Adventures in the job of Matt Williams

It is 5 AM in the morning, a digital alarm clock goes on lying on the bedside table, in half sleep Matt Williams turns it off, wakes up and brushes his teeth, and then — goes for a running. He does that daily. While on the daily run he’s greeted by the average Japanese neighbours who wake up earlier than him. It has been 2 years since he came to this neighbourhood in the Tokyo. He moved to Japan after completing his studies in International Business from University of Geneva. During his college days, he learned Japanese Language as an add-on course. That somewhat explains why his fate brought him in this country of far east. Living in Japan can be tough, but Mat came to this country well prepared. Adjusting to the Japanese culture or the way of life can be very hard for many. After coming from the run, Mat takes his breakfast and dress up. Getting ready for his day at work. He takes the local train to get to his workplace. Trains can be pretty packed up during the morning rush hour. He changes two lines and reaches at his company location in western Tokyo at 9 AM.

He has joined this company called “Sapporo IT Services”. It provides IT solutions worldwide; it has been a major player in the region; the company also ranks No. 8 in the world ranking. It ranks number 2 in Japan. Matt is attached to the foreign dealings. In Japan, it could be hard to find the employees who could speak both English and Japanese. Matt isn’t very fluent in Japanese, but he can speak to the extent that he can survive in that country. He has come to this company to fulfil his childhood dream of doing the international business deals. Though, his rank is not yet reached to do the dealing on his own yet. He’s currently attached to the Marketing Head who specialises in promoting the IT services that Sapporo provides. Alongside the IT services, the company also took on to make IT peripherals like laptop and computers few years ago. But the company wasn’t quite successful in this venture. Still it is going on with that failed venture.

His day at work starts with the e-Attendance. As he’s the junior in the office, he must come to the office earlier than everyone and make sure that everything is okay and functional in the office. This is very typical for the Juniors in a Japanese Institution. Despite coming from the western world, he doesn’t find any odd with it. He says that he rather enjoys this Japanese way of work life that makes him feel more at home. Past 10 AM other people start coming in the office. His boss ― Yuki Yakushima is also among them. Today, everyone in the office is going to be quite busy, as they are near to finalise a draft of a deal agreement for a Taiwanese company. Being a specialist is the International Business, Matt has been asked to review the terms and conditions of the both parties and report to his boss, who will then take a last look at them before forwarding it to the Chief Executing Officer of the firm. The Taiwanese company wants to take the IT services of Sapporo to run their Business of Agricultural marketing. This company has started as a transport company and now specialises in Moving agricultural products from the Farmhouses to the supermarkets in Taiwan. The company chairperson asked to create an Online platform where the Farmers who wish to sell their produce to the company can register. As this Taiwanese company don’t have any technical expertise in computers, their CEO has reached to this Japanese company to provide the services.

If the deal gets finalised, the Sapporo will have to design a new system for them that will enable them to digitalise their whole business. Designing a wholly new system in order to digitalize a firm is a very demanding task. But the company have a lot of past experience, they have developed a system for many local businesses in Japan and the world.

This offer has come two days ago. Matt have to coordinate between the Technical department of the company in order to check what they can make so that he could write the conditions about the deal. To digitalise a business wholly one has to make sure that what the client wants is technically achievable. The concerns and the recommendations of the technical team must be communicated to the client, so that they know that how their purposed system will work in the real-life. Today, Matt is running between the floor above where the technical team sits and down where his marketing office is. He has to make presentations for the tomorrow’s meeting. In this meeting the Sapporo IT services will show their digitalised system that they are going to make for their Taiwanese client. Tomorrow’s meeting will decide whether it will be a yes or no. After coordinating between the offices, Matt has made a draft about how the proposed system will be.

The hour needle has touched 1 now. It is the lunch time in the office. Employees head to lunch. Most of the employees bring their Japanese style bento boxes for lunch. Matt doesn’t know how to make one. So, he has to do his lunch at a nearby Ramen shop daily. Thankfully, the lunch at that shop is just 500 Yen. Otherwise he would have to spend large chunk of his money daily on the lunch only. Many people rush to the Ramen shops during lunch hours. Sometimes he don’t even get the seat, so he have to take-away his lunch. After doing lunch he heads to his company’s lobby where he takes free drinks from the Vending Machine. It provides free drinks as well as coffee to all the company employees. Many companies in that building have vending machines, but not all of them provides freebies.

By half past one, all employees return to their offices. Matt has finalized the draft, and now he is making a presentation about the procedure. As the finalization of the deals depends on how the company is going to present it to their clients; Matt must be extra careful while making it. He has to incorporate all the technical aspects into the presentation, he is being helped by another junior employee from the technical department. Matt understands the technical jargon from him and writes it down on the notes. Matt gets done with his presentation making by 3 PM and sends the softcopy of it to the Manager. Now it is up to the manager to make the final edits to the presentation and fine-tune it.  

Now Matt is working on the usual paperwork of the company. He is also in-charge of making a new brochure of the company in the English language. As their company has launched a new vision of expanding and investing in their IT peripheral business. Despite failing of this business, the company owners are still hopeful about the rise of their venture. Even his boss Yuki is also super-excited about rejuvenating of IT peripheral business. They want to make their company a champion in making the computer accessories. In order to make this, Matt has been in touch with the Research and Development team of the company. The company is planning to launch a new line of Laptops in the fall. The company’s main motive now is to make cheap laptops for the average customer. During the past attempt, the IT peripheral business failed because the company launched Top Spec computers, which were way too expensive for the average customer. There was also high competition from many local and global firms. The product designs have been finalized and Matt have to make sure that these products looks better on that brochure. He also has to call a professional photographer to take the shots of the Prototype laptops so feature them on the brochure. He calls the photographer and fixes an appointment with him. He also have to write the content to describe about their latest line-up. He must know more about the features and specs of the new prototypes, as these days people give more preference to the device performance.

At 5 PM, Matt takes his off from the office, and goes to the nearby station to catch his train back home. Again, he changes two lines to go to his home. He reaches home at about 6 PM. He then takes a little nap and goes to the nearby 7-eleven to buy his groceries. He prepares his Dinner making a dish of Fish flakes. Even after going home he have to work a little. He checks his E-Mails once again and replies to them. This type of work is always appreciated by the companies. As he doesn’t have his family here, he can do work in his home even though he has worked all day in the office.