1. Personal Backgrounds
While studying as an exchange student in Japan during my undergraduate, I tried to learn the other culture and in turn share Korean culture, interacting with local Japanese populace and trying to understanding their life from local perspective.
Since the exchange program, I have taken meaningful steps to further examine the relationship between the other countries from various angles, not only academically but also practically. Thus I had worked for the diverse organizations, including ChangMu Arts Center, Korea International Cooperation Agency, U.S. Embassy in Seoul.
I believed that this kind of professional experiences would help look at the relationships between other countries and Korea in a more cooperative manner. While working for these organizations and meeting with people from different countries, I felt the importance of international exchange that seeks genuine and comprehensive understanding. As I sought an in-depth understanding on this situation, I wished to engage in international studies and I was granted the opportunity to be selected the one of a CAMPUS Asia student I started the double degree course in 2014, Graduate School of Public Policy (GrasPP), University of Tokyo.
2. Motivation to Internship
Throughout the working experiences above, I realized that it is very important to work at a real field to understand the society. Luckily, GrasPP organized the internship program during the summer break with many prestigious companies in Japan. I expected that joining the summer internship is a precious opportunity to experience an actual atmosphere which maintains Japan and obtain a deeper understanding about Japanese society. I also expect to attain more objective and subtle views based on the experience. After all, I hopefully would like to find some sort of insights which can explain current Japanese economic situation and make suggestions which can improve the problems now Japan has been faced.
3. Internship at Chiba Bank
Thanks to GrasPP arranging the internship with various eminent organizations from public sector to private companies, I had many options. Among the companies, I applied for Chiba Bank which is the second largest regional bank in Japan. The one of reason I chose that I heard positive feedback from previous intern last year. Moreover, it requires quiet intermediate Japanese language level so I thought it would be a good chance to experience the genuine atmosphere of Japanese company compared with other firms.
I had an interview with GrasPP faculty members and after the selection, had an interview with the staffs of Chiba Bank. Before the interview, I was little nervous. However the interview began, I felt that the purpose of this interview is knowing what kind of person I am, introducing each other and explaining the process of the internship. It was little surprise for me because it was only for three weeks internship so arranging the meeting and having the interview could regard as a kind of a waste of resources. Even I was the only applicant selected from GrasPP so there was no need for selection. From this regards, I had an impression that Chiba Bank would really care about people, the human resources.
Having a good impression of Chiba Bank in mind, the internship started on 11th of August. In the first week, I was allocated at the Treasury Division. The mission I was assigned was a market research on Thailand. Since Chiba Bank was planning to open a representative office in Thailand in September, it would be appropriate for the intern to research regarding Thailand on that matter. Chiba Bank did not just give me the task and the computer. I visited the JCIF with Chiba Bank staff and had a useful information session about Thailand in general. During the first week, I did not only the research but also participate CSR program. It was called Chiba-gin Kids Expedition, the participants were the children of Chiba Bank staff. I had every lunch with different staff from various department also. It was a pleasure interacting with other staff so I enjoyed a lot.
After a successful presentation on Thailand, I assigned to the headquarters of Chiba Bank in Chiba prefecture. During the second week, I was sent to the Human Resource Division. I learned from the senior staffs regarding CSR and the female staff support policy of Chiba Bank. On one weekend, I visited Sawara area with the Chiba Bank staff as a part of cross-cultural workshop activities. The Human Resource Division organized this activity and we looked around Sawara, the little Edo area. It was another precious experience that I had.
On the last week, I was sent to the Corporate Business Division. The assignment was making a suggestion to promote the tourism business in Chiba Prefecture. In order to that, I visited a lot of tourist spots and related organizations. It was only for five days however the curriculum was decently arranged so I could proudly say that I am a sort of well-known person about Chiba Prefecture. During the visit, always the staff was with me of course. Honestly I felt that I was treated as a guest. After all, I made my presentation about the topic greatly thanks to all the help of the Chiba Bank Staff.
Internship at Chiba Bank helped me to understand better Japanese company. However the most important thing that I have earned through the internship at Chiba Bank is people, the human connection. I did not expect that I could build up a lasting network in this internship. Even I am keeping touch with the staff now and this would be the priceless experience I could have. The other thing I realized is the Japanese corporate culture deeming manpower valuable. From this, even I became positively considering getting a job in Japan from now.