Staff Interview

January 2014

Staff Interview: Daniel Fieschi

After majoring in Japanese and English at the University of Provence's Graduate School of Translation, Daniel crossed the seas from Corsica to Japan to put his linguistic skills to good use.
Fluent in Japanese, he intends to help Arc Communications find a path onto the French market.

Before Working in Japan

− What attracted you to Japan?

As a high school student, I became very interested in cinema and started watching a broad variety of films. I was particularly drawn to several Japanese directors such as Seijun Suzuki, Akira Kurosawa, Takeshi Kitano, Shōhei Imamura and Hayao Miyazaki, which triggered my interest and made me want to learn more about Japan. Afterwards, I attended the University of Provence near Marseilles, where I studied Japanese, Economy and introduction to Law before specializing in translation as a graduate student. At that time, I chose to focus on English and Japanese.

− When was the first time you came to Japan?

I came to Japan in September 2008 for a year-long exchange program at Sophia University's Faculty of Liberal Arts. At the time, I lived in a student dormitory, a sort of traditional Japanese male dorm. It was my first time experiencing Japan's hierarchal relationships, and I got along very well with my dorm mates which really helped me improve in Japanese, and discover other aspects of life in Japan. After that, I bought a Japan Rail Pass and traveled around the country.

− How did you first hear of Arc Communications?

Well, I entered a master's program in 2010 and taking a 3 month long internship abroad was a requirement to graduate. I wanted to experience working in a Japanese company and discover the country from a new perspective, so I started looking up translation companies and came across Arc's Global website available in 44 languages including French. I thought they probably had translation needs in French and gave it a try.

− Did you take the interview in Japan?

No, I was in France at the time finishing my studies so I had to take it through Skype. I was wearing my almost brand new suit, sitting in front of the computer and started my interview with 6 interviewers! Quite stressful at first but I managed to pass and started my internship in July 2012.

About Working in Japan

− What was working as an intern like?

The Japanese corporate culture is considered pretty strict and tough, so I wondered how I'd do, coming from a place that is better known for its relative laziness. (Laughs) Anyhow, I find work at Arc to be very pleasant and grew accustomed to it. Actually, I had already interned at a translation company in Marseilles, but I never really received any feedback, so it was difficult to be sure how my work was received... On the contrary, Arc gave me responsibilities such as working on the development of the French version of our corporate website and always gives me feedback, which is particularly motivating and useful.

− At first, you were meant to go back to France after completing the 3 month long internship, weren't you?

Well, I intended to start looking for work in Japan, but Arc seemed to think I would just go back to France once I had earned my credits... I let the idea hang, but didn't want to be too pushy about it... And while I was thinking of what to do next, the head of the HR department noticed I was planning on staying in Japan and asked me if I would be interested in staying at Arc as a full-time employee. I guess that's what you call miscommunication.

− So what kind of assignments have you taken on since becoming an employee?

I was in charge of the renewal of UNIV. IN JAPAN, a Web portal designed to introduce and promote English-based programs taught at Japanese universities to students from all over the world. Up to then, we only provided information on undergraduate programs, so my job was to add data on graduate programs, which required a large-scale make-over. I must have been working on this project for half a year while tackling other tasks. Currently, I am a member of the Corporate Planning Office, and a big part of my work consists in developing and implementing worldwide marketing strategies. Other than that, I work as a translator on a regular basis, sometimes help the Web team by researching various topics and presenting them with a foreigner's point of view on various aspects of Web building. And recently, I also tried my hand at interpreting.

− What are your impressions about becoming an official member of Arc Communications?

I'm grateful for receiving constructive feedback once a project is over. However I might be satisfied with the result, it has to be in line with the customer's expectations. It's always nice to know what the customer said so that, according to the results, I can readjust my approach. This is very important to me, because it helps improve on various levels. Also of course, if the sites I've actively worked on -Arc's French translation site and UNIV. IN JAPAN- bring back positive results, that's the best of feedbacks.

Tell Us More About You and Your Future Goals

− How about your goals for the future?

French people have a very good image of Japan. Therefore, I would like to develop Arc's work with France, to be active in finding a way toward that. Also, I would like to improve my Japanese and, ideally, reach a native speaker level. (Laughs)

− Can you tell us more about yourself?

Well, I'm currently living in a share house in Nishi Nippori. As a teenager, I was keen on making films but it's difficult for various reasons: finance, etc. During my university years, someone introduced me to photography which I first considered a sort of substitute to filmmaking, then I really got into it. I like taking pictures that play with contrasts, I like taking them from cinematic angles.

− Weren't your parents against your leaving for working abroad?

My parents met in England where my father was working at the time, then married in France. So on the contrary they encouraged me to make experience life abroad, and have always been very supportive.


Daniel Fieschi
Born in Corsica (France) from a French father and a British mother. Entered Arc Communications as an intern in July 2012 before officially joining the company's Corporate Planning Office - Business Development in October of the same year. Practiced judo from age 6 to 14. Likes photography, cinema, listening to music, etc.

My favorite movie

Raging Bull (1980, USA), directed by Martin Scorsese
With boxing set as the background, this film is a very raw character study. I really loved its black & white photography, and intense narration: it's the film that made become such a movie buff. Maybe I wouldn't even be here now if I hadn't seen that film as a teenager...