Japan India Exchange Platform Program

The 3rd JIEPP Japan-India Exchange Seminar

“My study abroad and job-hunting experiences in Japan: Roundtable discussions by Indian alumni”
The number of Indian students studying in Japan will have reached 1,869 in 2019 (according to JASSO), and there are high expectations for them as highly skilled human resources who will be active in Japan. In this seminar, three former Indian students who studied in Japan will talk about their experiences on job hunting, what they learned during their study in Japan, and their current jobs to deepen our understanding of what Indian students expect in terms of employment in Japan.
2021.11.26 Fri
JST 17:00 - 18:30 / IST 13:30 - 15:00
Online (Zoom Webinar)
Inter-University Exchange Project Platform Building Program “Japan-India Exchange Platform Program (JIEPP)”
(International Strategy Group, Management Planning Department, The University of Tokyo)
Speaker & Panelist
Imtiaz Ahmed
Imtiaz Ahmed
Tata Consultancy Services Japan
Graduation in Physics and Post-Graduation in Electronics from University of Calcutta, India in 2007 & 2009, followed by research at IIT Hyderabad & School of Engineering (EEIS), University of Tokyo until 2013 in Nanophononics.
He started working in Japan from April 2013 at H-One Co., Ltd. as an engineer.
Since 2017, he has worked at Tata Consultancy Services Japan as an Alliance Manager, where he is in charge of creating business solution in Digital Transformation, Engineering & Industrial Services by constructing a hybrid model with technology partners in Japan & engineers from India.
Speaker & Panelist
Abhijeet Ravankar
Abhijeet Ravankar
Kitami Institute of Technology
He completed his bachelor degree (BE) in Electronics Engineering in India, master degree (ME) in Computer Science & Engineering at the University of Aizu,Japan, and Ph.D. degree in Mechanical Engineering (Robotics) at Hokkaido University,Japan. He was awarded the MEXT scholarship for his graduate & research studies three times. He has worked as a post-doctoral fellow at Hokkaido University. He has also worked as an engineer in the R&D Department of Panasonic Corporation,Japan where he was awarded the Panasonic President's Award in 2013. Currently, he is an Associate Professor at the Kitami Institute of Technology. His primary research interest is in Robotics and AI.
Speaker & Panelist
Ravishankar Vishal
Ravishankar Vishal
Asahi Precision Co.,Ltd
Born in Chennai, obtained the Bachelors in Electronics and Instrumentation from Anna University. After the Graduation, I joined Virtu Technologies private ltd as I.T engineer.
In 2018- I came to Japan to purse M.S in Nuclear System and Safety Engineering at Nagaoka University of Technology. After Graduating from Nagaoka University of Technology in Feb 2021, I started my Internship at Asahi Precision Inc for six Months.
In Sep 2021, I was awarded Full-time Employee at Production and Engineering department of Asahi precision Inc as Software Developer.
Lecturer, Center for Research on Counseling and Support Services at the University of Tokyo
Mariko Harada holds a PhD in Social Design from Rikkyo University. She has worked for private companies, including an international finance institution, as well as local government and has been in her current position at the University of Tokyo since 2006.
At the International Student Support Room of the University of Tokyo, she provides general consultation services for international students, focusing on career education support and community partnerships. In addition to planning and implementing job hunting related projects for international students, she also provides one-to-one consultations.
She is a member of the Board of Supervisors of the Japan Association for Migration Policy Studies and is a Vice President of the Tokyo Foreigner Support Network.
KATO Takahiro
KATO Takahiro
Associate Professor in the Department of Indian Philosophy and Buddhist Studies, Graduate School of Humanities and Sociology at the University of Tokyo
Dr. Takahiro Kato carried out research for two years (2003-2005) at the Centre for advanced studies in Sanskrit in Pune, India.
He spent six years (2006-2012) in Germany, worked as a researcher at Institut für Indologie, Martin-Luther Universität Halle-Wittenberg (Dr. Phil.), also as a lecturer for German-Japanese Double Degree Program.
Expertise in the area of Indian Philosophy and Sanskrit Philology.
He is experienced in the academic and cultural exchange between India and Japan. Life-time member of the All India Oriental Conference.


