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Thread: What NOT to say in the essay?

  1. #1

    Default What NOT to say in the essay?

    I did some searching but did not find any essay topic for Interac or Aeon (except for the JET SOPs) so here goes.
    I'm going through the application and reached the essay question. I'm confident in my own writing skills but for those veterans who survived these companies are there any kind of topics that I should leave out of the essay? Like not ruminate too much on why I like teaching or why I like Japan, etc? Would it hurt to put in a role model I have that is related to Japan or add in some references in the essay? They don't have any place to post the references so I wonder if I should add a little in the essay. But most importantly what kind of subject are these essay readers looking for to be interested in me? And which areas should I stay away from to avoid boring them or causing them to lose interest?

    Are these companies looking for the same thing the JET people look for in terms of essay goals?

  2. #2
    Senior Member Jojo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by adrianjet View Post
    Are these companies looking for the same thing the JET people look for in terms of essay goals?
    The simplest answer to your question(s) is yes they are looking for the same things. Its the same job with different administration so essentially the requirements are identical. I cant remember the exact wording of the questions when i applied but they are quite similar to the JET SOP. One thing to really remember is that at this stage what you are really trying to do is two things - demonstrate that you meet the requirements for the job and NOT to give them a reason to eliminate you from this stage of the application. The requirements are focused around demonstrating a work ethic/professionalism and the potential to work well as an ALT (communication skills/attitude etc) and the ability to handle living/working in a foreign country and culture. If what your writing doesn't relate back to this then it is fluff that should be avoided. good luck - i hope that helps!

  3. #3

    Default Re: What NOT to say in the essay?

    I applied to Interac and made it to the interview stage with something very similar to what I wrote for my JET SoP. They probably are looking for about the same things. Just don't set off any red flags and demonstrate you are flexible and hardworking and all that BS.

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    Quote Originally Posted by patjs View Post
    I applied to Interac and made it to the interview stage with something very similar to what I wrote for my JET SoP. They probably are looking for about the same things. Just don't set off any red flags and demonstrate you are flexible and hardworking and all that BS.
    I'm missing something here. Why would demonstrating a flexible and hardworking attitude in an essay to one of these companies set off a red flag?

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    Default Re: What NOT to say in the essay?

    errrrr I dont think thats what he said......

  6. #6

    Default Re: What NOT to say in the essay?

    step 1: do not set off any red flags
    step 2: demonstrate flexibility/hardworkingness
    step 3: profit

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    Whoops, I misread his statement. I apologize.

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    Senior Member Jojo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dirtbag View Post
    step 1: do not set off any red flags
    step 2: demonstrate flexibility/hardworkingness
    step 3: profit
    interac step 3: profit (but not as much as those fing JETS)

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    Quote Originally Posted by dirtbag View Post
    step 1: do not set off any red flags
    step 2: demonstrate flexibility/hardworkingness
    step 3: profit
    Can you elaborate a little or give me some examples? Like red flags I assume you mean a potential applicant saying something like "I want to come to Japan for manga/anime/etc or I haven't really made up my mind how long I'm gonna stay there. Maybe I'll go back after a few weeks."

    I know everyone says be hardworking, flexible, teamwork, etc. But some examples could help. I mean I can't just say "I'm hardworking and don't mind overtime and enjoy teaching so I won't be a problem." I'm sure Interac and Aeon and others want you to say this hardworking stuff in some kind of fancy way right? Should I use previous examples of my work ethic or what I did in the past to demonstrate my commitment? Or would being blunt on the essay, just sticking to the point work?

    What do you mean by profit? I'm just gonna be an employee for them not running the company. Do you mean I'm gonna accept low wages, work overtime without pay, and take no holidays? Or are you saying my spectacular teaching ability will attract more students to the school and get more tuition money because of me??

  10. #10

    Default Re: What NOT to say in the essay?

    No one is going to write your essay for you. People are giving suggestions, so use your brain to figure out how to write an essay that demonstrates you are flexible and ready to work overseas.

    If you can't do that you shouldn't be applying for the job.

