Afternoon lecture for your OJT

So starting from next week we will be receiving the OJT from your host
companies. As I said before, Japanese companies are very punctual in
time. 5 minutes delay will bring you a negative assessment. It is a
great loss to receive such evaluation or self-appraisal for being
late, and that’s why I have kept reminding you for the past eight
weeks to be on time, so let’s keep the time. So next week, 19th will
be your last day here at AOTS, and you will be beginning your ojt, so
it will be a new start. You will be making another fresh start as of
next week, so please remind yourself to be punctual as well as other
things.

So I’ll give you the OJT guidance. First I would like to explain to
you the outline of this day’s schedule. The first part of this lecture
from 1:30 to 3:00 pm will cover the things you need to pay attention
to in order to make your training as successful as possible. part one
lecture will be divided into three big categories. The first is the
training program or training plan, the second is communication, and
the third is self-management or self-control. Then we’ll have a short
break. Fourth agenda is I’d like to give you an explanation of the
cultural shock. Lastly, you’ll have a chance to see the video of the
ojt as a summarization of today’s lecture. I’m hoping to finish by
4:00 pm. if there is no time, I may need to skip showing you the
video, so we’ll see how fast we can progress. Number 6 agenda is an
evaluation sheet. Number 7 is also an evaluation sheet in Japanese. I
hope to complete by 4:30.

Planning

Allow me to start. I’ve already handed you some material, and the same
thing is appearing on the screen. The first thing I’d like to mention
is the training program or plan. Do you know what kind of training
plan or program you will have? I hope everyone knows your training
plan. I’ve already handed you “Do you understand your specialized
technical training?”. First I will ask, does everyone fully understand
your training plan? If so, I may not go into detail. If any one of you
are not quite sure, then I will spend some time and give you some
explanation. Which way do you want? Can we skip, or do you need any
kind of explanation of this?

Please take “Do you understand your specialized technical training?”.
Please fill in your understanding of your training plan. I’ll give you
five minutes. Whatever you have difficulty filling in, that means your
understanding is not adequate. You are filling this in now to find out
how much you understand about your training. On your first day, you
need to clearly understand what you are doing. You are writing it down
for your own sake. Each one of you clearly needs to understand your
goal and target and objective in being here in Japan, otherwise your
training will not become a success. If you don’t know why you are here
in Japan, these things need to be clarified before you actually go and
work at your host companies. … For example, you have your own
objective or target. If your company has another objective, for
example if it comes to the plant, the company wants to increase the
production line, whereas the trainee may want to know the kind of
management in the company. So in that case, maybe trainees’ objectives
and companies’ objectives may not be identical, but at least they are
heading in the same direction. Important thing is to make sure what
you are heading for or what your are looking for, at least you and the
host company have to be looking in the same direction.

In some cases, some trainees who don’t know why they are receiving
this OJT are embarrassed to ask. Or if you think you understand but
you really don’t. If you start your OJT in this manner, you will come
across barriers. At the very beginning, you must clearly understand
why you are here and what kind of target or objective you are aiming
for. So if you look at the bottom left, that will be your first day of
work with your host company. The first day has its own importance.
Normally, the host companies on your first day of your work, they will
promote a sort of guidance session so that you can smoothly transfer
to the host companies.

My advice is on your first day, you will take the proactive approach
with your teachers from the host company, and you may need to clarify
all the points on which you are not clear. So if your start is carried
out in appropriate manner, then for example, your training can be
represented as climbing up a mountain. You know exactly what you are
doing and which stage of progress you are doing. If you are able to
work in this manner, then at the end, you will fulfill your objective
for being here in Japan.

So far I have given you how important it is to establish your training
plan in order to make your stay successful. So do you fully
understand, or does anyone want to ask a question or make a
confirmation? Again, allow me to stress that you will have a chance to
meet your teacher from your host company either on the first day or
second day, so make good use of that first meeting with your teachers.

Second agenda is about communication. You obviously will establish
communication not only with your teachers but also with Japanese
people from your host companies. In order to avoid any kind of
miscommunication or problem, you need to bear in mind certain things.
Sorry, before that, I need to mention the financial aspect.

