Alumni Spotlight: Lance Lim

Lance is an art graduate from Singapore. He graduated from college in 2017 with a degree in Animation Art. After failing to find a job for over a year and facing continuous pressure from peers, he decided to try his chances overseas.

Why did you choose this program?

Living in Japan has always been something I wanted, but I kept writing it off as something I could achieve since I always thought you need to be among the best for it to happen.

Then 2018 became a really rough year for me. I was unable to find a job, getting turned down countless times, and my peers trying their best to convince me to switch careers (usually to ones I have no interest in). In midst of depression, I decided to try for an internship overseas to start anew.

What did your program provider assist you with, and what did you have to organize on your own?

Zentern has been a great source of help since even before my trip begin. They helped me look for an internship abroad, gave me support to ensure that I can get the opportunity, and gave me a lot of information that I needed during my stay in Japan. During my stay, they also helped me adapt to my new life by providing support and organizing trips.

Most of the things I have to organize are things from my end. As someone who never truly had freedom to himself, it was a necessary challenge.

What is one piece of advice you'd give to someone going on your program?

When one comes to this program, I hope they are aiming to better themselves as they adapt to a new environment.

While I get lots of envy from my peers when I told them I am going to Japan, it should be noted that living here has its own set of difficulties, and since you do not have direct support like back in your home country, you must be determined to face the issues and find your way out.

Also, remember that an internship does not always translate to a full-time position at the end, so if you want to stay on longer, make sure you really give it your all on the job.

What does an average day/week look like as a participant of this program?

Being an internship program you can expect to be working for majority of your time in the program, work schedule depends on your company.

During weekends and after work hours, Zentern sometimes hosts excursions that you can join, to both mix around with other interns under the same program and also enjoy some of Japan's rich culture. While they are not compulsory to attend, I would still highly recommend attending at least one during your stay in this program.

Going into your experience abroad, what was your biggest fear, and how did you overcome it? How did your views on the issue change?

Initially, I was full of worry, Will I be able to adapt to life in Japan, by myself? Will I fit in well? Is this program really worth it? What if this program just throws me somewhere with no prospect and leave me be? What happens after my internship?

Lots of worries filled my mind, but in the end, Zentern proved to be better than I expected. With their constant support over my internship, as well as those from new friends I made in Japan, I manage to find myself adapt to my new life well and fit in rather nicely. In the end, even my worries about what to do after the internship faded, as I got offered a full time position in the company I interned for.

I came to Japan hoping to only seek job experience and change my life; I ended up getting way more than what I initially bargained for.