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I want to develop future business leader around the world so as to make Hitachi Group as a true global leading company.—Tomoko Yoshii, Joined Hitachi in 2000 after studied in New York, USA, and now works at Global Talent Management Department, Global Human Capital Division, Human Capital Group.

What are you currently working on?

Hitachi Group, with its more than 900 companies and 300,000 employees around the world, takes a wide range of measures in order to ensure that the selection and deployment of right talent is conducted in an optimal fashion throughout entire Hitachi Group. All the while, business is expanding globally at an accelerating rate, and the development of global business leader who can truly lead business is a common challenge in entire Hitachi Group.
I am in charge of planning for selection, assessment, development, review of high potential talents both in Japan and around the world, and I travel oversea on a regular basis several times a year to discuss and share information with local human resource (HR) oversea. Since the target covers all talents around the world, so I always create both Japanese and English versions of documentation, and work to enable communication at a detailed level. My goal is not to simply manage talent, but to ensure that high potential and ambitious talents are identified and provided with optimal development opportunity throughout entire Hitachi Group, and that the right leaders are placed in the right jobs. This is how I want to continue contributing to the leadership of Hitachi's business.

How was life as an exchange student?

I decided to study abroad after graduating high school because I wanted to extend my knowledge of the world while young, absorbing many experiences and growing as a person. By studying abroad during my impressionable time from my teens to my twenties, and by experiencing life overseas, I knew this would definitely be a benefit for my future, so I went to study in the US. Although I liked English, I was far from the level where I could put it to practical use. I fell in love with the idea of surrounding myself with a foreign culture, but in actuality, I could not hold a conversation, and I was constantly faced with the dilemma of not being able to express what I wanted to say. After moving to the US, I was hit with a terrible case of homesickness, and I had a tough time of it mentally as I could not get used to the environment. The reason I could continue with my life as an exchange student in spite of this difficulty, I think, was that I had the support of my family and friends, and I was always curious about people and things, and always kept to a positive attitude of wanting to try things. Communicating with people with a diverse range of cultures and values was an extremely inspiring experience, and gave me the opportunity to expand my perspective.
Eventually, I was overjoyed to learn how to get past the walls of culture and language, and to make friends with whom I could laugh at jokes and share my innermost feelings.

What did you focus on while searching for a job?

Based on the knowledge and experience I acquired while studying abroad, I gave priority to an environment where I could continue my personal growth. I did not limit my search to Japanese companies, but rather researched companies both inside and outside Japan, including both Japanese and foreign companies, as well as different occupations. As I researched companies, I found that Hitachi was the company that seemed to fit me best. Hitachi is involved in a wide range of business fields, has a large number of bases of operation overseas, and is working to expand its global business even further. I was sure that at Hitachi, I could apply my experience building connections and learning to communicate one step at a time from the start while surrounded by a different culture. Also, I could tell by how the person at Hitachi in charge of human resources treated me that this was a company that values its people, and that would be easy to work at. This positive impression was one of the deciding factors for me. Actually, this culture of valuing the people who work at Hitachi is a deeply rooted philosophy at the company, and the training and guidance structure is firmly in place, from top to bottom.

Is there any strength you acquired while studying abroad that you can apply to your work now?

When you are in another country, unless you have a proactive attitude of saying what you want to say, and unless you take the initiative in any situation, you will find yourself marginalized. As an exchange student, I lost my hesitation in clearly communicating my opinions to other people, and in the same way, I make sure to actively convey my thoughts when exchanging opinions with human resource (HR) departments overseas. Since this work involves dealing with people both inside and outside Japan, the psychology and communication skills I learned at the university and throughout my entire experience as an exchange student come in handy. For instance, when you explain something to Japanese people or foreign people, you need to adjust your logic and viewpoint just a bit, while considering the most effective approach. My ability to always adjust my perspective in this way is based on what I learned while studying abroad. Also, I want to promote all the good things about Hitachi to the world even more. I think my desire to see Hitachi win as a company in the global marketplace was strengthened by my experience living outside Japan.

How did you go about searching for a job?

I graduated my university in May 2000, returned home in June, and searched for a job for around five months, joining Hitachi in November as part of the year-round hiring process. It was more than ten years ago, so there was not as much job searching information for foreign exchange students as there is now, and I had a very difficult time. Although there were a lot of career forums and other programs on the campus for students seeking employment in the US, there was basically no support system for students who wanted to work in Japan. For this reason, before I graduated, I sent postcards and letters to Japanese companies in order to request documentation, and my job searching started with bringing together the necessary information. Actually, I started looking seriously after returning to Japan. I also gathered information mainly from the Internet, and attended the second phase of new graduate orientation sessions. I was finally interviewed by Hitachi through the Tokyo Career Forum for exchange students.

Message to Exchange Students at Universities outside Japan

I'm certain that Hitachi is a place where people who have studied and grown strong overseas can put what they have learned to good use.

Daily Schedule

7:00 Wake up
8:40 Go to work
My work starts with checking e-mail each morning. In order to work efficiently, I check my daily schedule and arrange items clearly based on priority.

Participate in meetings for my projects. In order to formulate plans for the development and training of global talent, I also frequently attend regular meetings with related departments.
12:00 Eat lunch with work friends in the employee cafeteria.

Create documents at desk
Create documentation for the formulation of projects and organize meeting agendas, work progress statuses and plans for moving forward, and other information.

Break time is a precious opportunity to get advice from senior employees in other departments. We enthusiastically exchange opinions.
16:00 Television conferences
Participate in periodic television conferences with employees at companies overseas. I share work progress reports and other information with the leaders of each project and section or department heads. Due to the time difference, television conferences are held either at night or early in the morning.
18:30 Leave work
19:00 Dinner with company associates. I deepen communication with associates in other departments while drinking.
22:00 Return home