Interfacing the future

Senior Consultant Robert LeClair
Maki Nibayashi

Interface Inc. seeks qualified individuals to help prepare their clients to enter top graduate schools in North America and Europe. Maki Nibayashi speaks with Senior Consultant Robert LeClair to learn more about where Japan' future leaders will come from.

Tell us about your company.
Interface Inc. is an American-owned and -managed organization that provides "cradle to grave" training for overseas graduate school applicants (primarily in the fields of Business, Law, Engineering, International Affairs and Public Administration) and for people interested in career transition. Since it was established more than ten years ago by Representative Director Warren Devalier, Interface has become the industry leader in helping Japanese men and women earn the necessary qualifications to pursue highly successful professional careers. Our services include: classes in TOEFL, GMAT, and Writing, as well as strategic advice on gaining admission to the best professional schools overseas. Our Tokyo office consists of Western consultants supported by a trained Japanese staff.

What key advice would you give Japanese applicants about preparing for graduate studies overseas?
A common but critical mistake that many Japanese make in preparing to enter professional training programs overseas is trying to do all of their preparation in Japanese. Although it is natural for people to want to study in their native language, for those aspiring to enroll in professional programs at the world's leading graduate schools, this is a tremendous mistake.

We see many "re-applicants" each year - people who applied to graduate schools the previous year, but failed. A trait commonly found among these people is that they were not yet willing to "take the plunge" into an English language environment such as the one they will find at Interface. Instead, they mistakenly assume that one can take the path of least resistance by remaining in a Japanese language environment and find their way into a top-level graduate school overseas. Wrong! For those few Japanese who do manage to bypass the "no pain, no gain" style of English preparation and succeed in gaining entrance into graduate school, a rude awakening awaits. Such people will find their sudden immersion into the fast-paced English language academic environment to be overwhelming, and some of them will not succeed. Our prescription: prepare for future success in English at Interface!

What positions are you seeking to fill?
We hope to hire talented and committed men and women to work with us here as part-time consultants to help place our clients in top professional training programs in the world's leading graduate schools. These positions do NOT involve teaching English.

What skills/responsibilities are required of a consultant at Interface?
The list of required skills for a successful consultant is a long one. The most important abilities include: client relationship management, proficiency using basic business software in a Mac environment, business experience, knowledge of the Japanese business world, solid writing skills and the capacity to meet deadlines gracefully under pressure. Consultants are responsible for managing their clients' application portfolios and schedules, helping them to develop realistic career plans, assisting them in developing outstanding ideas and showing them how to market themselves to a Western academic environment in the most effective manner.

Can you tell us a bit about compensation for Interface consultants?
For those who qualify for this type of work (i.e., Masters and PhD degree holders), Interface offers the top pay in the industry as well as an extremely attractive and comfortable working environment in its new office by the river near Gotanda Station.

Contact Information
Yumiko Kobayashi, Office Manager.
Tel: 03-5420-1572.

Do you have a position to fill? Email

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