Proper allowance

The money is quite important issue so that you will be able to fully
utilize your training period. This paper covers your financial status
since the day you have arrived here in Japan up until the 19th of next
week. So your training cost, as I said on the first day, is subsidized
by the Japanese government as well as the host company. The monies are
provided to each one of you. So let’s confirm how the financial status
will change when you go and work for the host company. Air fare and
air ticket will remain the same. You will be paid for the actual
lodging allowance. You will be actually receiving some kind of
lodging. Some of you may, after leaving YKC, live in a company’s
dormitory. The place to live will be provided to you by the host
company. However, as far as I know, 80% of you will either continue to
stay at YKC or move over to TKC, so your living condition may stay the
same. And also you will be provided with the meal allowance of 2700
yen a day as well as personal allowance of 1200 yen a day.

Starting from 3, 4 and 5, these are the kind of fees AOTS provided to
your host companies. Not a payment for you. So the cost of technical
training will be provided to the company at 4650 yen a day. Cost of
technical training will be paid from AOTS to your host company, and
host company will be able to use this fee to purchase a PC or provide
for the teacher’s personnel cost as well as provide textbooks. That
decision will be made by each company. And you will continue to be
provided with medical service. As long as you are an AOTS trainee,
your health insurance is covered by this service.

So after the 19th, you will be paid for the meal allowance as well as
the personal allowance for your company. Form of payment will vary
from company to company. Some companies pay every month, or every
week, or every two weeks. That is up to the company. Whenever you will
receive the money from your host company, please check the amount.
After you check the amount, you will need to fill in the receipt. You
also need to obtain a copy of the receipt which you will be signing.
So my advice is better to keep a copy of the receipt in case of
problem. If you have the copy, that means you have the evidence in
your hand, and can easily solve the problem.

I gave you the explanation about your financial status as of next
week. Does anyone have any questions? Does everyone fully understand?

Communication

Next is how to establish communication with Japanese people without
making any problems or miscommunication. In order to make your
training a successful one, I have tried to use this cause-and-effect
diagram (fishbone). I have already explained about the proper
allowance, and I already gave you the explanation about the importance
of establishing your training plan and schedule by good planning. Next
I would like to share with you how to establish good communication
with your teachers as well as your colleagues.

First, I would like to give you a type of person who is favored and
liked by Japanese teachers from your host companies. The teachers like
students to take memos or put in your notes, write down the things you
think important. Taking the memo whenever you listen to something very
useful or important, and accustomizing to this habit, will be very
appreciated by your teachers. Some companies will ask you to write a
report on a weekly or monthly basis. Try to make the memo as much as
possible. Important thing is obviously you will be receiving training
using the computer. You may be most of the time sitting in front of
the PC, and your teacher may give you important advice. While you are
looking at the screen, you may think you understand. But when a change
of scene takes place, you thought you understood, but it actually
didn’t penetrate into your mind. Don’t rely on your memory, but
document them, so you can always rely on your memo. Looking from your
profit point of you, it’s important to listen very carefully to what
your teacher has to say. Most of your teachers are very busy because
they are very capable persons, so they are giving your their valuable
time. Don’t rely on your memory, write it down, so it will give a good
impression to your host company. If other teachers come and tell you
other things, you can always refer to your notes and say so-and-so
teacher said so a few weeks ago. … (if you keep notes), the company
thinks you are not wasting their precious time.

So the people at YKC as well as interpreter like myself will try to
explain in detail, but once you go to host company, they may not speak
just like we do. In that case, you should ask, “Please say it again.”
It is very important. Otherwise you will never get the chance to learn
what they have to teach you. Some other Japanese way of establishing
communication is just looking into your eyes. Some teachers say “Why
don’t you try it?” Clearly that is not adequate. In that case, you
have to voice your opinions. And also, during these past weeks, you
devoted yourself to acquiring Japanese skill. Try not to be hesitant.
Try to proactively (engage them in conversation). And also, in order
to avoid miscommunication with you and your teachers or colleagues,
obviously you are working in IT industry in which lots of English is
used. However, it is not necessary that even if your teacher uses a
lot of English, they understand English well. In that case, it is
better to use Japanese to avoid problems. Some of you have already
purchased electronic dictionaries or have ordinary dictionaries. The
methodology doesn’t matter as long as you establish good personal
relationships with your teachers so that you don’t have
miscommunication.

