The Elli Show

 
Elli:Human Resources person

Emma:Quality assurance

*In Japanese* So do you want to do the interview in Japanese?

*In Japanese* what? no no, let’s do it in English today….

sure no problem! So let’s start with some introduction, shall we?

I’m working in the quality assurance team and  I come from France. I did my master’s in robotics and advanced systems. After that I decided to go abroad just to have some experience. Actually my friend, who got an interview as an intern at ZMP was the one who told me about the company. He said to me “you have to try this company because the interview is the BEST!

wow, really?

yeah the best apparently, so it seemed quite interesting, Thankfully I was hired and worked about 3 years as mechanical engineer. Then I changed my role to quality assurance.

How was the transition?

I initially took inspiration from another person who’d changed from doing administration to sales. When I saw her making this change, I thought why not for me.
When I asked my managers if it was possible to change, they said to me quite openly, “Yes, if you are interested in it just please explain to us what you think you can do.” When I got an ok, because I still had projects as mechanical engineer, my work was divided 50-50. Slowly, I started working more with the quality assurance members. I was actually quite surprised they accepted it.

How has it been?

It’s been good! I’m learning a lot. Everything is new so work is quite varied and I like that. That’s a good aspect of ZMP. You can change, if you speak up.

That brings me to my next question: What is it like at ZMP for you?

Well it’s hard to summarize but everyone is very friendly. Like when I’m talking to you, you know we are close. I feel like I’m talking to a friend now. it’s also an international environment. I’ve learned a lot from this too. For example, I think my English has improved since I’ve started working.
Of course I do recognize we have room to improve. We do have certain areas we need to work on but hey, I’ve been here for more than 4 years now and despite the rapid change the company is going through, I still find this place comfortable.

well thank goodness you think so!

well I kind of see it like my second home. I can go to other floors of the office and talk to people. When I first started working, I remember there were really only few women in the company and I was the first woman in my team. My boss was really conscious of this. When we went out to have lunch together she said to me, “Emma if you ever feel like you want to talk to someone just come to my floor and see me” Her words made me feel really welcome. It was one month after I started so it made all the difference. Since then, I started writing to all newcomers to ask them out for lunch or tell them that if they need anything, they can come talk to me. I’m that girl at that desk with weird stuff on her desk.

I’ve learned this from you and now I do it too, simply because I care. Of course, many people see this as part of my job, which is true but that’s not the real reason I do this.

we also have many people who come to Japan for the first time to join our company so I really think having this culture is important. With you, being HR, I think people will think topics need to stick to work but I’m more about just living in Japan in general. You know, just listening to daily things.

I really hope this is a culture we can build and nurture.

Yes when I joined, there were other colleagues who helped me out in the same way and I’m really thankful. I remember one of them sent me an email, saying if there were any problems in my daily life, that I could go talk to him. He never mentioned it had to be about work which was very nice. I was like, “Oh oh, I need to go talk to him!”
I also got help from another engineer. He voluntarily helped me out in looking for an apartment. He actually spent time looking at the details of the apartments, giving me suggestions. It was very meaningful that he did this since you know, for us foreigners who come alone, we need someone who care about us like this.

Even for someone like me. I’m Japanese, but I also moved to Tokyo shortly before starting work. The nice thing is that because there are many people like that. You can share and help each other out.

It’s nice to get explanation also from a fellow colleague. It’s of course true for work too. I mean I started as a mechanical engineer and because I was a fresh graduate I needed help in certain things so I would go to people and say, “Hi, I’m sorry but could you just explain this and this to me?” and so on. I was quite scared because I thought I was interrupting people but everyone said, “oh come, come. Don’t worry”. That was really nice.
When newcomers join, often times they feel shy and say, “Oh I can’t interrupt people when they are working” and now I say, “It’s okay! Just go and ask.” I say this because everyone has work, but it’s also part of their work to share, to share their experience.

I really do agree. Caring for others also adds human touch to the services and products we make. In today’s world where competition is so high, especially in a field like ours where our technology can potentially alter the daily lives of many people,  this human touch can go a long way and this spirit starts right in our office.

Exactly. Let’s face it: It’s not easy moving to a foreign country for work so it’s only natural that I look for comfort somewhere. And I think I’m not the only one to think so. The human touch is important.

One last questions: What is your message to someone is not sure about applying to us?

What are you waiting for? JUST APPLY! I know a lot of people also look at big companies and compare our pay and benefits to them. I just want them to know, as a smaller company, we have our own positive aspects. You have the opportunity to experience a wider range of work. Take me for example. If I were to work as a mechanical engineer for a large company my task would be building one small part of a robot but if you come to ZMP, you’re going to build a whole robot.  You need to work from A to Z. I’m not saying you will be alone but the experience is definitely different. Oh and if you want to work in comfortable environment, it’s a place for you.

Comfortable like clothing wise?

That too but I mean also for how we work. We laugh and exchange jokes here and there. We also go out for lunch together.. so that’s what I mean.

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