Graduate jobs in Tokyo
Alyssa Yoshimura joined Robert Walters’ Tokyo office as an associate consultant in July 2012 after completing a Bachelor of Science in Human Development degree at a university in Pennsylvania. Since then, she has received several promotions and is now manager of our medical team, recruiting roles for the medical device and life science industry. She discusses her career progression and the opportunities available for graduates in Tokyo.
How did you find out about Robert Walters?
I first became aware of Robert Walters while I was studying for my degree in the US. A few of my Japanese college friends were attending the Boston Career Forum, an event for Japanese students studying abroad to find out about career opportunities back home. I was initially reluctant to attend the event, but a combination of my friends’ encouragement and my father’s urging persuaded me that it would be a good opportunity to learn what career options were available.
I was instantly drawn to the Robert Walters stand at the event. The consultants had a lot of energy and were making a big effort to engage people in discussions about their opportunities, rather than waiting for people to approach and ask questions.
I was really inspired by the conversations that I had with the Robert Walters consultants. I felt excited by the prospect of working for an international company in Japan and thought Robert Walters would offer plenty of opportunities for me to develop professionally.
The application process was very quick – I attended two interviews while at the forum and my final interview took place via Skype shortly after the event. Not long after, I was offered a position as an associate consultant in the Tokyo office, which I started after completing my degree.
What attracted you to working in recruitment?
My degree course featured a mixture of social science and biology – typically this leads to a career in social work. However, I’ve always had a keen interest in business and wanted my career to take a more commercial route. I wasn’t sure how I could make the step into business, until I discussed recruitment careers with the Robert Walters consultants that I met at the Boston Careers Forum. Discovering that the industry is very relationship-driven was attractive to me as I could see how the skills I’d developed at university would help me to build relationships with industry professionals.
What made Robert Walters the right choice for you?
I was strongly drawn to the people and culture at Robert Walters. During the interview process, I had the opportunity to speak to six or seven of the consultants, and all of them came from different backgrounds. As someone who grew up in an international environment this made me feel very comfortable – it was the kind of working culture that I wanted to join.
How has your career progressed since you joined Robert Walters?
I started my career at Robert Walters as an associate consultant in the sales and marketing division. Just over a year later I was promoted to consultant, I then worked my way up to senior consultant and earlier this year I was promoted again to manager of the medical team, specialising in healthcare roles for the medical device and life science industry.
How has the company supported your career?
I joined the company as a graduate with no prior exposure to the recruitment industry and within five years I have developed my skill set and working practices so I can confidently engage with professionals in both Japanese and international markets.
Home-grown management is a key focus at Robert Walters, so there’s a big emphasis on helping staff achieve long-term career goals. In Japan, we have a mentorship scheme which has been a great support as I’ve moved up the career ladder. Moreover, the collaborative nature of the Robert Walters culture means that the teams work closely together, so there’s plenty of opportunity to learn a variety of working practices and styles.
Our management team also offer excellent inspiration and guidance. For example, my managing director has built an incredibly successful career whilst also having a young family. Being able to see this and tap into her experience encouraged me to step up into the manager role.
What has been your biggest achievement to date?
As a manager, the best part of my job is identifying bright talent and helping them develop as recruitment professionals. The medical team is a recent addition to the Sales and Marketing division, and many of my team members have recently joined the company from non-recruitment backgrounds. Building from the ground up has been a challenge, but I’m very proud of what we’ve achieved and watching my team flourish as they gain confidence in their abilities is very rewarding.
What’s it like to work in the Tokyo office?
Very fun! It’s quite a young team and the office has an energetic, positive atmosphere. We’re also a high performing office and our staff are very proud of that fact. We’re always striving to improve as a team so new ideas are welcomed and every individual is encouraged to grow professionally.
Why would you recommend a career at Robert Walters to graduates?
If you’re open and eager to learn, recruitment is an excellent industry to be in. It’s a very varied and exciting career, but you need to be resilient and able to manage your emotions as the job comes with natural lows as well as amazing highs.
Robert Walters offers an environment where ambitious graduates can thrive. With an exceptional structured training programme and strong collaborative culture, there’s plenty of opportunities to grow both professionally and personally.
For me, the aspect that sets Robert Walters apart is the fact that your success is not dictated by age or years of experience – rewards are based entirely on merit. If you’re prepared to put in the work, there are no limits on where your career can go.
Interested in a career in recruitment? Please send your CV to firstname.lastname@example.org or call +813 4570 1779.