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Thread: Is there anything I can do now to boost my chances?

  1. #1
    Weirdest ITIL member. haitch40's Avatar
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    Default Is there anything I can do now to boost my chances?

    Hi everyone.

    I am hoping to apply for the JET program for the 2016 intake. As I am currently just going into my second year of university I can't apply this year. I was wondering however if there is anything I can do to help myself now?

    My current situation.

    Just about to start my second year of a degree in Politics and International Relations.

    Taking Japanese classes as an add on to this which is 2 hours a week. I took them last year as well but they are not needed for my degree they are an option and don't affect my grade in my degree.

    Spend about 3 hours a week with the unofficial Japanese society. Unofficial because we haven't gone through the student union but we are as good as a proper society.

    In this Japanese society we get a mix of Japanese students, people interested in Japan and Japanese students from the local college who are learning English to get to the point where they can study for a degree at a British university. We as a society and me included try to help these students with anything they are finding particularly difficult.

    I don't know if it is relevant but I have done work experience at a school before (whilst I myself was still at school. ) I wasn't teaching or anything I was assisting in the science prep room. That was a rather limited job as I don't have the needed chemical safety training.

    As for foreign travel. I went to Spain and Portugal when I was 5 and 6 but recently I went to Berlin for a weekend 1 and a half years ago.

    As for the all important why Japan question. I have been interested in the history for about 2 years now and the history led me to study modern life as well and I like what I have read but of course I haven't been to Japan yet.

    Also can anyone able to direct me to any good sources that describe every day life? As I am naturally still looking into it. A guy I do find interesting is this guy. An Australian who lives in Japan and makes videos on it. https://www.youtube.com/user/TheJapanChannelDcom

    Oh and I have a friend who is a current ALT. Still keep in contact via Facebook so I can get a very rough idea of what life is like on JET.
    Last edited by haitch40; September 1st, 2014 at 02:00.

  2. #2
    Billy Big Bollocks Ini's Avatar
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    Default Re: Is there anything I can do now to boost my chances?

    Do your 3rd year as an exchange student somewhere. It might mean you'll take 4 years to graduate but it'll give you an idea if you want to live in a foreign country (life as an exchange student is a hell of a lot easier than JET).
    Great men of action never mind on occasion being ridiculous; in a sense it is part of their job.

  3. #3
    Ghost of Ecru SomePeopleJustSaySnow's Avatar
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    Default Re: Is there anything I can do now to boost my chances?

    I second this, and if you can't at least try to spend an extended time living somewhere abroad - jet holds your hand to some extent, but a lot of people find the reality of living abroad very different to their expectations.
    Quote Originally Posted by Jiggit View Post
    Old Snow wouldn't have said that.
    Quote Originally Posted by Zolrak 22 View Post
    You are like the secret boss battle they only advertised back when the game was being developed.

  4. #4

    Default Re: Is there anything I can do now to boost my chances?

    I strongly recommend finding ways to participate in your community and show leadership qualities. Volunteer for stuff!

  5. #5
    Weirdest ITIL member. haitch40's Avatar
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    Default Re: Is there anything I can do now to boost my chances?

    All I can think right now is shit. I was given a chance to study in Europe for half a year but turned it down as it would have meant I had to give up my Japanese class for the whole year. DAMN IT. Almost got to go to Japan but red tape got in the way.
    I would be willing to spend next summer abroad but I would need an income from whatever I am doing. Do any of you know where I can find people who might hire me? I would prefer to go to Asia if possible. I sent letters to every company I could find through the routes the university careers service (not run by students this one but professional staff.) in the Singapore area (I was rushing a bit so didn't look outside of that.) and guess what. Absolutely no one replied. Not sure if it was because I sent the letters too late or whether my cv is actually crap (careers service said it is fine) or because no one actually wanted staff from abroad.
    Last edited by haitch40; September 1st, 2014 at 09:50.

  6. #6
    Billy Big Bollocks Ini's Avatar
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    Default Re: Is there anything I can do now to boost my chances?

    Great men of action never mind on occasion being ridiculous; in a sense it is part of their job.

  7. #7
    Ghost of Ecru SomePeopleJustSaySnow's Avatar
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    Default Re: Is there anything I can do now to boost my chances?

    Quote Originally Posted by Ini View Post
    Some of my students have been there, they said it was very impressive.
    Quote Originally Posted by Jiggit View Post
    Old Snow wouldn't have said that.
    Quote Originally Posted by Zolrak 22 View Post
    You are like the secret boss battle they only advertised back when the game was being developed.

