Job hunting can be challenging for university students. After attending a couple of employment seminars last year, Toyo University student Ryo Kikuchi knew he didn’t stand a chance of outdoing his competitors if he went the usual route.

“Let’s face it, I was 25 years old and still had no skills at all. Plus, I used to be a shut-in (‘hikikomori’). So I knew I had to do something different,” said Kikuchi, a high school dropout who spent six years tucked away in his room before managing to enter university in 2010.

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