The internship helped me to understand Japanese people and their mentality. It was a unique chance to get in touch with a very professional work environment. I hope to be able to apply some of the techniques I learned when I return to Europe.
During my internship I could study the organisation of a traditional Japanese company. I learned about the communication channels and techniques that enhance a brand’s visibility and presence. From a personal point of view, I finally had the chance to spend my time in a typical Japanese environment and observe the relationships between individuals both in and outside of work.
One of the objectives of the internship was to better know our partner company, in particular how it is organised, who does what, and how the relationship between the various group companies works. At the end of the internship I had a very clear understanding and can advise my managers in France or in Japan about matters related to our partner.
Professionally this experience gave me one great challenge – being able to communicate with Japanese customers in their own language, both on the phone and in the store. Moreover, it made the Japanese obsession with quality and food safety more conspicuous to me. This experience also gave me a valuable opportunity to gain insight into the expectations and requirements of Japanese customers. Finally, it helped me better understand the importation process for food products in Japan (lead time, taxes, duties, documentation, intermediaries, customs clearance).
I benefited enormously both professionally and personally from this internship. It gave me a comprehensive insight into the brain and heart of a modern, global Japanese company. This experience helped me understand the way Japanese companies conduct business abroad and at home. In the future it will allow me to successfully cooperate with Japanese companies and conduct business in the Japanese market.
I do believe that the process for arranging the internship is one of the best experiences of ETP. The trainee has to search by him/herself with Waseda’s support, and while I know that this is very difficult for some participants or industries, it is good to be “alone” especially in the beginning because then you are forced to look actively for it and this process gives you the opportunity to meet many people and get a lot of valuable contacts.