  11. #11
    Senior Member Jojo's Avatar
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    Seriously it might help if you back up and do some research on how to write job applications and how to handle interviews - there is some quite good material online. That being said your application should show that you understand the positions requirements - then you note how your experiences fullfil or exceede this. A simple example might be .... Good communication skills are esssential for ALT's in order that they form a rapport with students. In my experience as a pimp* i had to communicate with a diverse range of tricks* and scallywags* in order to keep my pimp hand strong*.....

    * feel free to change

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    Senior Member 3ngrishsensei's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jojo View Post
    then you note how your experiences fullfil or exceede this. A simple example might be .... Good communication skills are esssential for ALT's in order that they form a rapport with students. In my experience as a pimp* i had to communicate with a diverse range of tricks* and scallywags* in order to keep my pimp hand strong*.....

    * feel free to change
    yeah this.

    Your essay shows not only your experience, but how well you can connect that experience to the job you want. Are you aware of how you are going apply your skills to the job? Although the pimp example seems silly, jojo's making a good point. If you can really drive home how skills from a seemingly unrelated activities can be an asset, it's better than just listing a bunch of experiences. That's what your resume's for, no?

    EDIT: obviously, realize when its too much of a stretch.
    Last edited by 3ngrishsensei; September 15th, 2010 at 23:43.

  13. #13

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    Thanks these are some pretty useful points made. I already finished the essay now and I'm just redoing it to make it look better.

    I just need to clarify some facts about the Interac/Aeon job description. Do I have any control over making the daily lessons? Is it the dispatch company that writes up the whole school lesson everyday or do I have any say in making up the material? Or is it a collaboration with the class teacher working together with me to write up the tests, homework and tomorrow's lesson?? Is it my responsibility to input my ideas into the class material like this? I would like to influence the education for the students if possible.

    Do I have any chance to successfully negotiate a 派遣契約 (haken keiyaku) dispatch contract with them or am I forced to accept the 委託業務契約 (itaku gyomu keiyaku) subcontracting contract for a newcomer like myself? I would prefer the dispatch one since that has a possibility of being promoted to work full time for the school but I don't know if its possible for me. (I wouldn't want to anger the company with any demands or renegotiating the type of contract if that costs me the job. I assume in this economy they probably have a pretty big pool to select from so I may not have bargaining power here.) Does anyone know the current situation regarding this?

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    Default Re: What NOT to say in the essay?

    If you'll pardon my attempt at humour: "I really do love China and Chinese culture, especially the food!".

    Funny thing is thoug, last year when I went for the interview, a lady at the consulate told me not to say anything like the above . . .

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    Member privileged's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by adrianjet View Post
    I just need to clarify some facts about the Interac/Aeon job description. Do I have any control over making the daily lessons? Is it the dispatch company that writes up the whole school lesson everyday or do I have any say in making up the material? Or is it a collaboration with the class teacher working together with me to write up the tests, homework and tomorrow's lesson?? Is it my responsibility to input my ideas into the class material like this? I would like to influence the education for the students if possible.
    I don't think you can answer these questions about Interac/Aeon, as they are quite different.

    lessons/materials -

    Aeon pays great lip service to creativity in your lessons but it's pretty much limited to coloring your flashcards. You are supposed to teach the Aeon books the Aeon way, structured down to the minute.

    Interac will likely depend on your JTE. I was left to come up with ideas and prep stuff based on the content of the book they were using. I am sure others are told to stand in the corner for 45 minutes, then pop out for "listen and repeat."

    Not as sure about the contract stuff. My belief is it is possible, but not common, to negotiate a bit on the Interac contract, but not to the extent you are talking about. I really don't think you will get anywhere trying to negotiate with Aeon.

    I hate to say this but honestly, if you are passionate about teaching, I think you will be frustrated by nearly any form of ESL in Japan. It is a nice, easy, fairly well-paid job, but it is not serious "teaching." If you roll in and try and throw down your ideas and have a bunch of stuff you want to do, generally, that is not going to go over well here. All about smoothness. Be flexible, your job is not really "serious teacher." It works out very well if you have other things you want to do (art projects, multiple girlfriends, etc). You have a job that pays full time, but often doesn't require full time hours, and certainly isn't very hard.

    Do not put that in your essay.
    Last edited by privileged; October 9th, 2010 at 14:33.

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