  8. #8
    Weirdest ITIL member. haitch40's Avatar
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    Default Re: Is there anything I can do now to boost my chances?

    Wow thanks.

    Although it says on that page their standard contract is 6 months. The holiday from university is only 4.
    Last edited by haitch40; September 1st, 2014 at 10:39.

  9. #9
    keepin' it real ihatefall's Avatar
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    Default Re: Is there anything I can do now to boost my chances?

    If your school has a reading and writing center, volunteer there. You'll get first hand experience with the problems ESL/ESF students face.
    Go to any cultural event you can, not just Japan related, because it will look good and chances on JET you will expected to know a lot more about "other cultures" than you actually do.
    Everything I have ever said was a lie, and that's the truth.

  10. #10
    Billy Big Bollocks Ini's Avatar
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    Default Re: Is there anything I can do now to boost my chances?

    Great men of action never mind on occasion being ridiculous; in a sense it is part of their job.

  11. #11
    Weirdest ITIL member. haitch40's Avatar
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    Default Re: Is there anything I can do now to boost my chances?

    Quote Originally Posted by Ini View Post
    I can but I don't have any qualifications in it like they are asking for and I don't have first aid training either. Also with only 1 month off during the winter will the wages pay for all the expenses involved in getting there? That is the main reason I need payment. I can afford to pay the initial cost but I need a way of getting it back if I go.
    Last edited by haitch40; September 1st, 2014 at 12:01.

  12. #12
    Gizmoduck - blatherskite Gizmotech's Avatar
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    Default Re: Is there anything I can do now to boost my chances?

    Didn't stop my buddy from doing it 7 years ago :P
    Quote Originally Posted by Cytrix View Post
    Organising anything with ALTs is like herding cats on catnip

    Quote Originally Posted by Antonath View Post
    We Jeeperneez are express all emotion through money. Wedding is happy money. Funeral is sad money. Izakaya is friendship money. Girl-bar is almost-sex money. But babby-borning is bery happy money, as no babby in Japan. All babby is special so we is givings much money as presento for babby.

  13. #13
    Billy Big Bollocks Ini's Avatar
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    Default Re: Is there anything I can do now to boost my chances?

    WWOOF JAPAN - Home

    can you dig up potatoes?


    Finding a job that only lasts a few weeks, that pays your transport/pays you enough to cover the cost of a return flight on top of daily living expenses is going to be tricky. You may need to either eat some of the transport costs or go for a longer period.
    Great men of action never mind on occasion being ridiculous; in a sense it is part of their job.

  14. #14
    Gizmoduck - blatherskite Gizmotech's Avatar
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    Default Re: Is there anything I can do now to boost my chances?

    Also, I just thought of something. A lot of what you're talking about so far OP has been about your interest in Japan. While all good, you should start thinking about why they would want to hire you over any other slob who is similarly interested in Japan and has a similar set of experiences. It's those, why they want to hire you, that you should work on. I believe you have sufficiently demonstrated the "interest in Japan" component.
    Quote Originally Posted by Cytrix View Post
    Organising anything with ALTs is like herding cats on catnip

    Quote Originally Posted by Antonath View Post
    We Jeeperneez are express all emotion through money. Wedding is happy money. Funeral is sad money. Izakaya is friendship money. Girl-bar is almost-sex money. But babby-borning is bery happy money, as no babby in Japan. All babby is special so we is givings much money as presento for babby.

  15. #15
    Billy Big Bollocks Ini's Avatar
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    Default Re: Is there anything I can do now to boost my chances?

    Liking japan is important but you could do with something in one of the key areas for separating you from the pack.

    1. International experience
    2. Teaching experience
    3. Japanese language ability

    so you can either go for knocking one of them out of the park or building each one up to appear well rounded. "I like japan and I went there once for a few weeks and I watch the original japanese version of the pokemon movies" probably isnt going to cut it.

    Travel, live in a foreign country (japan is ok but a different country might look better - you want to appear well traveled not just a japanophile), take a course in teaching ESL, volunteer at an afterschool program, take the JLPT, stuff like that.
    Great men of action never mind on occasion being ridiculous; in a sense it is part of their job.

  16. #16
    Weirdest ITIL member. haitch40's Avatar
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    Default Re: Is there anything I can do now to boost my chances?

    Quote Originally Posted by Ini View Post
    WWOOF JAPAN - Home

    can you dig up potatoes?