So in the past, here in the past, we have had a number of successful
trainees. These people had two things. They had acquired the habit of
taking memo. Those successful trainees had managed to create their own
dictionaries based on their memos. That is a successful way of making
your training. So in the past, we have had a number of successful
trainees during the OJT. Their skill of Japanese was dramatically
improved, and they made a great success. Try to write your own memo as
well as your own dictionary. That is the quickest way to make a
success. The memo is for you, not for others. You will obviously be
working in different fields of IT. Try to make use of the memo and
words.

In my past experience tells me that after you have worked for your
host company, you will either be coming back to YKC or TKC, and you
will have a chance to compare your memos with other trainees. You will
have a chance to evaluate other people’s notes so that you can find
out how they are acquiring their skills. That kind of competing with
each other may give you good results.

So as I said, as of next week, you will be with your host company’s
people. You are not dealing with people at YKC any more. You will be
dealing with Japanese people at your company, so use your Japanese.
Find a way to improve your skill.

There is another important point to be remembered. And also it is
important to have the periodical meeting as well as to evaluate your
progress during your training. So as I said, at the very start of your
training at your host company, you need to establish your
consensus—your plan and objectives of receiving the training for you
and your company. In between, you need to have periodical meetings
with your teachers from your host company in order to establish a
consensus as well as evaluate your progress. For example, if I have no
idea what kind of environment you will be asked to work in and receive
your training. In the middle, you may be asked to join some kind of
team. Maybe halfway, you may get lost. You might not understand what
you are doing there. That is why you need to have a periodical meeting
with your host meeting. If you do not do anything, you will have such
a chaotic situation. My advice is to have some kind of meeting at
least once a week. It is important to define the time and when. Which
day and which time. An important thing is that if you do not know when
you are going to have this kind of periodical meeting, then you should
make a proposal. Say that you would like to have a meeting with your
teacher, say every Monday morning at 10 AM.

And also, it is very important to establish a good feeling of trust
between you and the people from your host company, so try to utilize
your memo as well as your weekly or monthly report, and try to get as
much as possible from your host company.

Another important thing to establish communication with Japanese
people is that if you cannot do something, you have to say it. If you
do not understand, say it. And also, you have to do three things: to
report, and consult, and try to correspond. These three things are
very important. So for example, if your first assignment is to create
some kind of program by next Friday, the first thing you have to say
is whether you can do it or whether you are unable to do it. As I
said, report is very important. Your task is to complete a task by
Friday. If you think you are unable to finish by Friday, in that case,
you have to report to your teacher. You cannot wait until Friday. You
have to say to your teacher, despite the fact that I gave you my word
to finish on Friday, I don’t think I can do that. You should do that
on Wednesday or Thursday. You cannot wait until Friday to say I cannot
do it. So if you don’t say anything, then the people in the host
company think you are doing okay. If you report to them that you are
unable to do it, they might give you advice on how to achieve the
task. Let them know your progress at all times.

Important thing is to make as much detailed a report as possible. If
you are working in a plant, everyone can see your progress. If you are
working on a computer program, only you can see your progress, no one
else. You need to make a report saying how much progress you have
made, otherwise no one will know how you are doing. My proposal is
that at least once every day, before you go home, try to make a report
to your teacher or manager because now you know how to send e-mail in
Japanese. If the manager is not there, you can make the report every
day. If the manager is there, you can make a verbal report about what
you achieve every day.

