Monday, April 30, 2007


I emailed the recruiter to tell them that I am not interested in the Dai-ichi Life position. The pay is extremely good. (I'm still debating if I will get a pay offer that high for entry-level.) Well, the main reason is that there's no advancement opportunity.

Today, the recruiter called me and told me that Dai-ichi Life had contacted them before they were able to reject the offer. They were extremely interested and wanted a second interview. Unfortunately, I won't be taking the job.

On a positive note, the recruiter said she has a lot of confident in finding me another interview (based on the feedback of this employer). So, as long as she's confident in me, she'll hopefully give me good finance positions. I told her that my minimum salary requirement is what they offered me for Dai-ichi Life. HaHa. Let's hope she finds one in the finance field. *Cross Fingers*

.... If only I can bargain with Dai-Ichi Life and tell them to pay me $5-10k more. I'll probably give in after that. I guess I shouldn't be so greedy~

Saturday, April 28, 2007

Interview & Broadway

I was every where in Manhattan yesterday! While I was running to one interview after another, Rob went to TKTS to buy tickets for Rent.

First, I had the interview with 第一生命. Despite the fact that I went on the wrong elevator, came down, and went back up to the 28th floor, I was early for 15 minutes. I rang the bell, and I was escorted by a Japanese receptionist. If I hadn't know, I would have thought she was a mute. Before I told her that I have an interview with Mr. Yamashita, she just waved me to the conference room. Anyway, they gave me a test on accounting and math. The math was all 3 digits/2 digits addition, subtraction, multiplication, division. LOL. I refused to use the worksheet that they gave me. So, I did it in my head.

Anyway, they asked me the following questions:

What are your strengths? - I couldn't shut up here.
What are your weaknesses? - It took me a long time before I could answer that one.
What are the differences between Japanese and Americans? You don't want to know what racist comment I made.
If the Japanese executive were to come to NY, which Chinese restaurant would you take him? As stereotypical as this sounds, I said the soupy Shanghai dumplings (as Mei had presented in class) or Peking Duck. Haha.
What is your salary requirement?

Etc. Overall, I did well. I made them laugh a few times. It's hard to explain. The environment is very different. Dai-ichi Life in New York only has an accounting and research department. As for accounting, it's run by a small group of people. I met with 2 vice presidents - 1 for human resource, and the other for accounting. Anyway, I don't think I will take the job if I were given the opportunity. There's something Japanese that I don't like about the company. In short, the place seemed to be runned by men. Also, there is little to no growth/advancement opportunity.

Secondy, I had an interview with a second Japanese recruiting firm. I had my excel test there, and scored a 83%. Like the other recruiter, she wanted to test my Japanese. Everyone has to keep stop asking me why I took on Japanese! Because there isn't a more specific answer, I keep telling them it's because I used to read Doraemon. Either way, Japanese people seem to like that answer. Anyway, the Japanese conversation went well. It was flawless besides the fact that I forgot the counter for books - satsu.

After 2 interviews, I met up with Rob. A cop driving a limousine and a white van crashed literally 20 feet away. To the point, the both of us and everyone else saw the collision approaching us and stopped. Anyway, we survived. Stupid cop. Then, we went to Simply Pasta for dinner. The restaurant was BEAUTIFUL. At 8 pm, we went to see Rent.

Now, like everyone who had seen Rent, Seasons of Love is stuck in my head. At least, I remember how many minutes are in a year now~

Five hundred twenty five thousand six hundred minutes. How do you measure a year in a life?

Saturday, April 21, 2007

2nd Interview

Another Japanese recruiting company contacted me. They asked if I was interested in working for a Japanese insurance company in midtown. My responsibilities would be clerical, administrative assistance, and accounting assistance. It's 9 am - 5 pm, and 5 days a week. Pay is on the higher end of the "average range" for my position and experience; full benefits. The company is as follow:

As for this one, I wouldn't need to speak Japanese. And, they didn't test my Japanese like the previous recruiter. Anyway, they forwarded my resume to the company, and now, they want to meet me next Friday.

As for my past interview, it went well. They will match me with Japanese companies in the finance/marketing industry. I don't think they are capable of offering me anything better than what I am offered from the other recruiting company.

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

"Do you mind if I test your Japanese skill?"

Two days ago, I posted up my resume on a few career websites. It has only been 2 days, and I have gotten more than 2 dozens employers' inquiries without applying for their jobs. At the same time, I have also applied to a few jobs in the financial industry that pays well or companies that are on the Fortune 500 list related to my industry.

It believe I am getting hits on my resume because of my language skill - I put "fluent" for Cantonese, "knowledgable" for Mandarin, and I indicated the number of years I have studied for Japanese. I didn't apply to any of the phone messages or emails, until I came across the name - Fujisaki. Never have I imagined having to speak Japanese for work - until now.

I missed the company's phone call in the morning. In the afternoon, I found the email from Ms. Fujisaki. After I googled the company, I replied to the email. The company that she represents is a recruiting company for bilingual and non-bilingual jobs in various industries such as sales, marketing, etc. By "bilingual," they really just mean Japanese and English. Of course, I did not want them to think that I am fluent. As a result, I clearly stated that in my email.

