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Thread: Re-applying for 2012

  1. #1

    Default Re-applying for 2012

    Hey guys,

    Sorry for the lurking, was snooping around here this time last year mining for tips, but figured I woud bite the bullet and get involved this time around.

    last year I only made it as a reserve, which of course was never called up, didn't expect it to come thorugh really though.

    Essentially I'm guessing I'm just looking for a couple of pointers on how to improve my overall application - I'm not too worried about getting to the interview again, my university degree was on East Asian History & Culture with a bunch of Japan modules, and I did basic Japanese. The main thing I'm lacking is formal teaching qualifications/experience apart from some minor volenteer work in Thailand back in 2006, rest assured this has been massaged to the max for my SOP.

    I'm applying this year as a recent graduate, having achieved nothing of worth the months between my gradutation and now - I guess my overall goal is working towards a forign policy job. In my application I mentioned JET would offer me experience of working in a foreign country while experiencing a different work environment from a normal office or whatever.

    Is it a good idea to talk about looking towards applying for CIR if I make it as an ALT? As at the moment that isn't an option with my current level of Japanese (almost all forgetten essentially).

    Also this year I made a point of specifing placements, as while I did have some last year that I thought of putting in, I was up for anything. I'm thinking If i go in showing I'm aware of these places and showing some interest in specific placements I might come across as a little more informed (if my degree wasn't enough...)

    but yeah, thanks for any input, other re-applicants feel free to use this thread for general discussion of where you might have gone wrong last year too =)

  2. #2

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by KungFuTreachery;
    Hey guys,

    Sorry for the lurking, was snooping around here this time last year mining for tips, but figured I woud bite the bullet and get involved this time around.

    last year I only made it as a reserve, which of course was never called up, didn't expect it to come thorugh really though.

    Essentially I'm guessing I'm just looking for a couple of pointers on how to improve my overall application - I'm not too worried about getting to the interview again, my university degree was on East Asian History & Culture with a bunch of Japan modules, and I did basic Japanese. The main thing I'm lacking is formal teaching qualifications/experience apart from some minor volenteer work in Thailand back in 2006, rest assured this has been massaged to the max for my SOP.

    I'm applying this year as a recent graduate, having achieved nothing of worth the months between my gradutation and now - I guess my overall goal is working towards a forign policy job. In my application I mentioned JET would offer me experience of working in a foreign country while experiencing a different work environment from a normal office or whatever.

    Is it a good idea to talk about looking towards applying for CIR if I make it as an ALT? As at the moment that isn't an option with my current level of Japanese (almost all forgetten essentially).

    Also this year I made a point of specifing placements, as while I did have some last year that I thought of putting in, I was up for anything. I'm thinking If i go in showing I'm aware of these places and showing some interest in specific placements I might come across as a little more informed (if my degree wasn't enough...)

    but yeah, thanks for any input, other re-applicants feel free to use this thread for general discussion of where you might have gone wrong last year too =)
    The ALT/CIR move is not particularly common.

    Focus on selling yourself and Spell Checking your SOP. Focus on the skills you have that can apply to the job.

    Everyone with an Asian Studies degree plans on Foreign Policy, I'd definitely be ready with an answer as to why singing ABCs with 10 year olds will help you in that.
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  3. #3
    Gizmoduck - blatherskite Gizmotech's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by KungFuTreachery View Post
    Hey guys,

    Sorry for the lurking, was snooping around here this time last year mining for tips, but figured I woud bite the bullet and get involved this time around.

    last year I only made it as a reserve, which of course was never called up, didn't expect it to come thorugh really though.

    Essentially I'm guessing I'm just looking for a couple of pointers on how to improve my overall application - I'm not too worried about getting to the interview again, my university degree was on East Asian History & Culture with a bunch of Japan modules, and I did basic Japanese. The main thing I'm lacking is formal teaching qualifications/experience apart from some minor volenteer work in Thailand back in 2006, rest assured this has been massaged to the max for my SOP.

    I'm applying this year as a recent graduate, having achieved nothing of worth the months between my gradutation and now - I guess my overall goal is working towards a forign policy job. In my application I mentioned JET would offer me experience of working in a foreign country while experiencing a different work environment from a normal office or whatever.

    Is it a good idea to talk about looking towards applying for CIR if I make it as an ALT? As at the moment that isn't an option with my current level of Japanese (almost all forgetten essentially).

