Teach Away & Berlitz Interview

Thursday April 24th, 2014 at 12:51 am

I had an interview with Teach Away a couple weeks go. I found them through a Google search and they had a job that was in a location I liked and also was hiring all the way up to July (which is as early as I could leave). I didn’t find out until a bit later that Teach Away is a recruiting agency in Toronto. Job postings on the site are done by companies who use Teach Away to find applicants overseas but Teach Away takes care of the initial screening process to find eligible applicants. Since I was dealing with a recruiting agency, the overall process was a bit more drawn out since there were extra steps and interviews I had to go through. When I was first contacted, I was asked to fill out a questionnaire and read the FAQ. It was then that I realized what company I was actually applying for, which was Berlitz Japan.

The questionnaire was pretty straight forward, basic questions as well as some more detailed questions. The entire time I’m filling it out, I’m thinking “This pretty much is the interview!” Now, I know stuff like that is for people to get an idea of what your goals and preferences are and a little bit about yourself and the interview is built upon that…which it was. This was probably the quickest interview I had. It was only around 20 minutes but we mostly discussed what was already written on the questionnaire.

I was told immediately after the interview that it was a go to move onto the next step and someone from Berlitz would contact me within a week. I sent the required documents but never heard back. Now, this was also the same week that I almost had a nervous breakdown (okay, it wasn’t that serious). I’ve had a rough couple of weeks with my teaching classes and I was super stumped over my lesson plan that week (which turned out to be my best lesson yet). In between all of this, insert working full time, spending time in TESL class, dealing with life, still taking care of responsibilities, etc. So the fact that I heard back from Teach Away or Berlitz in a week made me think that I never got another interview. I just wasn’t in a good mood.

I think someone in the world felt my anxiety because I received an email from Teach Away maybe a couple hours later. It was my interviewer asking me if I was still interested in the position since it’s been a week. Turns out she never received my documents for whatever reason. Maybe they got sent to a spam folder or maybe it got lost in cyber space. Who knows, stuff happens. I resent them and heard back very soon after from Berlitz and set up an interview.

The Berlitz interview was longer, almost an hour. I thought some of my answers weren’t straight forward but I guess they liked me well enough. I was asked to set up another interview (yes, 3 interviews at this point) with the management team of the location(s) I’ll be working at. That interview turned out to be more of an information session/Q&A but it was very informative. One thing I respect about Berlitz so far is how honest they were during the interview. Or I thought so at least. I was then told I would find out by the end of the week whether not they would offer me the position.

And one day later…..


That didn’t take long at all. Course, I’ll never know how many other people were interviewed or exactly the reason why they hired me but who cares. I have a job in Japan! They say everything happens for a reason and maybe that’s right. I was originally really bummed out about not even getting an interview with the JET program but had that happened, I would most likely be on my way to a very small, rural town in the middle of nowhere instead of being placed in a really good location and working with a great company.

Of course, I also have my worries along with my excitement but that comes with making a huge decision to drop everything here along with spending a lot of time and money moving to a foreign country. Teaching in Japan isn’t exactly a dream job for whatever reason, whether it’s culture or expectation, but it’ll always be an adventure…good or bad, and a learning experience. Berlitz, like any other company, isn’t perfect but most of a person’s experience with anything depends on the person. I’ve spent enough time on the internet reading horror eikaiwa stories and such but I’m ready to make my own story. One thing I signed up for when I decided to move to a foreign country is that, move to a foreign country. I can’t expect everything to be like the US, otherwise it’d be the US.

The next two months will fly by fast I’m sure. There’s plenty to do and maybe not enough time to do it. I wish there was someone out there who will tell me everything will be okay but this is a journey I start by myself.

Japan, I’m ready for you and Berlitz Japan…THANK YOU.

Posted Under: Japan, Japan: Interview, Japan: Job Searching
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Goodbye JET

Tuesday January 21st, 2014 at 8:52 pm

I am super freaking beyond belief depressed right now ;_; I cant even…. Ugh. 2014 is already not going as planned (does anything?).

After almost 2 months of waiting, I found out today that I did not even manage to get an interview for the JET program. I’ve been thinking all afternoon what could have been wrong with my application. Did I forget something? Were there errors on my essay? Was my essay not strong enough? (My weak point has always been writing essays) Am I too old? Was everyone out there just better than me? Was my passport picture too ugly? Cause it really is ugly, I took it almost 10 years ago. ETC. ETC.

I’ve come to just accept that the JET program is indeed very competitive. I forget the numbers, but I think only maybe 1/4 of the applicants actually make it through and this is from all over the world. On top of that, Japan is a very popular country for teaching English. They never release actual statistics but you can find guestimations.

I think what bugs me most is I really wanted it and didn’t get a chance, not to blame the JET program in anyway. The application process itself was definitely an experience. However, I just know there’s going to be people who end up making it that just want to go have fun and come back 1-2 years alter. But hey…who am I to judge. They’re the ones who made it, not me. Perhaps I didn’t want it badly enough.

I’m not entirely sure what I’m going to do right now. I still very much want to move to Japan this year. I’m tired of staying here year after year so I’m going to do everything possible. As of right now, it’s still too early to apply for other teaching jobs. Pretty much all of the ones available are for Spring 2014 and I’m unable to move that soon. For one, I won’t receive my TEFL certificate until the end of April and two, my lease is not up until (I think) September so it would put both me and my roommate in a very bad situation.

Japan, I will see you again soon :( Come spring, I start applying for jobs that starts in August.

Of course, I find all this out while I’m waiting to have my first laser hair removal :sick: . My nervousness on top being upset probably made the experience a bit less enjoyable. Overall, it went better than what I had expected. I had a Brazilian done, and may go back to do my full legs. The feeling is what I would describe as a shock to your skin. A lot of people on the internet compares it to a rubber band snapping against your skin, which I can see why they say that. If you’ve ever had a shock knife shock you or a hair pulled from your skin, you’ll know exactly how it feels. My next appointment will be in 6 weeks.

My New Year’s resolution to not procrastinate as much isn’t going all that well either x_x Old habits are hard to break. I normally procrastinate on getting my birth control refilled (always a bad idea) and every year I forget that I run out in January and have to schedule my yearly gynecologist appointment. I ended up picking up my birth control a couple days late.

I also completely forgot that my credit card expires at the beginning of February. When I went to my parents house over this past weekend (I have most of my mail delivered there since it’s a permanent address) I accidentally threw out the new card that was sent to me. I get so many letters from banks to sign up for new cards, or bank accounts, or whatever that I’ve gotten in the habit just to toss anything from a bank without looking at it. Again, bad idea :/ I called Bank of America on Monday and they will be sending me out a new one. I hope I get it before the month is over. I use a credit card for anything and everything that I can. I’m not a big fan of handling/carrying cash all the time and not to mention I get reward bucks back with a credit card ;)

This just absolutely made my night, a skateboarding cat that does tricks :shock:

Posted Under: Daily Life, Japan: Job Searching, laser hair removal, youtube
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