HOME > Careers > Meet Our Talent > Joanna Wong


Meet Our Talent

Joanna Wong


“I've become more detail-oriented and learned to grasp the exact objective the clients are trying to communicate. ...Through time, I also gained a better understanding on how to interpret letters from clients just by having to interact with them daily.”

How was Japan in reality to what you had imagined before you arrived?

Japan was very much how I imagined it to be except for one minor aspect, everyone is excessively polite. However, this can be a welcomed change, depending on where you are from.

What were the most difficult aspects of adjusting to life in Japan initially?

The two most difficult aspects that I had to adjust to living in Japan were acclimatizing to the weather and the language barrier. Japan experiences all the seasons. In particular, I initially had trouble adapting to the extreme heat and humidity in the summer time. However, other seasons are quite enjoyable. In Spring, you can witness the lovely Cherry Blossoms blooming and in Autumn, you can marvel at the vibrant display of foliage.

Osaka rarely snows. However, if you like winter sports, you can hit the slopes in one of the many resorts across Japan in the Winter time. FYI, the city of Nagano (approximately six hours from Osaka) was home of the 1998 Winter Olympics and is an awesome place to go for Winter sports. Naturally, over time, I became acclimated to the weather and now I also welcome the lovely summer days.

The language barrier was quite challenging at first. After your initial attempts to communicate with the Japanese, you soon realize that many locals do not speak English. In response, I became quite timid and for a brief period, avoided interaction whenever possible. However, after just a few sessions with my Japanese language teacher, I became more comfortable communicating with the Japanese locals. For those who do not want to study intensely, even a couple lessons on the essentials either in-person or through online tutorials, should be enough to get by. One thing in particular I noticed was that after living in Japan for just a few months, I naturally became more aware of what was being communicated as one just develops more understanding over time, by learning to identify key Japanese words and cues through body-language.

How would you describe your co-workers during your initial time at work?

BUSY! There are always things to do and learn in this office. But questions are always welcomed. Particularly, I remember in my first week, I had many questions, as would any newcomer, but my colleague who sat beside me at the time, would stop reading her enormous case to answer any questions I had. I still remember her kindness, patience and leadership and that has guided me through the years at this firm.

What work skills and habits have you learned or improved from your time here thus far?

Becoming more detail-oriented and learning to grasp the exact objective the clients are trying to communicate. Speed and Quality is the motto of this firm, and with that, you need to become very detail-oriented in order to be effective and efficient. Through time, I also gained a better understanding on how to interpret letters from clients just by having to interact with them daily.

What are the challenging or difficult aspects of your work?

In this office, you will have to work with many different people who have their own deadlines to meet. You must be aware of such things and work to fit into your colleagues' schedules. An important skill to develop is how to prioritize your work. Through daily interactions, I became better at identifying high-priority and low-priority tasks and learned how to better schedule my day in light of such work.

What have been your fondest experiences in Japan?

Whirlwind of travelling from April 2013 to October 2013. I explored most of Kyushu and spent many weekends on the finest beaches in Japan with some of the most awesome people I've ever met. But I think the fondest memories of my Spring-Summer of 2013 were spent with my two best friends in July where we rented scooters and travelled over 200 kilometers to the sand dunes in Tottori. During our road trip, we rode into a storm and were forced to stop at an amazing onsen in Hyogo, where I got to enjoy the rain in the outdoor onsen. After Tottori, we went to a Summer festival in Hamasaka where we watched the fireworks over the water while laying on the beach. Thereafter, we spent a hilarious night camping in the rain. Our entire journey of over 400 km was made through country roads throughout Japan as scooters are not allowed on the highways. We visited many quaint towns and rode through many beautiful mountain roads and got to see parts of scenic Japan in a way that I don't think I would've been able to if not for the trip. Without a doubt, the time I spent with all these friends I will cherish forever.

When I am not at work, I am ...

either exploring another part of Japan or planning such an experience. If I am short of funds, and I often find myself in such a predicament, I unwind by spending time with my friends on the weekends trying out new restaurants or bars or simply staying in and watching movies.

What is the most important thing that working at the Firm has taught you about yourself?

My ability to persevere. You will undoubtedly go through many ups and downs in this work place. It is not where the frail should work. It is a high-paced, short deadline-oriented environment. I experienced many challenges during my time here thus far (work and health-related), but has so far persevered, largely through the help from the wonderful friendships you build with your colleagues and with people outside the workplace.

What would you say are the big opportunities and challenges going to be for people joining the Firm?


Working with people from around the world with very diverse backgrounds and education. This allowed me to gain a better understanding of different cultures and their associated work ethics. I believe I'm now better equipped for working and interacting with people in the next stage of my career. I believe this unique experience is a beneficial skill to have in the professional services industry.

Working with many Fortune 500 companies and getting an inside look on the latest technological and medical advances. It is also very interesting to see how companies reallocate their resources and manage their patent portfolio in light of factors that shape the global economy.


As mentioned above, you will be working with many different people in the workplace. The environment is very high-paced and deadline-focused. You must be aware of your own deadlines and those of the people you work with and know where you fit in to helping your colleagues accomplish their tasks and to manage your own schedule accordingly.

Perhaps too much autonomy. There are instances where you come across a unique problem where you haven't had much experience and don't have an idea on how to approach the situation. In such a circumstance, you must know who to approach to get direction which can be hard when you are first starting at the firm. However, there are always mentors to whom you can direct such questions.

Identifying issues. You must be able to identify problems and be aware of your own ability to manage such problems. If it is not within your own capabilities to resolve such an issue, it is best to raise the problem with a senior or management staff so it can be resolved in a timely manner.

What keeps you going?

The anticipation of travelling to somewhere new in Japan over the weekend or spending time with friends and doing something new and/or exciting.

Of all the adjectives floating in your brain, give us three that best describe your life in Japan

Fascinatingly BEAUTIFUL, exquisitely FUN and forever MEMORABLE.

Page Top