Nicolas and Sarah1. Tell us about your company. What are you doing, about your markets and the countries you deal with the most.

Tsugi ( offers consultancy and research & development services to the game, music and movie industries. We develop tools and engines for a variety of studios and middleware companies. Most of our clients are in the USA, in the UK, in Canada, and of course in Japan: basically countries with a strong game industry. We also publish our own line of software for creative people. One of our most popular products right now is DSP Anime which lets people create sound effects for their movies, animations and video games.

2. How did you find your intern and tell us about the process before the internship started.

It was really straightforward, we just posted a message on the Internship Japan group on LinkedIn (at the time, I believe your web site didn’t exist yet) and quickly several candidates contacted us. They were all quite interesting; we simply chose the person who seemed to be the best fit for the internship. A couple of emails with Sarah (our future intern), and everything was set! Because her school program required for their students to do an internship abroad (and they helped), and because she knew from the beginning that she wanted to do it in Japan, it was all very easy to organize. Also, we had welcomed interns from overseas previously, so we were already all set concerning her lodging in a Japanese-style share house and other matters.

3. What does an intern do at your company?

It will obviously depend on the intern’s skills. In the past we had interns in programming, sound design, graphic design and just now in marketing / PR. Since we are a small start-up, there is always a lot to do and everybody’s ideas are taken into consideration. An intern will do work directly related to his or her domain of expertise and will probably have more responsibilities than he or she would have interning in a bigger company. Interns are definitely not here to serve green tea!

4. What kind of person would be the ideal intern? What does your company need?

Right now we are looking for marketing / sales and programming interns. We get a lot of game design / graphic design requests too but unfortunately we don’t have any openings in these areas at the moment. That being said, new projects can start quickly so if anyone is interested, they definitely should send their resume, as these are the ones that we will read first when we start looking for new interns or even employees. Generally speaking, it’s easier if the intern has a basic knowledge of the game or animation industry and of the type of products we are making. We are also looking for someone who is really proactive.

5. How did your intern do while with you?

We are all very happy with Sarah’s work. She had a very good knowledge of the video game industry before coming here and was already very interested in Japan and anime, so it was really a good fit. Sarah also came at a time where we were really busy with various projects and she still managed to do wonders with very little supervision.

6. Which language did you use with your intern? Does the intern speak Japanese?

She didn’t speak Japanese (although she was learning and could read hiragana and katakana). We were speaking English at the office, which in most cases in this company will be just fine (unless of course you are interning to help with marketing / sales for Japan). However speaking Japanese –even just a little bit- will always be helpful for the daily life outside of the office. We are located in Nigata and there are not so many foreigners here, especially compared to Tokyo or Osaka, and fewer English-speaking locals.

7. How can we as Internship Japan do better? You know we are growing, wanting to become an NPO, our goals can be seen here – reaching those will take time. So give us your advice please.

Maybe we were lucky, but simply using the Internship Japan group on LinkedIn worked extraordinarily well for us! You may be preparing that already, but having an online database of internship offers and candidates would be great. Anything speeding up the process is welcome, so having the possibility for the companies to enter some search criteria and to receive automatically a notification when there is a match in the database would be awesome!

Nicolas Fournel, CEO

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