[General report]

On November 26, 2021, the 3rd Japan-India Exchange Seminar was held using Zoom webinar under the theme of “My study abroad and job-hunting experiences in Japan: Roundtable discussion by Indian alumni”. Ninety-seven people, mainly university faculty members, students, and businesspeople participated in the seminar.

Three Indian former international students: Mr. Ahmed IMTIAZ (M.S. Engineering, The University of Tokyo, 2013; Japan Tata Consultancy Services Ltd.), Associate Professor Abhijeet RAVANKAR (Ph.D., Hokkaido University, 2017; Kitami Institute of Technology), and Mr. Vishal RAVISHANKAR (M.S., Nagaoka University of Technology, 2020; Asahi Precision Co., Ltd.) took the stage as panelists and shared their experiences of studying and job-hunting in Japan, as well as their current job prospects. Next, Dr. HARADA Mariko (Center for Research on Counseling and Support Services, The University of Tokyo), acting as the commentator for the event, gave a detailed explanation of the job-hunting support program for international students at the University of Tokyo. The moderator, Associate Professor KATO Takahiro (Graduate School of Humanities and Sociology, The University of Tokyo), then joined the plenary discussion, where all the speakers answered questions from the participants.

[Detailed report]
Mr. Ahmed IMTIAZ (M.S. Engineering, The University of Tokyo, 2013; Japan Tata Consultancy Services Ltd.)

Having been familiar with Japanese automobile manufacturers since his childhood, Mr. Imtiaz has always had a strong admiration for Japan. When he was a student at the Indian Institute of Technology Hyderabad (IITH), he was attracted by the research being conducted at Japanese universities and decided to study in Japan. He was awarded a scholarship by the Japanese Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology (MEXT).

Despite some anxiety due to the delay in his arrival in Japan caused by the Great East Japan Earthquake, he was able to study at the Graduate School of Engineering of the University of Tokyo. At the University of Tokyo, he was involved in research on nanophonics and spent many happy and fulfilling days there.

He decided to work in Japan because he wanted to experience firsthand the "kaizen" practices of Japanese companies, and he wanted to explore and learn the spirit behind the high quality "Made in Japan" products.

Although it was difficult for him to find a job in Japan, his professors at the university and the International Student Support Office (at the time, where Dr. Harada, our commentator, worked) helped him a lot.

Due to changes in the degree of adaptation to working in Japan and the passage of time, he experienced psychological fluctuations, such as the so-called "honeymoon period", when he felt a strong sense of happiness in his life in Japan, and the "shock period" when he suffered from culture shock. Overall, however, he emphasized that he was very satisfied with his work in Japan and would recommend it to others. Mr. Imtiaz mentioned three important aspects of working life in Japan: 1) learning the Japanese language, 2) understanding the culture, and 3) enjoying the beauty of Japan.

Associate Professor Abhijeet RAVANKAR (Ph.D., Hokkaido University, 2017; Kitami Institute of Technology)

Associate Professor Ravankar of Kitami Institute of Technology decided to study in Japan because he thought it would be a worthwhile challenge since there is a lack of skilled engineers in India who have proficiency in both Japanese and English. Getting selected for the prestigious MEXT scholarship was also one of the reasons to study in Japan.

Later, when looking for a job, he took advantage of his Japanese language education and business etiquette courses, and completed three internships in different Japanese companies. He got a job at Panasonic and had a fulfilling corporate life at the company, winning the President's Award. At the same time, he had a strong desire to further his education and earn a doctorate. He applied and obtained a MEXT scholarship once more, and therefore, he left the company and entered the doctoral program at Hokkaido University.


Finding a job to obtain an academic post at a university has not been easy. As a reason for this, he cited the lack of support system at the university in addition to the difficulties foreigners face in getting employed. Also, Associate Professor Ravankar speculated that universities in Japan tend not to give importance to experiences in the corporate world. Furthermore, he stated that the number of engineering Ph.D. students had been stagnant since companies tend not to see having a Ph.D. degree as an advantage, which in turn has a negative impact on innovation in Japan. From this, he felt the need for universities to provide employment support for doctoral students.

He also pointed out that the reason why Indians tend to choose U.S. as a place to work is because the U.S. has top companies and top universities, high wages, and a lifestyle that emphasizes work-life balance, which is not popularly practiced in Japan. At last, he emphasized the importance of knowing one’s true nature and passion when deciding on a career.

