The past week has been good to me, though I have spent the majority lost in my thoughts. I’ve decided I’ll be spending my third year not in placement, but in foreign study. Hopefully, Japan, but as things stand, it’ll probably be China, not that I’m too upset about that.
Whilst I believe that experience at this stage in the start of your career is essential when it comes to landing your first job, life experience is more important for building your character, which in the long-term, is far more important and beneficial than your starting paycheque.
In a business where your thought processes are worth their weight in gold, I’m starting to believe that in order to think outside the box, I must first physically clamber out of it. To immerse myself fully into a foreign culture, I will be opening my eyes, my brain, to other perceptions, other lifestyles, and looking back into my own from an outsiders perspective; hopefully giving myself a greater understanding. Knowledge is key, and the more oblique experiences you can muster can help you formulate a better opinion.
I have been fascinated with the beauty of asian culture for quite some time, so the decision of, where, was a relatively simple one. I have many books on the histories, folklores and myths. I love the food. I still even love the whacky manga’s, anime’s and video games, at 21! The respect and pride that the Japanese and Chinese have for their countries, when I start to think of being a part of it, excites me, especially as I’m living in a country that has apparently lost its identity, it’ll be a good change of face.
I’m willing to leave my dignity at Heathrow Airport, meaning my SLR and “English to Japanese/Chinese” book will become an extension of my physical self. I hate tourists, I grew up on Penny Lane, but I am willing to lose myself to stereotype if it means I will experience everything that the country has to offer.
Originally, my plan was to go to Japan after University to teach English. Now that I’m thinking about it realistically, that will be a rather impossible feat to attempt accomplishing, as after 4 years in study I’ll be most likely up to my neck in debt.
Of course, I recognise that experience is vital. I’m not about to miss out on a great job because the guy sitting next to me spent 8 months in industry as part of his third year, whilst I spent mine eating noodles. Besides, I’m too competitive to give up that easy anyway. Which is why, on Friday, I landed myself a one-day-a-week placement, in an amazing agency called Return On Digital – thanks Brendan – and I plan on working my arse off from now until my gate opens.
You should commit fully, to everything you’re doing. Any energy that you have left when you rest your head on your pillow at night is wasted energy, energy you could have used bettering yourself, your projects, your character. God is in the details.
This is a huge step, and currently in the planning stages. It’s more justifying my own actions out loud. I’m not trying to convince you, definitely not, as there’s limited places. I’m sure you don’t want an enraged scouser to be near when you get into an “accident” and can’t go…
If you have spent any time abroad in study I would love to hear from you, if you would please leave a comment below or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.