American University Students Share Experiences from Their Respective TOMODACHI Internship Programs
On February 8, three university students from the United States gathered at the Temple University Japan campus (TUJ) as part of the TOMODACHI Internship Program. The three participants introduced themselves and shared experiences from their respective internship programs, which began in early January 2018.
Ms. Isabel Barrett works as an intern at AOI Pro. Inc., a production company for TV commercials and digital content. Through her internship, she has become aware of different points of view in design, particularly the Japanese perspective of paying close attention to design details. For instance, she observed the design of garbage boxes includes detailed colors or shapes that indicate straightforward directions on street corners and are in harmony with their surroundings. Since Ms. Barrett has had a long-held interest in Japanese culture and the design of objects in Japan, she had visited Japan a couple of times before and experienced a homestay. Ms. Barrett said that once she completes the program, she would like to come back and work in Japan.
Ms. Alesha Green interns with Client Liaisons in the Finance Department of Delta Air Lines, Inc. Ms. Green works on improving the power of communication in Japanese. She is making the most of this program’s experiences to help determine her career choices once she graduates next autumn. Ms. Green said that she has been learning a great deal about the back-office operations of the company, which are usually hard to see from the outside, and she feels grateful to have such a great opportunity through this program. She said that she wants to acquire more Japanese language skills and work in Client Liaisons in the future.
Ms. Sarah Chambers is interning at the Run for the Cure Foundation, a non-profit organization (NPO) that consults on early detection of breast cancer and engages in educational activities on breast cancer. Ms. Chambers is majoring in global business and Chinese language, and she participated in this program to learn about the differences between enterprises in the U.S., China, and Japan. Ms. Chambers also said that she applied to a non-profit organization in order to learn about Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) activities and the relationships between companies and NPOs. In the future, she would like to work at a food company that nurtures innovative approaches to global marketing and to engage in product development and marketing that dealing with cultural identification or societal changes.
The gathering has shown that all three participants are making the most out of each of their respective internship programs and are widening their views on work and living in Japan. Their remaining time in the program will further strengthen their skillsets to work globally in the future.
This program was created in 2015 to facilitate more Japanese internship opportunities for American students. This program is sponsored by the U. S. Embassy in Toyo and is implemented in partnership with Temple University, Japan Campus (TUJ).