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Meet Our Talent

Wong Jia Lih

Biotechnology Specialist

“Working here is a constant process of unlearning and relearning. Such a blend of challenges makes work very interesting and electrifying, as you never know what's waiting in the box of chocolate and it is a constant process of rediscovering yourself.”

What three verbs best define your experience in Japan thus far?

Change, explore, absorb.

What was the most difficult aspect of adjusting to work and life in Japan initially?

Save for the occasional inconvenience due to language barrier, I did not encounter much difficulty in adjusting to life in Japan. In addition, with kind and helpful people around and with the advent of technology, I was never short of assistance.

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

While the interpretation of 'work-life balance' varies from one to another, I am quite surprised to find that, despite the seemingly intense work culture in this country, Japanese do really know how to enjoy their lives and to reward themselves, either with food or a wide range of outdoor activities or entertainment.

What were your fondest experiences in Japan thus far?

Travelling is certainly what I enjoy most in this country. Japan is gifted for its breathtaking and beautiful natural landscapes, and the distinct colors during the four seasons undoubtedly make it even more attractive. Importantly, the comprehensive transport network in Japan makes most of the scenic spots readily accessible.

When I am not at work, I

keep myself busy by travelling around Japan to explore different sceneries, cultures and food. In addition, there are also multiple social platforms available in Osaka, catering to different interests and social groups. I am a regular member of an English speaking Toastmaster Club in Osaka and have recently joined a charity foundation based in Kansai region. The different forms of activities and people of all works of life that I meet make life enjoyable and keep me energized at work.

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

The desire to push my limit and venture out of the comfort zone underpins my decision to work at SY. The working experience here has reaffirmed my choice was a valid one and enabled me to reflect on my strength and weaknesses, so as to constantly improve myself.

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

When I first started, my co-workers have been really helpful to make me feel at ease, both inside and outside of work. Thanks to their useful advices and guidance, I settled down in Japan almost effortlessly.

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

The learning experience in the past year has been really overwhelming and it could be oversimplifying to just name what I learned by "skills". If I were to name a few, my top picks would be "creative thinking" - as the everyday-problem solving requires one to think outside of the box; "versatility and resilience" - which I think are the key to get on top of the highly dynamic and challenging work environment; and "focus" - to ensure efficiency at work and quality of work product.

What are the challenging or difficult aspects of your work?

What I find most challenging is to work with a diverse range of inventions to which I do not have prior exposure. Yet, I have to correctly comprehend the science and quickly recognize the issues at hand, and then condense my analysis of the case into brief but not less precise logical explanation, all within a limited span of time. In addition, coming from a non-legal background, I am still learning how to adopt the legal dimension of science into the existing framework of my academic knowledge. It is a constant process of unlearning and relearning. Such a blend of challenges makes work very interesting and electrifying, as you never know what's waiting in the box of chocolate and it is a constant process of rediscovering yourself.

Can you describe a successful work assignment that was your proudest professional moment thus far?

I was involved in a patent invalidation matter while I was on probation, during which I was given the opportunity to participate substantively in analysis of the case. Despite being relatively junior in the firm, I was the primary foreign biotechnology specialist responsible for the case shortly after successfully completing my probation.

What three words describe the Firm best? First in English, then in your mother tongue

Rigorous, professional, reputable. 精确、专业、有口皆碑.

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