CarolinaCarolina found out about our very first networking event and came over to make new, useful contacts. She was already in Japan, studied at a Japanese University for half a year. At our event, she met Andrew Woolner from Yokohama Theatre Group (YTG), who already had had an intern through Internship Japan and gave a passionate speech about his experience from view of a director / boss at our event (see his expert interview here).

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

I'm a 26 year old from Germany, where I study Applied Business Languages and International Management B.A. / Japanese. I always hoped to go to Japan one day and thanks to my study I was able to do so.

2. Tell us about your experience at the Internship Japan Networking Event and how you “closed the deal”, meeting Andrew there. How did the process go?

The event was great! But I felt a bit helpless between all the business people. It was a completely new experience for me. But Andrew’s speech really got me. Shortly after the event I sent him an email, asking for the possibility of an internship at YTG and then everything was going really fast. We met, talked about what we expect from the internship and then the deal was closed =)

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

My internship had to be business oriented (somehow) and between 5 and 6 months, with common working hours. My personal main interest was to do something I really love. Thanks to a scholarship from Germany I do not have to worry about getting paid, so YTG was like the perfect option for me. This was my chance to experience theatre in a completely different way with the possibility to combine it to my study needs.

4. Tell us about the internship “on and off stage”. What did you do? How was your daily work? How was your boss and team?

Working with Andrew and YTG was awesome! My work included more or less office work, but the main part was working on “Kikai-Ga-Shima”, which is YTG's big project for this year. Therefore my job was to be Assistant Stage Manager. I was running the lines with Andrew and Graig, took notes for everything, setting up the stage and taking care of the sound-effects during the show itself. It was a great experience to be part of that. At the moment I am a participant at YTG's Playmaking Workshop, so my work also includes to enter the stage myself, which I really appreciate.

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

Yes, the biggest part of my studies in Germany is Japanese. So I had 2 years to learn Japanese before finally starting my year in Japan, which is mandatory at my University. I would love to come to Japan again, but at the moment I have no idea when this will be possible again. But I definitely want to return one day.

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

Japan was the biggest and greatest experience in my life so far. Everything is different here. The people, the culture, food and air. I learned a lot during this year and all I can say is: Do it! Take that chance and don't be afraid. It's totally worth it.

7. How can we as Internship Japan do better?

I think you are doing a great and important job! It's so hard to find an internship in Japan, so please keep on going =)

8. Do you have any other experiences in searching for an internship in Japan? (Without us, Internship Japan, being involved?)

I think it's quite important to tell that it is really hard to find something. Especially when you are one of 20 people around Tokyo, from the same University in Germany and have to find an internship at the same time. Not counting all the other people who are searching as well. You are competitors. One might get the internship you really would love to do and one have to return home, because s/he was not able to find anything.

Even if you really try hard, some companies just ignore your application. And even if you find an internship, it could happen that they are so uninformed that you have problems getting the right visa and need to wait for 2 months without payment before you can finally start. (Happened in my study group…). There are many problems, that's why I think Internship Japan is so important! Networking, information, that all is necessary to be successful in finding an internship that really makes you happy.

 

Thank you so much, Carolina-san. We are going on and hope to create many many more opportunities for vibrant young talents like you. We hope to set up a scholarship for art- and culture related unpaid interns as soon as possible. 頑張ります!