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Dolphin Tales

Working for Amazon in NYC

Hayato, Class of 2015, graduated from Boston University and then grad school at Columbia University in NYC, where he now works for a large (very familiar!) global company and enjoys life in the Big Apple.


Where are you living now?
I currently live in Manhattan, New York City.
What kind of work are you doing?
I work as a software engineer at Amazon. My team develops and maintains the Kindle website on Amazon, specifically for Manga (Japanese comics).
What do you enjoy most about your job?
After we launch a new feature, we have these bots that scan the internet and look for any feedback from the users. I find myself happiest when we see lots of positive feedback from customers who use the feature that I developed on our Amazon page. It’s a very rewarding feeling, and I can finally let out a sigh of relief. Sometimes we receive not-so-great feedback from users, too - and that’s ok. It’s always a learning experience. Either way, I find it really cool to see how something I’ve been working on is making a difference directly for our users.
What kind of challenges does it hold for you?
Since my work is 100% remote for the time being, my “office desk” is three steps away from my bed. It’s difficult to establish a clear boundary between work and life. I always need to fight the urge to re-open my work laptop late at night when I catch myself thinking about work and how I can write my code differently than how I did earlier in the day.
Did NIS help you prepare for your current position in any way?
Definitely. With the IB curriculum, there was a constant flow of learning balanced with self-reflection. As students, it’s easy to be lost in the learning and not look back on the accomplishments or mistakes, but NIS helped me see things from a wider lens. This is definitely a life-long skill that I still use to this day.
What's the one thing that you are really enjoying or getting most excited about these days? 
As the weather gets warmer, I can’t wait to bike around Central Park and enjoy the green + sun.
What's the one thing you miss most about Japan/Nagoya?
My family is always #1, but ‘hitsumabushi’* is a close second. It’s really hard to find a good hitsumabushi restaurant in NYC, so I always splurge on it whenever I’m back in Nagoya. 
And of course, we need to know, what words of wisdom do you have for today's Dolphins?
Learning never stops. I used to think that after high school and college, I was finally done with classes, but there’s always more to learn, and you’ll find yourself expanding your domain of knowledge all the time. So do what you love and suddenly learning becomes very fun.

*Hitsumabushi is a Nagoya delicacy of grilled eel in a soy sauce-based marinade over rice.