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Sorccy
January 15th, 2015, 00:13
Just wondering if anyone has experience with Vantage or JIEC. Both are kindergarten dispatch companies.

TL;DR: Have you heard of these companies? Is it good or weird to be told that the owner thinks of employees as her grandchildren? Should I take heart in the fact that a lot of their teachers have worked there for 3-10 years?

I've had two interviews with Vantage, and the people I spoke with all seemed nice. The weirdest question I was asked was how tall I was--not sure if that's strange for an interview in Japan or not. Everything else seemed pretty standard. Unfortunately, there isn't a lot of information about them online as they aren't a very big company. There's one bad review on Glassdoor (http://www.glassdoor.com/Overview/Working-at-Vantage-Japan-EI_IE425386.11,24.htm), but that's about all I can find. That review says that the owner is an older lady who gets too involved in her employees' lives--and who apparently called the reviewer and said that he and his spouse need to "act Japanese at home." That seems invasive, but of course it could just be a case of the teacher being a jerk who was really loud at home and his neighbors complained.

The people who interviewed me told me that the company is run by an older woman who sees the employees as her grandchildren and who likes to get to know them, and they said that the company has a "family" atmosphere. I can't decide if that sounds nice or weird. Does it raise a red flag for more seasoned Japan job seekers and holders? One thing I have noticed when looking up employees on LinkedIn is that quite a few of their teachers have been with the company for at least 3 years, with a some staying for upwards of 8, so that should be a very good sign, right?

JIEC, who I haven't interviewed with yet but am wondering if I should pursue, is a slightly bigger company. Their pay and benefits seem almost too good to be true, but there are a few people online saying they're a really great company to work for. Any opinions from folks here?


As a two-part bonus question just in case anyone is super eager to answer a bunch of random stuff for a stranger on the internet: I'm applying from the States. I've seen reports of it taking anywhere from a few weeks to a few months to get a visa. Is this mostly dependent on how long the COE takes? Most jobs start in mid March, so that's not a lot of time. Would it be mad to be applying for anything with a mid/late March start any later than January?

Gizmotech
January 15th, 2015, 10:14
The JIEC stuff does look too good to be true, but if it isn't, that's decent money for being a babysitter. It does mention though in every application that relevant teaching experience is required though.

Sorccy
January 15th, 2015, 15:28
Thanks for your input, Gizmotech.

JIEC contacted me for an interview, and the good vibes continued with a really nicely put together introduction packet with straightforward info on the company, the job, and the benefits. I do have teaching experience with students from first grade to adult, so I imagine they'll want to find out if I can handle younger students, but it was at least enough experience to get me an interview. I'm definitely intrigued, but cautious on all counts!