Mr. Vishal RAVISHANKAR (M.S., Nagaoka University of Technology, 2020; Asahi Precision Co., Ltd.)

Mr. Ravishankar, a native of Chennai, had been working as an IT systems engineer in India, but had a strong desire to pursue higher education abroad. For this reason, he decided to resign from his job and study in Japan at the Graduate School of Engineering of the Nagaoka University of Technology. He chose to study at Nagaoka University of Technology on the recommendation of a mentor at Anna University, his alma mater, who had studied in Japan.

While Japan is not always a top choice for Indian students, Mr. Ravishankar listed the main reasons why he chose Japan: it has a strong image in technology, it is safe, many Japanese companies are operating in India, and the tuition is cheaper than other countries despite the high quality of education. In particular, the safety of the country is important for parents who send their children abroad as international students.

After completing his Master's degree, he participated in an internship program at Asahi Precision Co. Ltd., a local company, through the mediation of Nagaoka City. After eight months of experience, he was hired as a full-time employee. He was also shown a video of a local TV program that featured him as a promising employee from India. Mr. Ravishankar said that in the future, the company aims to establish a base in Chennai to establish a presence in the South Asian market.

Future works

As for advice for job hunters, he stressed the need to plan their schedule early, actively participate in internships and various information sessions, and improve their Japanese conversation skills.

Comment by Dr. HARADA Mariko (Center for Research on Counseling and Support Services, The University of Tokyo)

Dr. Harada provided an analysis of the current situation of employment in Japan for international students and information on the support provided by the University of Tokyo to international students looking for jobs.

First, she summarized the current situation, saying that although the number of international students and former international students working in Japan has been on the rise in recent years, there are few job opportunities for international students from non-Kanji countries. In response to this reality, Dr. Harada said that while there is a national strategy to promote the acceptance of international students as high-level human resources, she is aware of the problem of whether or not they are able to settle in to Japanese society and what should be done to achieve this.

When hiring international students, Dr. Harada speculates that although companies say they are looking for global human resources on the surface, in their true intentions, they tend to look for people who can speak Japanese and know Japan, and view them as language personnel who cannot be supplemented by Japanese. On the other hand, foreign students do not have enough information about Japanese companies and are confused about the Japanese way of job-hunting.


In response to this current situation, the contents of the job-hunting support program implemented by the University of Tokyo were introduced. The program offers a wide range of initiatives, including guidance on basic knowledge such as how to make schedules, general consultation on status of residence, and how to write a resume that is unique to international students, as well as seminars that allows discussions with alumni and people from outside the university, such as people from companies. Through these efforts, it is said that not only international students but also people from the corporate sector gained new insights.

[General Discussion]

The moderator, Associate Professor Kato, selected two questions from the participants and asked the speakers for their opinions.

The first question was about what students from Japan to India can learn in India. In response to this question, Associate Professor Ravankar mentioned that students can improve the practical aspect of producing results under inadequate resources, that competition is tougher than in Japan, and that students can develop a hungry spirit.
The second question was what kind of support was particularly helpful in finding a job in Japan, and how they gathered information. Mr. Imtiaz and Associate Professor Ravankar responded that it is important to have support from the university's international student support department, and to gather information from them. For Mr. Imtiaz, the support he received in his job search was invaluable. Mr. Ravishankar also mentioned that he had the support of Nagaoka City for his internship which led directly to his employment. In this connection, Dr. Harada added that depending on the situation of the international students, it may be beneficial to receive support and information from the graduate school or laboratory to which they belong. Furthermore, she encouraged the students to look for and apply to companies all over Japan, away from where their universities are located, as remote job-hunting is now possible due to the spread of COVID-19.

The meeting concluded with a message in English from each panelist to the current international students.

Mr. Imtiaz said, "If you are interested in studying and working in Japan, keep studying Japanese and get information from various websites. There are opportunities here.” Associate Professor Ravankar went on to say, "I highly recommend Japan as it is a wonderful environment to study and work. However, it is always important to make an effort and keep improving your Japanese language skills by studying and taking examinations.” He also added an explanation about the Japanese Language Proficiency Test. Finally, based on his own experience, Mr. Ravishankar said, "Studying Japanese and doing an internship in the right place are the key to a good start.”