    Also this year I made a point of specifing placements, as while I did have some last year that I thought of putting in, I was up for anything. I'm thinking If i go in showing I'm aware of these places and showing some interest in specific placements I might come across as a little more informed (if my degree wasn't enough...)

    but yeah, thanks for any input, other re-applicants feel free to use this thread for general discussion of where you might have gone wrong last year too =)
    I would look back on last year and think about what was "good" about your application and what you think didn't really fly so well. You got to the back-up list, but this year you need a higher score to make it to the shortlist.

    I would also have a REALLY good reason for why you've done nothing since last year. It should show some real initiative and thought so it looks like you've done more than just being unemployed.

    I agree with lost... you better have a really good reason why teaching English to Japanese children is going to help your career ambitions.

    Finally, having teaching credentials doesn't get you on JET. They don't care. Do you have an interest in teaching, do you seem positive and motivated, do you look like you'll have fun with the kiddies? This is what they want.

  4. #4
    disobedient avocado Lianwen's Avatar
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    I don`t think I would bother bringing up moving from an ALT position when you are an ALT to being a CIR. The exJET if they read your SOP and it says that, they`ll probably think you`re pretentious. I know of only one JET who was able to do this, and she basically begins her introductions as, `My case was special. Don`t ever expect that to happen to you.` <-- Those of you will remember her from the TOA this year for Group A arrivals. The attitude behind it is pretty stuck up.

    Quote Originally Posted by KungFuTreachery View Post
    Hey guys,

    Sorry for the lurking, was snooping around here this time last year mining for tips, but figured I woud bite the bullet and get involved this time around.

    last year I only made it as a reserve, which of course was never called up, didn't expect it to come thorugh really though.

    Essentially I'm guessing I'm just looking for a couple of pointers on how to improve my overall application - I'm not too worried about getting to the interview again, my university degree was on East Asian History & Culture with a bunch of Japan modules, and I did basic Japanese. The main thing I'm lacking is formal teaching qualifications/experience apart from some minor volenteer work in Thailand back in 2006, rest assured this has been massaged to the max for my SOP.

    I'm applying this year as a recent graduate, having achieved nothing of worth the months between my gradutation and now - I guess my overall goal is working towards a forign policy job. In my application I mentioned JET would offer me experience of working in a foreign country while experiencing a different work environment from a normal office or whatever.

    Is it a good idea to talk about looking towards applying for CIR if I make it as an ALT? As at the moment that isn't an option with my current level of Japanese (almost all forgetten essentially).

    Also this year I made a point of specifing placements, as while I did have some last year that I thought of putting in, I was up for anything. I'm thinking If i go in showing I'm aware of these places and showing some interest in specific placements I might come across as a little more informed (if my degree wasn't enough...)

    but yeah, thanks for any input, other re-applicants feel free to use this thread for general discussion of where you might have gone wrong last year too =)

  5. #5

    Default Re: Re-applying for 2012

    Any current or past JETs out there who got in after the 2nd or 3rd try? What do you think you did with your application/interview to make the difference?

  6. #6
    OPPORTUNITYISNOWHERE mteacher80's Avatar
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    Default Re: Re-applying for 2012

    Had a guy that I was friends with, that didnt get in until his 4th try....i would have given up.
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  7. #7

    Default Re: Re-applying for 2012

    I'm worried your "massaging" your vast, amazing knowledge of asian culture may be working against you by making you seem pretentious. I'm really curious how you answered some of your interview questions. JETs come in all sizes shapes and backgrounds, and you should realize that becoming an Asia expert with several Japan models really isn't going to do a damn thing for you.

    I only met 2 JETs (that I'm aware of) who studied asian anything in college, and both of them did lengthy study abroad programs in Japan during college, helped tutor Japanese exchange students at their school in English, and were generally intimately involved in the US/Japan cultural exchange for years.

    But these were only two.

    I was a biology major who had no background in Japanese, no teaching/tutoring experience, a mixed academic background, unrelated volunteer experience, limited international experience (construction in Mexico), and basically couldn't possibly be fit into a logical profile. I even felt like I botched my interview (I couldn't understand the accent of the native Japanese man who was part of my interview, and I straight up couldn't answer another question asked).

    And I got in on my first try.

