How to build an international career from Japan – with Yang Yang from Septeni

Date: March 13th 2021

Time: 10 am – 11 am Japan time

The webinar addressed the following concerns and was a must watch for anyone who is interested in:

  1. Leveraging your strengths in languages in your career
  2. Leveraging your engineering skills in a marketing / advertising firm
  3. Creative sectors in Japan
  4. Building a career in a MultiNational Corporation across borders
  5. Building a career in marketing & advertising

Studying in Japan doesn’t limit your career options to Japan only, you can use it as a springboard to build a career globally. Yang Yang’s story on how a MEXT scholar with a multilingual liberal arts background is leading the sales strategy team at Septeni, a global advertising & marketing firm, was one of the laurels of how much hard work and smartwork she put in when she was a student. She talked about her experiences in Japan & career opportunities at Septeni.

The webinar comprised of 3 parts

  1. Yang’s Yang’s takeaways for her Kohais (Juniors)
  2. Yang’s Yang’s journey through Septeni as a MEXT alumnus
  3. Q&A session

Part 1 – Yang’s Yang’s takeaways for her Kohais (Juniors)

Yang Yang had 3 important takeaways for the current MEXT scholars and kindly shared some of the tips and tricks that worked for her when she was building a career path out of Japan. They are as follows.

  1. It is best if you know what you want or where you want to be, i.e., plan 3-5 years ahead
    1. She elaborated on this by sharing her anecdote on how she wanted to study abroad and leverage her experience in Asia from the beginning. That helped her in picking out the internships and companies when she decided to work.
  2. It is better to have core competence in the beginning of your career – and then you can gradually add more skills
    1. She followed this advice diligently for the following reasons
      1. she believes that carving out a niche for yourself will help you in gaining a competitive edge over your peers during the job hunting process
      2. It will help you in making your search more targeted
  3. Make connections & impress the right people, i.e., networking is equally important as acquiring skills
    1. Meeting more people will improve your chances of getting a job by leaps and bounds.
      1. You will acquire more knowledge about the industry & companies
      2. You cast a bigger net, hence, it will be easier to frame a plan B
      3. Be your own sales person – try to sell yourself and engage as many recruiters as possible in your story

Part 2 –  Yang’s Yang’s journey through Septeni as a MEXT alumnus

In the second session of the webinar, Yang Yang covered the following topics:

  • The current trends in the advertising industry: see Figure 1
    1. The COVID-19 global pandemic shook the ad industry in general and marketing & main stream advertising budgets started shrinking in companies
    2. But the digital advertising spending increased
    3. Performance marketing in Social media and E-Commerce picked up traction in 2020, 2021

Figure 1: trends in the advertising industry in 2020

  • Her journey through Septeni:
    1. Yang was joined by John Nedved (another MEXT alumnus working at Septeni) and Yuki Bird Shinomiya(the CEO of Septeni) and talked about what Septeni does, how they operate globally and gave the students a feel of the corporate / work culture of the company.
    2. John shared his journey through Japan and Septeni
    3. Yuki shared his thoughts on how having a diverse multicultural team helped Septeni over the years

Part 3 –  Q&A session

During the Q&A session, the floor was opened up to questions and the current MEXT scholars got a chance to ask almost all of their questions to the panelists and the panel answered all of the questions in great detail. The plethora of questions was amazing, starting with “How to learn Japanese?” to “How to network during the pandemic?” and the complexity of the questions increased along the webinar.

BONUS – JOB Openings at Septeni

The panelists shared some information about the positions that were available at Septeni. The audience received a ticket to directly interview with the decision makers of the company. Details of the job were shared with MEXT Scholars and the participants of the webinar.

** Note that all the images have been taken from Yang’s slides that were used in the webinar and are subject to copyright. Kindly refrain from sharing the images without permission as they have been created by Yang.

About the speaker – Yang Yang:

  • Born in China
  • Came to Japan under the MEXT scholarship
  • Studied and worked in Tokyo under & Seoul before joining Septeni in San Francisco
  • Has worked in Septeni for 5 years and is currently the Team Leader for Sales Strategy
  • Fluent in Mandarin, English, Japanese and Korean with expertise in digital advertising and PR

To know more about Yang Yang, refer to these links: &

To hear more about John’s story, stay tuned to us as we have another amazing webinar with Septeni coming up!

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