Home> Careers> Zeon employees and their work> Connecting Zeon technology, particularly battery binders, to customer needs around the world
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  • Connecting Zeon technology, particularly battery binders, to customer needs around the world

Reason for joining ZEON and the early years

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Made the career shift to Zeon from a French chemicals-related company
My Japanese has improved with help from my colleagues

I studied organic chemistry at a university in France and came to Japan as an exchange student. After studying chemistry in Japan for a year, I worked for a chemicals-related company in France. Three years later, I joined Zeon.
I wanted to use my knowledge of chemistry to work on an international level and came upon a job opening at Zeon for “developing products through communication with customers.” I made the switch since the job was just right for me.
I was assigned to the Advanced Performance Material Laboratory to develop binders for lithium-ion batteries. A binder is a polymer used as an adhesive in battery electrodes. I had never handled binders before, so I had to learn about the product by assisting senior employees.
For me, the biggest challenge was communicating. Although I could manage daily conversations, I found it difficult to express my ideas using technical terms and trying to catch what was being said. My colleagues at the laboratory were very patient with me, though. They spoke slowly and listened attentively, and my Japanese gradually improved. I’m truly grateful for their support.

Current work

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Developing binders through communication with overseas companies
A stimulating workplace with open discussions

I develop batteries, conduct performance assessments and recommend technologies to foreign manufacturers that are Zeon customers. Customer requests come through Zeon’s European base in Germany, and we respond by conducting R&D in Japan and sharing the results. I speak English, French and a little German, so sometimes I contact a customer directly. Also, I go on one or two business trips every three months to provide technical support to our sites in Germany. I’m still learning about binders and how to speak Japanese, so it’s very rewarding when I can play the role of connecting my laboratory with an overseas customer.
Zeon thrives on open discussions, which may be characteristic of all Japanese companies. Many decisions can be made through discussion. At Zeon, when someone has a problem, everyone else offers their opinions as a team to solve it. In Europe, individual responsibilities are defined in detail, so the developer, technician and engineer each go about their jobs independently.
Naturally, we share important information, but we don’t get involved in other professional areas. I think the Japanese way has its merits. It may take longer to arrive at a decision, but everyone moves in the same direction once a decision is made. There are also lots of opportunities at Zeon for “Nominication,” the practice of getting together with colleagues over drinks, so employees quickly become acquainted with each other. I appreciate this corporate atmosphere.

Dreams of the future, life outside my job, and a message

Zeon is rapidly evolving into a global enterprise.
I keep the door open to welcome any opportunity that comes my way.

I expect the company will provide me with a broad range of experience. I’m interested in doing R&D on products other than binders and would like to work at an overseas location. My stance is to keep the door open. I want to be open-minded to all kinds of opportunities. Zeon, with its wide variety of products, offers many opportunities, and I’m looking forward to whatever I’ll be doing next.
Among the roughly three thousand Zeon Group employees around the world, over half are non-Japanese, and I’ve heard that ratio will continue to grow. Zeon will be transformed into an ever more international company.
We have now entered an era during which anyone can demonstrate their abilities on a global scale, regardless of nationality. I urge Japanese students to open their eyes to the world. And I encourage foreign and exchange students to turn their attention to Zeon, a company with unique technologies that have already transcended national borders.

Home> Careers> Zeon employees and their work> Connecting Zeon technology, particularly battery binders, to customer needs around the world
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