1. First, who are you? What are your dreams and why the interest in Japan?

Hi. My name is Christiana. I am a student in Copenhagen. I study Sports Management. I am from Romania. I would like to work in the sport industry in the future. I had an interest for Japan since I was very little. I love the culture, the language, the people. I have wanted for a long time to go to Japan. It was one of my biggest dreams and I am really glad that I got the opportunity to be there even if it was for a short while.

2. Tell us about the planning and process.

My planning process for the internship started one year before I went to Japan. Since the internship at Central Sports was not paid (agreement stated in my contract from school), I had to work to save money in order to go there. I started by searching online or asking some of my Japanese friends if they know of some internships in Japan, but it did not help a lot. Japan is new to internships especially with foreigners. So I decided to go personally to Tokyo. I was in Japan for the first time in January 2015. At one of my school classes that was dedicated in finding an internship, my teacher suggested making a profile on LinkedIn. So I began to search on LinkedIn and this is how I found Internship Japan. After sending a message, I was redirected by the Internship Japan team (they set up a topic for me) to another group that was more related to my studies and here were people that helped me (Mr. Onoe's interview can be found here). I was in Tokyo for one week and had interviews and a few months later one of the company responded positive.

To tell a little about my interview. There were 3 people there. My Japanese was not very good at that moment. Fortunately, one person there knew English and was able to translate everything. I remember when they said that when they heard about the internship with a foreigner they did not liked the idea that much, but after the interview they said that they kind of change their mind. After a few months I got the internship. I was the first intern they had.

3. What were the prerequisites for your internships? Any special conditions from your university? Personal?

Yes, I had. I had some learning objectives in my contract from the University that had to be accomplished at my internship and minimum working hours. From the company the only requirement was that I had to speak in Japanese as I was the first intern they had. The people that I have been working with there don`t speak English.

4. With what kind of visa did you come to Japan and how did the application work?

It was a culture activities visa that is mainly for activities such as internships.

5. Tell us about the internship at Central Sports. What did you do? How was your daily work? How was your boss?

I worked in HR, Leisure Department (events) and Marketing Department (creating a new sports club). Since everything was in Japanese it was a little hard to communicate, especially at the beginning. For this reason, I could not be 100% involved in daily work. I was more involved in accomplishing my learning objectives. I learned a lot about the corporate culture by being there and since my field of experience is sport I was involved also in sport events from the company.

6. Did you have any chance to study Japanese while in Japan or before coming? Will you come again?

Yes. Some years ago I finished my Bachelor in Japanese Language in Literature, that is how I knew more about the culture and language, but because it was a long time ago and since then I did not had any contact with the language, my skills faded, especially my writing skills so I did not had the knowledge I had before. Being there really helped in improving my understanding of the language and also my speaking. I really want to come back. I hope I will someday :)

7. How was Japan? Any message for young people thinking about coming to Japan?

It was AMAZING. My message would be JUST GO FOR IT. It is totally different than what I was used to, but it was one of the happiest experience I have ever had.

8. How can we as Internship Japan do better?

Maybe more advertising. Besides LinkedIn, it is really hard to find Internship Japan. The rest is very good. THANK YOU for helping people like me.

9. How would you describe or evaluate the difference between internships, kenshuu (研修) or part-time jobs?

First, internships are usually not paid. There are some that are but the purpose of an internship is to get experience on a professional field that you are interested in. Part-time jobs are more for earning money than for getting job experience. Also internships are more like a training than a job there is where you learn how to do the job whereas on part-time jobs in most cases you have to know already how to do your job and have experience.

10. What changes would you think are in need or helpful to those who are seeking internships in Japan?

Better knowledge of English for Japanese Companies and knowledge of Japanese for internships seekers. In some companies I was refused only because I am a foreigner and I hope that will change in the future.

 


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