    Finding a job that only lasts a few weeks, that pays your transport/pays you enough to cover the cost of a return flight on top of daily living expenses is going to be tricky. You may need to either eat some of the transport costs or go for a longer period.
    Ok maybe I can take some of the cost but not all. I should go to bed before thinking about all this.
    Quote Originally Posted by Gizmotech View Post
    Also, I just thought of something. A lot of what you're talking about so far OP has been about your interest in Japan. While all good, you should start thinking about why they would want to hire you over any other slob who is similarly interested in Japan and has a similar set of experiences. It's those, why they want to hire you, that you should work on. I believe you have sufficiently demonstrated the "interest in Japan" component.
    That is what helping the college students and having past (although I admit a bit useless) experience of working in a school is about. True I likely need more than that so I will look at what I can volunteer in.

  17. #17
    Gizmoduck - blatherskite Gizmotech's Avatar
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    Default Re: Is there anything I can do now to boost my chances?

    Quote Originally Posted by haitch40 View Post
    Ok maybe I can take some of the cost but not all. I should go to bed before thinking about all this.

    That is what helping the college students and having past (although I admit a bit useless) experience of working in a school is about. True I likely need more than that so I will look at what I can volunteer in.
    School experience is irrelevant. Teaching is relevant. What you want to show is, in some sort of official capacity, have you done teaching/assisting. I never mentioned in my SoP that I basically was the IT manager for my HS for 3 years because it wasn't an official thing.

    Basically look at it this way, your entire life on this application is whatever you did in university, unless it was something official before it (like work experience/prior post-secondary education). Your society is a good start, but as it isn't official, it strikes me as just a tick in the "interest in japan, nice guy" box. Now, if you can get that converted into an official thing, with a proper mandate, and take credit for it? That shows a lot of drive, ambition, and aptitude.
    Quote Originally Posted by Cytrix View Post
    Organising anything with ALTs is like herding cats on catnip

    Quote Originally Posted by Antonath View Post
    We Jeeperneez are express all emotion through money. Wedding is happy money. Funeral is sad money. Izakaya is friendship money. Girl-bar is almost-sex money. But babby-borning is bery happy money, as no babby in Japan. All babby is special so we is givings much money as presento for babby.

  18. #18
    Weirdest ITIL member. haitch40's Avatar
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    Default Re: Is there anything I can do now to boost my chances?

    Ok so the school stuff is irrelevant. I knew that really just wondered if it is something I could list but clearly not. (There are so many places on the net saying list everything. I didn't think that was always needed.)

    Ok other achievements.
    I was the class (form group) rep during my first year of A levels so basically taking the views of students and trying to convince the other reps/staff as to why they should listen to these views.

    I am hoping to be a student representative for my course this year although I will need to face an election before that. (Each course gets 2 or 3 and they work with the union and the lecturers.)

    Also completed DoE Bronze so I guess that shows ambition and teamwork? I only remember the hiking bit though so I need to go through my memory to see what I did for the other bits.

    Things to do.
    Get the society official and hold a role there.
    See what I can volunteer in.
    See what my prospects are for foreign work.
    Last edited by haitch40; September 1st, 2014 at 13:20.

  19. #19
    Gizmoduck - blatherskite Gizmotech's Avatar
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    Default Re: Is there anything I can do now to boost my chances?

    My question to you, how does being a course representative help you as a teacher/instructor/assistant? While likely useful for your post JET prospects (and even then it is debatable), how can you spin that for being a teacher/internationalizer. Ini's list is actually a good thing to focus on.

    (remember, not all volunteering is equal. Volunteering at a writing center vs volunteering at a food bank shows very different personal qualities)
    Quote Originally Posted by Cytrix View Post
    Organising anything with ALTs is like herding cats on catnip

    Quote Originally Posted by Antonath View Post
    We Jeeperneez are express all emotion through money. Wedding is happy money. Funeral is sad money. Izakaya is friendship money. Girl-bar is almost-sex money. But babby-borning is bery happy money, as no babby in Japan. All babby is special so we is givings much money as presento for babby.

  20. #20
    keepin' it real ihatefall's Avatar
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    Default Re: Is there anything I can do now to boost my chances?

    My friend is finishing her teaching gig in Korea tmw and will be WWOOFing in Korea and Japan for a few months. I can let you know how it goes.

    There are many ways you can get teaching experience. I used to volunteer at community based bike program. It was mostly designed to help people in the city fix their bikes and if they helped sort parts or build bikes for overseas shipping (to 3rd world countries), they could build a bike for themselves for free. This was hugely popular with the intercity youth. I put it on my app because it was child related and they ended up asking me about it in my interview. They viewed it as teaching experience and asked if I would be ok with also teaching technical skills in Japan.
    Everything I have ever said was a lie, and that's the truth.

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