    Speaking as a former JET, I couldn't tell you what it is that gets people in. I know people with backgrounds in education, goverment, psychology, music, language, and science. Very few of them have teaching experience.

    JET isn't looking for Asia experts. This is grassroots internationalization. They are looking to exchange cultures. This doesn't usually include making dreams come true for Anime Otaku, and stroking the egos of people who think they are specifically groomed to have the "right stuff".

    If you can really convince them that you have a good reason to have pursued the educations and careers that you have pursued, and that reason isn't obnoxious, I wouldn't worry about it. If you are going to push your experience in Thailand and how wonderful it was, be warned they may ask you, quite fairly, why you are trying to go to Japan, and not Thailand. You need to be able to give a good answer for that. They don't seem to pick people based on what they know, but by who they are.

    Some get in, some don't. There's only so much you can really do to prepare. Good luck on your application!

    Also, about the ALT moving up to a CIR thing, I don't think that's super uncommon. I knew, in the one year I was an ALT, two seperate people who did it, and every CIR I met in Japan had been an ALT originally.
    Last edited by arcthemonkey; January 14th, 2012 at 08:33.

  8. #8

    Default Re: Re-applying for 2012

    I dnno, I know so many people in my prefecture who studied Japanese as a degree and are on JET. Whether the bias is in who applied, or who was chosen it's hard to tell - but there are far more people here who studied Japanese than would be represented in a normal graduate cross-section.

  9. #9
    Gizmoduck - blatherskite Gizmotech's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by atheistwithfaith View Post
    I dnno, I know so many people in my prefecture who studied Japanese as a degree and are on JET. Whether the bias is in who applied, or who was chosen it's hard to tell - but there are far more people here who studied Japanese than would be represented in a normal graduate cross-section.
    I think this is a regional choice. I notice the same thing where I am, but talk to my friends in other prefectures and this is not the case at all and much more similar to monkey's post.

  10. #10

    Default Re: Re-applying for 2012

    I'm sure there is some degree of local preference, yes, but this was my experience with Hokkaido JETs... and there were a crap load of them. Of course, I didn't know all them, much less intimate details of their background, but it really was a mixed bag.

    Also, I need to retract and revise two of my previous statements! I can think of three people who majored in Japanese, and one of them was a CIR from Latvia who also was not an ALT first.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by arcthemonkey View Post
    I'm sure there is some degree of local preference, yes, but this was my experience with Hokkaido JETs... and there were a crap load of them. Of course, I didn't know all them, much less intimate details of their background, but it really was a mixed bag.

    Also, I need to retract and revise two of my previous statements! I can think of three people who majored in Japanese, and one of them was a CIR from Latvia who also was not an ALT first.
    Interesting. I live in Hokkaido right now and off the top of my head I can think of at least 6 whose majors at School were either, Japanese history, language or culture. I also know there are more but I'm not sure exactly how many are major versus minors.This doesn't include those I know outside Hokkaido.

    I also know that the year I started JET in Hokkaido, 2010, there were a third of all the first year JETs in the advanced Japanese class, another third were in intermediate and the other third beginner, though many of them said they may actually have been okay in intermediate.

    I know that fewer of the past JETs had these kinds of credentials but I think these days more and more applicants, and thus subsequently more and more JETs have backgrounds in Asian studies of some sort, have spent time in Japan on work/study abroad programs prior to JET, and have a working knowledge of Japanese irrelevant of their major at University.

  12. #12
    ฿300,000,000 greengoo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by arcthemonkey View Post
    I'm worried your "massaging"
    your
    your
    You've lost the right to criticize the OP's Japanese interests with your own shameful sodomizing of the English language.

    The vast majority of JET candidates have some sort of interest in Japan, whether it be academic, personal or professional. Don't fall into that oft-repeated-by-the-bitter rhetoric that "if you're too into Japanese they don't want you." Passion is the name of the game. You need to clearly show them (not tell them) just how committed and excited you are about something. Maybe it's teaching, maybe it's Japanese Tea Ceremony. Just find something you can really care about and use that to lead your charge.

    For improving... I would focus on rounding off your weak areas, or at least get prepared on how to explain them away. A teaching certificate would be a great pad in that area, though not required. Foreign policy? Sounds great! Now get specific examples that demonstrate how you've done research into JET that show how you can leverage the experience into a career in foreign policy.
    Last edited by greengoo; February 4th, 2012 at 11:55.
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