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Intrax Global Internships in Tokyo, Japan
GO: What originally inspired you to intern in Japan with Intrax?
Carlos: Intrax was the only option available with enough flexibility to work with a busy graduating student. I looked for other options but application dates in other programs were ridiculous and some of the requirements such as major, experience, etc were just too complex to work with. Intrax perfectly matched my skills set, and experience with my internship role.
GO: Describe your day to day activities as an intern at the Japan Marketing Association.
Carlos: First they gave me a project to compare the Japanese research industry with other countries such as the US, Germany, etc. Based on that research I had to interview experts in different industries which helped me network and understand the structure of the Japanese business environment.
Second they had me prepare a presentation based on my research and present it at an industry convention in Sydney, Australia trip which my company sponsored for me.
GO: How has this experience impacted your future?
Carlos: The internship provided me with the skills necessary to develop an international career. It made me develop enough confidence in myself in order to present multimillion dollar deals to investors and companies' management. Academically it introduced me to the market research industry which is gigantic, and it also helped me break into the Asian markets, in case I decided to open my own business.
Masa Tsukui is the operations manager in Intrax's Tokyo office and has been with the company for 5 years. Masa works with both host companies to recruit positions and with students to match them in the perfect internship.
What makes interning abroad in Tokyo a unique experience for participants?
Masa: Tokyo is a bustling mega-city, full of opportunity and offers a unique blend of old and new. It's a great place for participants to expand their cultural horizons while getting invaluable career experience.
As an enduring economic center in the region, Japan is home to many headquarters of financial, technological and innovative companies. Our program allows interns to expand the marketing reach of philanthropic organizations like Children without Borders (KnK). Another internship provides finance interns the opportunity to explore numerous fields in the departments of Japan's largest bank, The Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi UFJ.
By getting your feet wet in Tokyo, you'll not only be learning about a new and very different culture, you'll be making valuable connections, and gaining an understanding of the booming Asian business market. It's the kind of experience that will not only look good on your resume, but will give you an experience and a career boost that just can't be matched by sitting in a classroom back home.
What can you tell you tell us about the workplace culture in Tokyo?
Masa: In Japan, as in any country, there are many cultural norms to be aware of. Japan has its own unique business culture and etiquette, given the ancient history and long-held traditions.
Hierarchy is important in both business and personal relationships. Showing respect to elders and superiors is a must. Pay careful attention to titles and address someone properly according to their status.
Japan is a working culture. Meetings start on time and may be a bit more formal than you are used to. Relationships are very important and working in teams may be more common than independent work. If the team needs to make a decision, everyone in the group will be consulted before a final decision is made.
One of the most important things you can do is to simply be observant and adaptable. Practical rules of respect certainly apply and knowing the basics will help you in your internship. Intrax hosts orientations and Global Skills Trainings to help prepare participants for these cultural differences.
What level of Japanese proficiency should students have when considering this internship? Are there any requirements?
Masa: Intrax offers internship placements for participants of all language levels. We have positions where English is the primary language in the office as well as positions that require fluent Japanese. However, a basic knowledge of the local language can make it easier to settle in, adapt, and makes day to day life go more smoothly. Plus, learning and trying to speak the local language shows that you are making an effort to understand and fit in to the local culture.
Is prior work experience required?
Masa: Prior work experience is not required when applying to the program. Depending on the internship position, some prior experience may be required. Most placements are intended to give participants practical entry level work experience. Interns will work with Intrax to determine positions that meet their qualifications and interests.
What are some extra-curricular activities students enjoy while interning in Tokyo? (Does Intrax provide any guided tours?)
Masa: Intrax hosts a group cultural excursion as a part of our premium program. In past years we have taken interns to Kamakura, which is famous for its temples and shrines. With a culture as rich as Japan's, there are countless activities that interns can do on their own in their free time; anything from checking out the latest fashions in Harajuku to exploring local markets. Intrax will host a group on-site orientation and Global Skills Training upon arrival. During this session interns will learn about how they can make the most of their experience and how to maximize their time in Japan.
What is one piece of advice you would offer someone interning in Tokyo?
Masa: Tokyo is like no other city on earth and now is a great time to experience it. Internships abroad allow students to observe the Japanese business practices, expand their professional network, enhance their resumes, and develop language skills.
If you pay close attention to the cultural nuances and learn from those around you, you would fare well in the fast-paced but traditionally-rich life in Tokyo.
In this globally connected world, having international experience is something that employers seek. Having this experience can set you apart from the competition and create countless opportunities.
We would be happy to speak with you in detail regarding the benefits of an internship abroad. Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or 877-429-6753.
Intrax Global Internships is your launching pad to a global career. We offer summer and year-round international internships to talented and ambitious college students and recent grads. This is a unique and unforgettable opportunity to gain practical work experience and make connections. Spend your time in one of nine leading economic centers and experience what it's like to work in marketing, finance, public relations or at a nonprofit or start-up.
Intrax Global Internships offers American students two ways to intern abroad - our premium program and placement only. Both options include custom matched placements in an international internship in your field and city of interest. In addition to this placement, our Premium program covers your housing, a local excursion with other interns, and Global Skills Training; it's offered in the summer and runs from mid-June through mid-August. Placement only internships are offered year round with flexible start dates and durations.