SGRA Kawaraban (Essay) in English

JIN Hongyuan “From ’Academia’ to Industry”


I have done doctor program in basic biology. During my six years learning in university from postgraduate, master’s degree and doctoral, I kept studying about butterflies especially their synthesis of pigment and mechanism of pattern forming. Around the second years in doctoral course, I began to consider about my future quite seriously. When I referred to the course of seniors, I was worrying about whether I can remain by my achievements in university. When I returned home tired after spending a day at laboratory, I asked myself what I can do if I go out into society without any change.   


I could not answer. To begin with, I did not know what kind of human resources are wanted by society as postgraduate students who have poor real-world experience.  Production and selling industries, which are familiar with my daily life are not difficult to imagine because I am using and buying almost every day. However, I did not know exactly about industries which do not produce (like IT, insurance, consulting).


I read employment guide books like “industrial maps” for my study to check basic knowledge, characteristics and business scale of each industry. I check on internet sites for employment explanation for new graduates. Consequently, I found I would be able to try variously, though there would be nothing which fit to myself perfectly.


Two months later, I found myself to be too optimistic. During these two months, I went to Tokyo to participate in job information sessions together with new graduates wearing “recruiting suits”. I submitted my resume, took a web-test and had an interview. I had a feeling that, in general companies, doctor course students are not required. The reason to my understanding, doctoral course students are nearly thirty years old and have no actual experiences at actual fields. It means that costs of training such students become much.    


For example, if there are three candidates aged thirtieth for product development job, how will personal management officer make his decision? Mr. A, university graduate, has eight years experiences of product development in the industry. His managerial ability as a deputy manager is acknowledged. Mr. B, having master’s degree, has six years career as a member of society. He was assigned to German office for two years after working at Japanese head quarter for four years. His English language capability is business level. Mr. C, a new graduate of doctoral course, has achieved good academic results and published a few excellent papers. If I am a personal officer, I will calculate the time in which a candidate must develop a new product in a short time and can offer any results to company after his entrance and also calculate all the expenses (salary, training fee etc.) during the period. And I will choose either A or B because he is ready to work. In the society, experience in the work is more important than academic background.


I thought it be waste for both myself and company to join a company and work together with a college graduate. I, as a new doctoral graduate, have applied for several companies. As there were few positions for a doctoral graduate, I have applied to industries which have no relation with my study. And I found that industries valued study field itself and above achievements of study in the past. As I have majored in basic biology and not medical or pharmaceutical, I was told that it is not the highest priority.


I recognize that difference between basic study of biology and medical is not so big because it is just a difference of research object. And I can work equally if a company will give me a few months for my study. However, it seems I was wrong. I have failed at the final interview examination despite I thought to be good at interview exams. I could not find any reason. In job hunting, it becomes impossible to have communications with companies when interview exam finish and there will be no feedback. One reason which I conceived later is foreigners are not required in Japanese companies except special cases when they expand oversea markets. If there would be other reason, it will be “a fate to be linked” only.



I am tired of two job hunting a year. I conclude lastly that, when national economy is dull, applicants would accept company’s requirements passively. At the end of the year 2019, I could find an employment. I was lucky because the timing was just before the Covid-19 pandemic.



SGRA Kawaraban 659 in Japanese (Original)



JIN Hongyuan / 2019 Raccoon


Translated by Kazuo Kawamura

English checked by Sabina Koilara