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Interview with a 2017 Internship Participant

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Interview with a 2017 Internship Participant
Nguyen Thi Ngoc Nhung

Nguyen Thi Ngoc Nhung

■ Home Country: Vietnam

■ Job Type: CIR

■ Placement: Hamada City, Shimane Prefecture

■ Year on JET: Third Year

■ Field of Internship: Medical

Why did you decide to participate in the internship programme?

I decided to join the internship program to determine if I will be able to work in Japan after I finish my time as a CIR. I also wanted to see what skills and abilities are necessary to work at a Japanese company and whether I will be able to use the skills I have learned so far.

What type of work did you experience on the programme?

First, I learned how to write a proposal. After that, I was given the opportunity to create my own proposal for a pharmaceutical company. Under the guidance of my internship supervisor, I used my English and Vietnamese skills to research information, compiling what I found into a PowerPoint. I then presented the proposal in Japanese to the International Planning Division. I was also able to observe several company meetings.

What did you get out of the programme?

Thanks to the internship program, I was able to learn a little about the differences between working in a government office and working in the private sector.
I was also able to learn a lot about the company I was placed, such as the type of work they do and the company philosophy. It was the first time I had heard about a marketing agency that specializes in pharmaceuticals. I am sure now that there are many other interesting industries that I have yet to discover.
I overcame the insecurities that I had before participating in the program, and even though it was a very short amount of time, I was given valuable training, advice and feedback that I feel will be of use in my future career.

After participating in the programme, how do you feel about working in Japan in the future?

Participating in the internship program has strengthened my desire to work in Japan after JET. I also feel more confident about working in Japan.
It could be said that finding a job in Japan is a trend of today’s global world. I want to use my language ability and find a job where I can work on the world stage. I hope that I can use my qualities and abilities to help deepen the bonds of friendship between Japan, my home country, and the world.
In order to find a job in Japan, I believe it is necessary for me to acquire new knowledge and skills. While continuing my work as a CIR, I want to work towards acquiring qualifications that will be beneficial to my future career.

Pierce Langdon

Pierce Langdon

■ Home Country: America

■ Job Type: ALT

■ Placement: Tokyo Prefecture

■ Year on JET: Third Year

■ Field of Internship: IT

Why did you decide to participate in the internship programme?

What you get out of the JET Program truly depends on what you put into it. Very early on, I started thinking about how my time on JET would help me get ready for life after the program. While keeping my school-related duties in mind, I took advantage of many of the great opportunities JET offers, including this internship program. I have been a hobbyist programmer for a couple of years now, but job experience was something I was lacking. I signed up for the internship program hoping that it would offer the chance to get some real-world experience in web or software development, and I was lucky enough to find a great match for my skillset.

What type of work did you experience on the programme?

I joined a team of developers at a mid-sized company at their main office in Tokyo. Since I felt more comfortable working on the front-end side of things (the look and feel of a website, rather than its functionality), I worked with the designers to turn their Photoshop mockups into code for the website. In the end, I was able to create a couple of pages for their Airbnb-style website, which is now live.

What did you get out of the programme?

Joining the program gave me the chance to talk with other developers on a daily basis; even something as simple as going out to lunch together presented the opportunity to ask about work life, company culture, etc., which helped me further consider working in Japan as a developer. Regardless of where I go next, the internship undoubtedly cemented my decision to continue to pursue a career in web or software development after JET.

After participating in the programme, how do you feel about working in Japan in the future?

The internship gave me confidence that I could succeed in a development role in Japan, even with Japanese as the primary language of communication. However, something that was mentioned while talking with the other developers was that overtime is definitely a thing in Japan. Provided that I could find a company that values work-life balance for its employees, I would be happy to stay in Japan and continue in this line of work.

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