-hunting, I met loads of people and got loads of helps. Thank you! Sometimes I got some advices like “If you want to stay in the U.K., don’t choose job!” or “Find a partner and marry!” (well…I need a partner though. Introduce someone to me please!), but I was always thinking that there is no point to stay here if I can’t get UX job. Now I’m feeling more comfortable staying in this country for a bit more. Dear my friends in London, I have been a bit “unsocial” girl for a while, but I will get some more time and money, just shout me if there’s any events! And I’m looking for someone who can go for sake-drink to cerebrate.

Internship: Week2

The second week of the internship. It’s still part-time so just 3days a week. In this week, I attended a meeting for brainstorming, did some research for a pitch, and worked on wireframing. Everything goes so quickly. Meetings look so quick, everything is decided so quickly and everything is documented so quickly. Although sometimes I feel like “Shouldn’t it be considered more in detail???” but it seems that setting limit is the way for efficiency. Otherwise, you would keep working on it until it becomes “perfect”…endlessly. I have to get used to this speed…

Also, everyone other than me, designers, developers, seems to create lots of ideas considering a marketing aspect. I need to have a different perspective too. This is “as always”, but in order to speak out my ideas (in English) at a meeting, I definitely need to prepare more than anyone else does. However, it hasn’t worked well so far as everything goes so fast! My biggest problem looks to be speed…at the moment. Ok, maybe I can begin by learning how to use Omnigraffle more efficiently…

Internship: Week1

I update my blog less often since I started Twitter…Well it’s also because I’m too busy to do longer writing…

Anyway, I also tweeted about this while ago but I finally got a chance to do intern. It’s at SyZyGy. (By the way, this name “SyZyGy” is really difficult for Japanese to pronounce…It’s typical three sounds which are labeled as “similar sounds to practice” in English learning textbooks!)

I thought I would feel more nervous,but actually I didn’t that much. Probably it’s because I used to work in a similar working environment… creative studio and team-based projects. I felt a slight tense in a positive way and even felt relieved a bit.

Also people are really friendly there, everyone looks so busy but tries to talk to me in order to make sure that I can “experience” something, work on something as an intern. I really appreciate it.

Another think I like is its culture that people work on anything when they can do rather than sticking to individual role. This is very different from my previous working enviroment which was more like “I don’t do this job because it’s not my role.”. I think it’s amazing.

To me everyday is exciting at the moment, I wish I could work more.

Can’t wait the next Tuesday!

Time flies

It’s been two months already since I updated my blog the last time? I don’t believe this… Today this is a quick update post.

I got a new visa successfully in the beginning of Feb, but am still struggling to find a job. I even can’t get a chance of interviews. I thought maybe my CV was not good and got some advice on it, but feel like the biggest problem was that I missed all the graduate opportunities while I was applying for a visa. Now less companies are hiring juniors.

Anyway, I’m still alive by working at a supermarket.

Fortunately I met lots of nice people who try to help me getting a job (thank you!), I’m networking a lot recently (which I hadn’t done in Japan). Meeting a new person > connect him/her via Twitter/LinkedIn > Meeting a next person. The speed of social media is incredible.

Oh, another incredible thing is…Android! I bought Tattoo by HTC recently. Yes, I know I might have to go back to Japan soon, but got 18months contract. Any problems? It’s a pressure for myself. But I still feel like mobile is more convenient in Japan including the infrastructure. I don’t know. Anyway I’m enjoying downloading lots of different apps. I’m gonna write some reviews soon.

Right, I’m going to work….

Xmas 2009

Thanks to everyone, I had a wonderful Xmas this year too.

For the eve, my friend kindly invited me to the dinner with her family, and I could enjoy very “proper” Xmas atmosphere. (Sometimes how we cerebrate Xmas is a bit wrong in Japan.)

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My friend is always good at cooking… and now I know why, because her mother is so good at cooking!

Her parsley sauce was sooooooo yummy. And I really enjoyed British family Xmas time. I appreciate their kindness.

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On the Xmas day, my landlady (Japanese) cooked dinner for us. Now this time, it was more like “Japanized western” tastes which I really liked.

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I and my flatmate were in charge of dessert, and made “yule log”.

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I remember, last year was a bit like tons of “the same” foods, but this year it was so nice I could enjoy some different Xmas with different people.

And now my stomach is having some rest…

Confidence in your career workshop

Ok, I’m always complaining about the service at UAL , so I would like to write about a good thing today! I went to attend a workshop by creative career. They provide service like advice on career issues, freelancers issue etc., but the workshop was about “confidence in your career”. I’m not a confident person and everyone else looks always imposing and self-confident, so I thought I needed to learn to be like that a bit more in order to survive in competitions!

It was about 1.5 hours session, and was like self-analysis. Ar first, we brainstormed about what I’m confident about, and how/why I gained that confidence. They we listed the current barriers and considered how I could tackle them. It was simple as that, but I did it in a group listening to other people’s personal stories, so I could think logically as well as practically.

It will take some more time to be confident, but they taught me how to make the first step to there. And I also learnt that, in order to be successful, what’s important is not “no mistakes” but “learning and recovering from mistakes”.

After the workshop, I had some advise on my CV as well. In this session, they also pointed out what is not clear in my CV and how I could improve it within such a short time. They were really friendly and I was so happy about their service.

Now I should tackle job-hunting!

Productive Day

I had a very productive day on the other day. For lunch, I met a friend whom I hadn’t met for a while. She is in the exactly same position as I am in (i.e. finished master, switching to psw) so chatting with her is really fun and we can understand each other. She is also a very active woman and stepping forward one by one, so I can get really good affects from her. I’ve heard that “If you stay with negative people, you will feel like nothing works well and eventually nothing works actually. But if you stay with positive people, you can get possitive aura too.” She is exactly a positive person like that. I met a lot of these positive people since I came to London, I really appreciate it.

After the chat with her, I had a meeting with a developer regarding the project we are doing. I’m in charge of technical side. Although it’s still a stage of start-up, I still feel nervous whenever I need to talk to someone whom I meet at the first time. I remembered the conversation with my Japanese friend about the “quality of English”. I mean whether I can speak English in “proper” tone affects how other people react to me. Of course, conversation in English is always more friendly than Japanese which demands you to be very very polite and formal. But still in the U.K., I have an impression that how you behave changes what you get. Perhaps if the person stays nice while I’m talking like a child, it means I’m still just a “guest”.

I have had some meetings with business advisers or solicitors before but I could do nothing. But this time I had to talk about technical issues by myself. As for English skill, I think I need to improve much more. But in terms of a meeting, I could get all the information I needed to get, so I felt a little confidence about it.

Anyway, learning-English-road is long and winding.