And also, I would like to remind you about some of the manners. You
know some of the famous daily phrases like “Ohayou gozaimasu”. If you
have to go home before everyone else, you have to say “Osaki ni
shitsureishimasu”. And also in order to establish good communication
with people from your host company, try to use these useful phrases as
much as possible. It will become a key for your success. Japanese
people try to make a good start every morning. That is why “Ohayou
gozaimasu” is important. You always greet me with “Ohayou gozaimasu”,
but you are doing it because you are there with your trainee friends.
However, if you happen to be on your own, surrounded by 50 Japanese
strangers, you may be slightly hesitant to say these phrases. My
advice is the first day is extremely important, so you have to have
the brave heart and try to make the first by saying “Ohayou gozaimasu”
to everyone you meet in the company. That will make for a very smooth
transition. So unlike manufacturing plants where everyone starts work
at 8:30 sharp, working at an IT company means some of the engineers
may not have slept last night, or some may be on flexible time so will
come in at around 11. You may come to the office every morning at 9:00
AM and find no one there. But it’s important to say the first words!
I’m sure you can make a good start and you can do it.
And always, a word of thanks works magic. If someone is nice to you,
try to say thank you as much as possible. On your time to go home, I’m
sure there will still be many Japanese working, so I advise you to use
“Osaki ni shitsureishimasu.” Also, if some Japanese people go home
before you, then you should use “Otsukaresama deshita.” OJT, what you
have learned in 8 weeks of Japanese here, now you can actually use
them.

And also, I would like to mention about whenever you make a mistake in
your host company. Whenever you think you made a mistake, the first
word to be used is “Sumimasen” — word of apology. Because in Japan,
it is important for you to apologize first. The reason for making a
mistake is second issue. Important thing is to admit you made a
mistake. It will give you a very good impression. If you can be able
to master these basic attitudes which I have mentioned, you will be
liked by your colleagues.

I would like to summarize this second agenda of communication. To make
the teacher feel like I want to teach this trainee more, what you
should be doing:

- 1. Express yourself as much as possible. Facial expression or words.
Try to make them understand what you are thinking. Unless you will
explain this is what I feel, the Japanese people will have absolutely
no understanding of what you are thinking.

- 2. Also, if some teacher teach you something, try to repeat so that
you will make sure you understand what you have received from your
teachers. So in order to create good atmosphere to receive more and
more trainings from your teachers or the company, it is to make sure
you take a memo when the teacher teaches you something. That memo is
not only used once, but several times.

Self control

Next is self control or self management. First is the punctuality.
Punctual time-keeping. Generally speaking, Japanese people as well as
Japanese companies will keep very tight, severe time control. Looking
from your benefit point of view, you need to adjust yourself into the
Japanese society as of next week. Whenever Japanese people try to use
the on-time time management, if you are asked to meet somewhere at 10
AM, you should be there 9:55. We have a thing, ten minutes advanced
time. You should be there at least five minutes before 10.

Another important aspect is health. As you have heard during the
introduction course, the Japanese season is going toward winter
season. Winter season means you will be experiencing the kind of
coldness you have never experienced before. That is why you need to
take care of yourself really well and pay attention. The change of the
season means that sometimes there are very hot days and then sometimes
very cold.

And also, you will be asked to obey the rules and regulations of the
company including the safety rules and regulations. However, in your
case, you won’t be working at a plant or manufacturing facility, so
there are no dangerous rules or regulations that you have to abide. If
there are any in-house rules or regulations, please obey them.

However, there is the danger may exist even in the IT industry. They
must have some kind of company security code, so you may not have
access into certain kind of program. You need to keep that, or you may
come across some kind of trouble or incident. Please keep that in
mind—how much accessible information you can obtain from that company
or not.

And also, for those people staying at YKC or TKC, it is okay, but for
those people staying in apartment or company dormitory, in Japan, we
have very strict rules about disposing of garbage. You need to
segregate. They have to be all divided. You have to abide by these
rules. You will have to understand we have only a very small
population of foreigners in Japan, so you should avoid any kind of
problem because you don’t want to get blamed. It is always helpful if
you know the rules and how to do it. If you know it, then you can
avoid unnecessary problems with Japanese people, and you will be
welcomed and liked by the Japanese people.

So far I have managed to give you the explanation about your training
plan as well as how to establish the communication with the Japanese
people as well as self-management. Any question?

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