Within the next hour, Ms. Fujisaki called me. She had the typical Japanese speaking fluent English accent. When I continually clarified that my Japanese conversational skill is minimal, she was in disbelief because of the number of years I have studied Japanese. She asked me if I can use my Japanese at work / to deal with clients over the phone. I said, NO! She then asked, "How about with some practice?" I shrugged, and said, "I guess..." Then, SHE WANTED TO TEST MY JAPANESE!

First of all, I haven't spoken in Japanese for ages. The last phone conversation I had with Eun-Jung was chaos. I woke up from my nap, my mouth opened wide and nothing came out. So, Ms. Fujisaki asked me some basic questions. I feel like I was having my oral proficiency exam in one of the classes in Japan. She asked, "How did you like the lifestyle in Japan?" / "What did you study in Japan?" / "In what ways did you study for Japanese in the classes at Chiba University?" / "Are you fluent in Cantonese/Mandarin?"

Despite the fact that my words were so colloquial, she kept applauding my language skills. I understood everything she said. However, I did not respond with the most polite form.

In the end, she wants to interview me. Therefore, I am meeting with her at her company on Park Ave on Friday. She asked me what industry I would like to work in (since she has a long list to choose from). I said no to her suggestion for Sales, and settled to her next suggestion for Marketing. According to their website, they have many employers from the Fortune 500 list. Now that I know what I am doing, I will probably see if she can put me in a Fortune 500 company for finance.

Monday, April 16, 2007

Black Out

How can we finish our college career without the infamous campus black-out together? Yesterday, it happened, and it lasted for over 9 hours.

Each year, each student experiences at least 1 black out. Yesterday, there was all kinds of warnings - coastal flood, heavy wind (30-50 mph), heavy rain, flood, etc. And, what happened? A black out before we showered, cooked, or ate.

It was 9 pm. Rob has a test the next day at 8 pm, and he had yet to start studying. After we cooked and ate on the other side of the campus where there was power, it was already 12 am. Power outage usually lasts for 2 hours. However, it was 3 hours, and still no power. Fortunately, we had a dozen of tea light candles. (Thanks to Cori~)

After studying an hour or two at the hallway with the emergency light, I HAD to sleep before waking up for work the next day at 8:30am. Rob returned to the room and attempted to study in the room. He used the illumination from my laptop, which lasted no more than 3 hours.

At around 6 am, I was half awake from my sleep - Rob had finished studying for the day. Not to mention, we spent a long time debating where to study, when to sleep, and how to study. After reading 3 chapters of 5 or some chapters, he blew out the candles. And, what happened? At the instant the room became pitch dark, the power came back on.

Poor guy!

Thursday, April 05, 2007


One of my favorite dramas, 鬼嫁日記, is coming up with a new second season - 鬼嫁日記いい湯だな.

Thank you Andrew for the info~!

Sunday, April 01, 2007


I have my spring break right now. Since Rob will be busy studying for his MCAT and DAT tests, I volunteered to take work home. Instead of doing the regular departmental work, I took boxes of files from the doctor's house (at this BEAUTIFUL neighborhood by the harbor). My tasks are to organize and sort them. The files that are inside are SO personal. I found out she failed the tests twice before she got her license to become a certified doctor. I saw the many Cs in her transcripts. I know how much she makes. Even worse, I go through folders for dating services. I even have her passport, credit card information, social security card, etc. in possession.

She's so lucky that I wouldn't do anything with those information. She trust people a little too much... especially in New York. Keep in mind, I only worked for her for less than 2 months.

Naturalization Interview

I went to my interview last Thursday. I passed. I chose a middle name - Meredith. Why? I don't know. I think I just grew to like it after a minor character in a movie was named Meredith. When I asked the officer if I can petition to change my middle name (I had Selena on my application), she immediately asked me what I wanted it to be. Obviously, I didn't have enough time to think about it. So, I settled with Meredith.

Anyway, I passed. I'm glad I came back to NY when I was in Japan. They would have given me a lot of problems if I wasn't in the country for more than 6 months at a time. There were 10 questions, and they were:

1. Who was the first president?
2. How many stars are there in the US flag?
3. Who signs bills into laws?

I forgot the other ones, but I aced it - 10/10. I must admit, I studied for 20 minutes the night before. xP

Now, I am qualified for even more jobs. Whew~

Job Offers

The doctor that I work for offered me a full-time creative position at the department upon graduation. She totally created from scratch, because I don't think we have that position at the moment. She said the university might be able to reimburse any graduate courses that I would take while I work. As oppose to waiting and hoping that a corporation will sponsor you, I was getting an offer before I even graduate. Although I originally wanted to get my MBA degree 2-4 years after I obtain work experience, I thought about getting the degree right here at Stony Brook University. After all, it's free. Then, I went further with the idea. Why not get a PhD in Economics instead? The graduate economics program here is more prestigious than the business program. (I'm a double major in Business Management and Economics).

In the end, things didn't work out. It turns out that I would only be able to get reimbursement for only one course per year or semester. And, the only other incentive is that they can deduct my tuition from my paycheck. This way, I wouldn't have to pay as much taxes.

Since we couldn't work things out with that option, we totally abandoned it. She's trying to set up a meeting for me with a vp at a very prestigious investment bank. Then again, do I really want to work 60 hours a week? (No!)