Catoz from Indonesia (GEP Kanto)
Catherine, “Catozuuuuuuuu” for us, was a super shy and quiet leader from Indonesia.
Originally introduced by her elder sister, who was a core member of GEP Kyushu, Catoz did 25 programs while doing her undergrad studies at Musashino Art University.
After graduating as an Architect in 2018, Catoz started working full time in a Japanese company and still resides in Tokyo.
Perfect reading if you want to know what is like for a foreigner to work in a Japanese Company.
What did you take with you from your experience as GEP? Were you able to apply that after graduating?
Communication skills, how to be brave to speak despite the language barriers, how to direct people, how to understand individual’s capability of understanding on what other people are talking, how to understand what other people are thinking, how to adjust my thoughts to other people who strongly have different opinions in balance, how to be patient, how to deal with people who put walls in between and many more. To be very honest I always remember on how this is because I did GEP, whenever I think that, I do better in communicating and dealing with people. Sometimes I got praises from my colleagues on how my explanation is easy to understand and make people listen to me (HAHAHA) and how my junior colleagues always understand my way of instructing instead of others. Everything is really thanks to GEP. I remember how hard it was when the kids did not respond at all, or not understanding anything I said throughout the program that I had to think on how to change my words many times to make them understand. I also remember that I was pretty much a very quiet person back then and I turned loud during GEP, in a good way of course (still not as loud as other leaders though LOL). And my experiences in GEP are definitely not only useful in terms of English language, but also very useful to my working life which is completely in Japanese and in Japan. And not to forget that “MISTAKES ARE OK!” is always in my head and I love it!
What advice would you give to our current members?
Whenever the kids (or adults) give up on understanding, try to find a different way and it does not have to be only by words. Remember, not only them who are learning but there are so many things we leaders can learn from them too in terms of anything.
And just one thing from my experience, never give up on them first and only make them do what you think is good. Listen to them and try to understand them, let them do and make what they think is perfect because everyone has different sense and point of view anyway, in that way they will open their heart for you despite of the language barriers. Opening up hearts to each other is the best initial step to a good and smooth communication ;-)
What was your favorite part of GEP?
BANANAS UNITE!! PEEL BANANA! PEEL PEEL BANANA!
How has living Japan impacted your current life?
Living in Japan taught me that if someone will not initiate anything, I have to be the leader and initiate it myself. So now, especially at work I think I am good at initiating conversations and discussions.
How is “adulthood”? What has changed in your life since you graduated GEP?
It has been 8 years since I dared myself to come to Japan to study and I am still living in Japan, still struggling in Japan, still surviving in Japan, still enjoying Japan. Adulthood is HARSH BUT GOOD.
The biggest change after I graduated GEP is probably that I am a full-time worker now. Also the use of English verbally is only about 10%.
I am currently working in an architectural firm, planning, designing and supervising projects in a team. Please do check on my works! One is going to be completed around the end of April 2020.
Any message for GEP?
I think I did not properly graduated from GEP because I thought I could still join during my free time, but adulting hasn’t allowed me to so far. So I would like to properly say thanks to LBE Japan and GEP teams for the awesome opportunities. Hope to see you all again in the future!